Principal IC Louise French discusses her responsibilities and the most rewarding aspects of her role at makepositive
Describe your role at makepositive and how did you get into Salesforce consulting?
My role is exactly what it sounds like; as a Lead Implementation Consultant I lead a team of Implementation Consultants to build out Salesforce solutions for our clients.
I started my career straight out of university as a Consultant at a small company focusing on data within Salesforce. I transitioned into Salesforce consulting when I made the move to makepositive 4 years ago. I was attracted by the variety of projects (no two are the same!) and the opportunity to work with such a strong team.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I’m not sure there is such a thing as a ‘typical’ work day. One of the things I love most about my job is the variety, no two days are the same!
A typical project starts with Define & Design where I’ll be contributing to or running workshops with our client in order to establish their needs. I’ll then write up the requirements into User Stories, making sure the estimate is accurate and that I’ve raised any additional questions or concerns that I have. At this point I’d also be communicating regularly with the Architect to ensure that their design is reflected accurately in my documentation.
Once the build kicks off my days are split between building functionality in Salesforce and making sure that my team is unblocked and have everything that they need to build out the solution. As a Lead IC I’m often the person who has a broader view of the client’s needs, which means it’s easy to become a blocker if I haven’t added enough detail to the requirements or replied promptly to questions from the team. My responsibilities also extend into planning future work, so I also need to constantly look ahead, this includes getting the next sprint ready and liaising with the client to gather any outstanding information.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Every new project is like starting a new job, you have to learn who the people are, what they do and exactly what value you can add to the business. The challenge with consultancy is the need to adjust to new environments and a new client with a whole new world of requirements before the project starts.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
I love it when we can solve a problem that has been a real pain point for a client for years. Often these are manual laborious tasks that we are able to simplify and streamline by bringing in Salesforce. Demoing that to a client for the first time is always fun, hearing the reaction and impact that our work will have.
What skills are the most important to perform well in this job?
I think the most important skill that a Salesforce consultant needs is teamwork – everyone has a role to play on the project that comes together to produce a great product. By working as a team and communicating well the project will run much more smoothly.
Alongside that I think the best consultants are naturally inquisitive and able to ask ‘why?’. It’s easy to translate how something currently works into Salesforce, the hard bit is questioning why something is done a certain way and whether there’s a better way to do it.
What advice would you give someone looking to apply for a similar role?
Trailhead! As a Consultant it’s essential to be up to date with the latest features so that you know that you’re implementing the best option for your client. We are so lucky to have this incredible free training tool available for us, making it easy to up-skill at home without any financial cost.
Above that I would say don’t be intimidated, reach out to talk to people. So many people in the Salesforce community are welcoming and want to share their knowledge and experience.
What’s your favourite thing about working at makepositive?
The people. We have an incredible team of amazingly talented people; everyone is so helpful and wants to share their knowledge. Working on projects with people of this calibre pushes me to always be the best that I can be.