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Best Practices 101: Project Management for Salesforce

Our favorite CRM tool has been designed for sales teams looking to optimize their productivity, but its expansive features give Salesforce the potential for project management uses. And while Salesforce doesn’t offer full-fledged task management features, it still supports essential task management, which is pretty good for non-complex tasks.

Let’s look at some benefits of using Salesforce for project management and how you can use it effectively!
 

Why Use Salesforce for Project Management?

Salesforce isn’t designed for complex project management tasks, but sales and marketing folks can use Salesforce’s project management features as a lightweight substitute for big solutions.

With Salesforce, you get a centralized platform where you can manage both your customer relationships and projects. This eliminates the need for multiple tools and systems, increasing the efficiency of your projects. Additionally, Salesforce is highly customizable — you can tailor the platform to your specific project management needs. Create custom objects and workflows that align with your processes.

Salesforce’s collaboration feature Chatter enables seamless communication and collaboration among team members. You can share project updates and documents and engage in discussions to keep everyone on the same page. With the right tool, you can easily create and track tasks and milestones for your projects. Assign tasks to your teammates, set due dates, and establish dependencies to ensure everyone knows their responsibilities and can track their progress.

Finally, Salesforce’s reporting and analytics capabilities allow you to gain insights into project performance. You can generate custom reports and dashboards to monitor key metrics and make data-driven decisions. And with Salesforce integrations, you’ll streamline your data flow, eliminate manual tasks, and provide a comprehensive view of the project.
 

Ways to Use Project Management in Salesforce

Task Notifications

While Salesforce doesn’t explicitly offer project management features, it does allow project managers to activate task notifications. This helps them remind their teams about different cases, such as the completion of a task or a deadline approaching soon.

In Salesforce Classic, you can enable email notifications when a task is assigned to a user or when the due date is approaching. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on your username in the top-right corner of the Salesforce Classic interface and go to Setup.
  2. Type in “Activity settings” in the quick find box.
  3. Select “Activity settings.”
  4. Select “Enable user control over task assignment notifications.”
  5. Click “Submit.”

 

Similarly, you can easily set reminders and enable task notifications on your to-do list for Salesforce Lightning. This is more convenient than Salesforce Classic’s feature and feels more like a project management system.

Here’s how to enable task notifications in Salesforce Lightning:

  1. Go to Setup and navigate to Object Manager.
  2. Click on Task.
  3. Create a new task or open an existing task.
  4. Add a field called “reminder set” to the task detail section.
  5. On the Activity Settings page, deselect “Show simpler New Task form on mobile.”

 

task notifications in salesforce
 

Salesforce’s Very Own Social Media App

Chatter is a social media app developed by Salesforce which is integrated into the platform. It provides a platform to connect, share, and collaborate with teams and even customers.

With features like feeds, likes, comments, and notifications, Chatter encourages active participation and engagement from users. It helps in building a sense of community and fosters a collaborative and interactive work environment. Users can share their best practices, industry insights, and expertise and facilitate continuous learning within the platform.

Features Of Chatter

  • Create profiles to showcase your skills, expertise, and work-related information.
  • Chatter has a feed feature similar to popular social media platforms. Users can post updates and share files, links, and images in their feeds.
  • You can create public or private groups where users with common interests or working on specific projects can collaborate, share information, and have discussions.
  • Tag other users or groups in your posts using the ‘@’ symbol, which sends them a notification and ensures their attention.
  • Create polls and ask questions to gather feedback, opinions, and insights from your colleagues and network.

 

Salesforce Account Teams

Salesforce has another team collaboration feature called account teams that ensures smooth teamwork and productivity.

Account Teams in Salesforce provides a structured way to assign roles and access levels to team members within an account. Account owners can give access to a group of users (aka account teams) to certain account records or other related accounts. They just need to define roles for each member of the group and the level of record access they get.

This way, everyone within that group is well-informed about their responsibilities and ensures they have the required access rights.
 

Third-Party Apps

For more complex project management purposes, you need to use third-party apps from Salesforce AppExchange. Salesforce AppExchange is a marketplace where you can find a wide range of third-party apps that integrate with Salesforce for project management.

You’ll find many project management apps offering a range of features and benefits that help a business plan, track and execute their projects effectively.

Here are some features you should look for in these apps:

  • The ability to manage your resources and allocate tasks effectively. This helps everyone in your team to stay on the same page and work productively toward their goal.
  • A Gantt chart feature that allows you to visualize all tasks in a project in a presentable way.
  • Time tracking to forecast project timelines and keep your team accountable toward their deadlines.
  • Project templates to help you save time following the same process again and again.
  • Team collaboration feature that connects team members within the same team and across different departments. The app must create a seamless file-sharing experience to ensure no communication is lost.

 

Here are a few popular project management apps you can find on the Salesforce AppExchange:

TaskRay

TaskRay integrates seamlessly with Salesforce, allowing you to leverage Salesforce data and workflows for comprehensive project management.

It offers features such as:

  • Task and project tracking
  • Gantt charts
  • Kanban boards
  • Resource management
  • Collaboration tools.

 

Asana

Asana is one of the most popular project management tools to exist today, and it integrates perfectly into Salesforce. With the Salesforce integration, you can link Salesforce records to Asana tasks, synchronize data, and maintain a unified view of your projects and customer data.

It offers features such as:

  • Task management
  • Project tracking
  • Team collaboration
  • Customizable workflows

 

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a flexible project management and collaboration tool that allows you to sync data between Salesforce and Smartsheet, so you keep track of everything in one platform.

Smartsheet features you’ll love:

  • Task management
  • Timelines
  • Resource allocation
  • Reporting

 

Selecting the Right Salesforce Project Management App from AppExchange

While selecting a project management app on AppExchange, remember most of these apps only provide certain project management functionalities. They may not provide the full suite of Salesforce’s native project management capabilities.

Follow these best practices to find the best match:

Firstly, assess your requirements carefully—your specific project management needs, budget, and the level of integration required with Salesforce. Then, explore demos or trial versions of the apps before settling on one. Review user reviews, ratings, and app documentation to ensure the app aligns with your requirements.

Assess the user interface and overall user experience of the apps with your team. A user-friendly and intuitive interface can make a significant difference in user adoption and productivity.

Finally, keep in mind that some apps may offer different pricing tiers based on the number of users or additional features. Consider any licensing or subscription costs associated with the app.
 

Project Management For Salesforce – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can Salesforce be used for agile project management?
    Yes, you can use Salesforce for agile project management. Use third-party apps that offer features such as Kanban boards, customizable fields, and user-friendly interfaces.
  2. How does Salesforce support project collaboration and communication?
    Salesforce’s very own social media app, Chatter, supports project collaboration and communication. Chatter allows team members to post updates, share files, comment on posts, and mention others, fostering real-time collaboration and communication.
  3. Can Salesforce integrate with popular project management tools like Jira or Trello?
    Yes, Salesforce integrates very well with many popular project management tools through APIs or third-party connectors such as AppExchange.

 

Project management for Salesforce
 

Optimize Your Project Management Tasks Using Salesforce

Salesforce is mainly a CRM tool that caters to sales teams. And despite that, you can enhance its capabilities to streamline project management in your organization.

One way is to leverage Salesforce’s native project management tools, such as Chatter or Account Teams. Moreover, you can explore some third-party project management apps available on the Salesforce AppExchange to handle the more complex and specific requirements of your project.

Ultimately, the selection of apps depends on factors such as the size of the organization, the complexity of projects, and the level of collaboration required.

So, assess these requirements, try out every tool, check their reviews, and choose one that fits your budget and your specific business needs.
 

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