Here’s one of the surprising things about being a Salesforce Commerce Cloud consultant: it’s not just about the consulting per se. What matters on top of the work itself is everything you do around it.
Of course, of course: the work itself needs to be high quality. That should go without saying. Now let’s talk about everything you do around the work!
But what do you need to do around the Salesforce Commerce Cloud work itself, exactly? Here are some examples.
First, it turns out, far too often, the clients who hire you to do work, don’t actually know what they want. So before jumping into the work itself is the “meta” work of helping them figure out what they actually want. Yes, they know they want an ecommerce retail site — but they often don’t realize the consequences of each little decision. You want the site to be launched very fast, but what features will we trade off so we can get it live so quickly? You want extreme customization to achieve exactly the experience your ad agency recommended, but what about the much more time-consuming, challenging, and thus expensive on-going maintenance costs that it implies? The first step is always to think through, articulate, and document these consequences and trade-offs — and to bring them to actionable conclusions.
But don’t think that this is just a one-time thing. No, oh boy, no! If only life — and consulting — were that easy! Even once you’ve made that trade-off decision, new ones always come up during the development process. Maybe one module takes longer than expected, so we need to figure out what to do to compensate for that. Maybe the client agrees that, say, scalability will be less important for this MVP but then keeps on planting the idea that millions of people will use it and he hopes it can handle it — so he’s mouthed that he will sacrifice that, but he doesn’t really believe it. (Yes, we’ve seen that one time too many.) It’s a constant struggle to keep the client’s expectations on what will happen aligned with what actually is happening. And a place we’ve seen far too many (other) consulting firms fail is by leaving client expectations in outer space.
Another part of the process of work is the communication and documentation. It’s easy to just think you need developers to develop but here’s what happens far too often: real world situations lead to problems: one person thought that X was top priority, when really it was Y. Someone else quits the team. Developer A is working on Salesforce Commerce Cloud Module A, and Developer B is working on Salesforce Commerce Cloud Module B, but only at the point of integration does it come out that a minor bug fix by the vendor who created Module B leads to an incompatibility with Module A. And so forth.
The solution is to prioritize communication and documentation, even for the little things, at all points. When you learn to be a developer, you learn about awesome coding, but not about the meta work of coding — but this is precisely what prevents breakdowns.
Personally — and this is just me, not the UV attitude overall, so don’t extrapolate this — I’d much rather work with someone who is “average” but has amazing communication skills than someone awesome who has terrible communication skills (say, vanishing when times get tough… and I’ve known dozens, perhaps dozens of dozens, of consultants and developers who have done that). I do want the best of both worlds, but that’s hard to find. Where and how do you find it? Well, United Virtualities, of course, strikes the perfect balance between deep competence and professional communication. Of course. Objectively!
PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) development & strategy teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.