Part 2: The Solution
(This is part two of a two part blog, if you have not yet read part one please find it here.)
One of the best aspects of Salesforce is that it’s not only based on ‘cloud technology’ but multi-cloud technology. With Salesforce our Techforce19 team could focus on different clouds to address different challenges that would all tie back together to deliver the final solution.
Our solution to the Techforce19 challenge consisted of a number of clouds working seamlessly together to allow a complete end to end solution. This solution would allow for the mobilisation and deployment of NHS volunteers and the identification of the needs and location of vulnerable individuals.
The solution used the following Clouds based on ‘out of the box’ functionality but with some small custom tweaks:
- Service Cloud would be used for the back end internal users to request the need for help and allocate them to the available volunteers
- Field Service Lightning would allow volunteers in the field to receive work orders, updates, GPS locations and allow them to feedback on anything that was required
- Community Cloud would support the portal itself. The instant website/portal creation functionality of Community Cloud combined with how it works with native Salesforce functionality and custom development made it the perfect platform to house the interface for volunteers and the requests of vulnerable individuals alike
- AWS Connect would be used as the phone integration system that could be used for incoming call routing and call tracking information that could be seamlessly integrated into Salesforce
We knew that the internal users who would be allocating the work through this system might not be Salesforce experienced and we also knew that there would be limited technical abilities amongst some (if not many) of the users making and receiving requests. Therefore, we knew the interface had to be clean and efficient and we knew the user experience was key as everyone needed to be able to use the system and deal with any complexity which arose within their roles. The timeframes alone meant this solution needed to be as out of the box ready as possible. Fortunately, with Salesforce we knew we could achieve all of this within the tight deadline.
We set out with each member of our team knowing what they were responsible for delivering and then went about creating and implementing our own tasks. We found ourselves following up with and supporting one another with near-instantaneous replies on our Slack channel. When running analytics on our Slack usage following the Techforce19 challenge, we found that makepositive has an average per channel usage of around 200-500 messages a week, but on our TechForce19 Slack channel we achieved almost 1,500 messages in 4 days!
Our Techforce19 team worked together seamlessly, all contributing to the same environment without fear of destroying each other’s contributions by having good guidelines around best practice for working in teams. We had numerous daily check-ins and calls to catch up, collaborate and update each other with next steps and any issues we were having.
makepositive has delivered projects using an Agile methodology for years, rather than a Waterfall project delivery (which requires everything to be delivered on day X without being seen beforehand). Agile project methodology allows us to work in short bursts called ‘sprints’ and enables us to have small daily to weekly targets and accommodate an ever-changing list of user requirements. Using this system allowed us to adapt and improvise quickly to any issues we encountered and prevented any bottlenecks from halting our work.
Over those 4 days the whole team worked during their spare time, waking early and working late, all while tirelessly collaborating and supporting each other to design, develop and deliver a fully working prototype and submission document which could be sent to the Government for them to review. The team work was outstanding and we managed to achieve everything we set out to do which was pretty incredible considering the timeframes.
The Government received over 2,000 submissions in response to their Techforce19 challenge, which massively exceeded their expectations, and we received the news a couple of weeks later that our submission had not be chosen. This was a disappointment in one respect but couldn’t take away our overall feeling of achievement, success and accomplishment at what we had succeeded in doing.
At a time when many companies were having to furlough employees and down tools, we had proven that our knowledge and experience as a business meant we could rise to any challenge thrown our way. Even with our team stretched across continents we’d proven we could deliver extraordinary results and collaborate as though we were all sitting together in the same room around the same table.
Our history, our best practice, our team knowledge, the tools we use to enable remote collaboration, and our platform, Salesforce, meant that we achieved what few others could during this time: unity. When the world is pushing people apart, the power to come together and collaborate and contribute is our greatest challenge but also our greatest skill. The power to work together as a single cohesive unit and deliver something game-changing while being forced apart is a true credit to the culture fostered here at makepositive.
If you would like to hear more about this solution, makepositive, or any of our services and ways we can help you and your organisation please contact us at [email protected]. Thank you!