How Switching to Lightning will Help your Business

Our team had the unique opportunity of taking part in the planning of a Lightning switchover project. We’d like to share with you some advice, based on what we tried and tested as this may help you in planning your own launch.


There is no denying that ‘Salesforce Classic’ is due for adjustment and managing the business change is of equal – if not higher – priority. We can all agree on one thing: ‘Lightning’ is a complete re-design of Salesforce.

We do appreciate, it is something of an inconvenience for some Salesforce customers, who may have to put their usual business on hold for a short while and invest time in getting ready. However, it’s also an opportunity for the technology to become more ‘user-friendly.’

To maximise the practicality of Lightning, it is essential to prioritise the readiness of your workforce for the productivity changes. You can also take the opportunity to clean things up a bit… prove to users that their needs are paramount, discourage bad habits and encourage futuristic ideology. This is an opportunity to switch your focus onto customers, rather than products or services.


Surveys, workshops, clinics, interviews, ride-alongs… as with any new implementation, take the opportunity to look at how your users feel about Salesforce. Some typical, actionable feedback might include:

  •     “I hate it that I have to create a contract when the opportunity is closed.”
  •     “I love that my entire schedule of customer care calls is set up for me, so all I have to do is work through them.”
  •     “The reports are pretty good, but there are too many variations of them – I don’t know which one is the most reliable.”
  •     “Why do I need to click ‘edit’ and ‘save’ to move my opportunity along a stage?”

Whether the response to that is training, business process changes, or technology changes, gathering feedback is the most important thing you can do to start the process of switching to Lightning. You can then triangulate it with other things to formulate your project backlog:

  •     User feedback
  •     Business requirements
  •     Technology requirements (the Lightning readiness reports)


The course of action you take to get your people ready is EQUALLY as important as coding the technology. Get them engaged early – feature the procedures in your team calls, newsletters, town hall meetings, events, kick-offs, and conferences. If your users are based in the office, put posters up, play games, or run some related competitions. Use ‘Trailhead’ to help your team acquire some knowledge. Use ‘Top Trailblazers’ to encourage some competitive spirit, and to reward your most engaged people.

A big change like this is a great time to become imaginative and think of something different to engage your users, to ready them for the adjustments. After all, they’ll undoubtedly protest about the changes when you deploy them, so if you accept that and make sure they’re prepared, the grumbling will be minimised.


Switching to Lightning is the ultimate opportunity to look at what you’ve got in the system and check if it still works. Here’s a way you can do that:


Split your metadata into four categories – ‘bin, keep, change, or introduce.’ If you’ve got code that could be retired and turned into ‘Process Builder’ or ‘Flow’, now is the time to do it. Have conversations about this… it could lead to a decision about starting a new org, depending on how complex it is. Use it as an opportunity to retain the best parts, bin the bits that aren’t used any more, enhance existing processes, and make a fresh start.

  •     Go through your data model – objects and fields

    Could you retire any of your custom fields?

    Do you have any redundant custom objects?

    Are you using standard objects the right way?

  •     Go through your automation and decide what needs to stay on as code, and what could be managed by Process Builder or Flow.
  •     Review the packages you have installed.

    Are they still relevant?

    Do they work in Lightning?

    Are there any components by Salesforce Labs on the AppExchange that could do the same/a better job in Lightning?

  •     Look at your Visualforce pages

    Do we need to re-skin them using the Lightning Design System?

    Do we need to rebuild them as Lightning components?

    What do the Lightning readiness reports say?

  •     It is vital to take stock of your reports and dashboards

    Which ones are still relevant?

    Are there any that are unnecessary?

    Devise a strategy for the dashboards – is it worth showing unused ones in Lightning?

    Could you perhaps take advantage of Einstein technology?

    Clean up your folders.

  •     Profiles and Permission Sets

    It’s worth considering moving from a model of using multiple profiles to one with/using a select few, with function-based permission sets.

  •     Naughty buttons and links

    Buttons exist as actions in Lightning.

    URL hacks don’t work in Lightning – you’ll be able to pre-populate fields via actions in Lightning (no more cutting corners).


The next, most important action is to investigate what opportunities your metadata design decisions present for all that data you’ve collected over the years.

Typical opportunities might include:

  •     Creating a backup strategy.
  •     Archiving old and irrelevant data.
  •     Moving data between fields.
  •     Re-parenting records to accommodate new object relationships.
  •     Einstein analytics.


There are many ways to train people. In a Lightning switchover, there are also interesting approaches to training.

  1. Business process.

    If your business processes have changed, your users will need to know about that. Consider introducing screen flows to guide users through a process, such as setting up an ‘Opportunity.’

    Consider using ‘Path’, and writing ‘Guidance for Success.’

    Switching to Lightning gives you a fabulous opportunity to make the application do much of the labour, when it comes to training.

2. Productivity.

    Lightning experience comes with many productivity features, so it’s the best time to build a Trailmix.

3. Try this out: If you’re a fan of classroom training, you can share your most important decks as files, or even build your own Lightning Components to ensure the key concepts are available at first glance.

    Here’s an example of how Narender Singh embedded ‘Slideshare’ into a Lightning component.


There is literally no excuse not to be transparent and start training your users before you’ve made the switchover. Start nice and early – while you’re still figuring it all out. Then they can tell you about features they really think will help to increase adoption. Don’t limit it to just ‘superusers’ but include them and ask them to invite interested people to also engage early.

There are Trailmixes galore, which you can apply, to start acquainting all types of users with the new features they can take advantage of in Lightning; what they can’t really start working on is your new processes because they’ve not been designed yet… but that will come later.

Here are a few Trailmixes you could hand out to get them started:

If you’re thinking of switching to Lightning but not sure where to start, book a discovery session with us and we’ll guide you through the process.


About the Author

Gemma Blezard

CEO and Salesforce MVP

Gemma is Founder and CEO of The Architech Club and a great inspiration to anyone dealing with life’s challenges. Gemma is also co-founder of Ladies Be Architects and an Award-winning advocate for diversity.
She is in demand as a conference speaker at Dreamforce, World Tour and Community events. She is open about living and working with breast cancer, and balances being a mother, with her roles as a Salesforce MVP, 18 x Salesforce Certified Solution Architect and leading The Architech Club.

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