Invisible Innovation

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it even make a sound?

If you are a reader of my blog you could probably be described as an innovator. As someone who introduces new methods, processes, and ideas. As someone who looks for ways to streamline, create efficiencies and generally make the world (and Salesforce org) around you a better place.

And 90% of you do it because that’s just what you do. It’s who you are. You are a noticer – you notice when something isn’t as smooth or seamless as it could be and you do what you can to fix it. Or when a group of users has a repetitive process and by implementing a few cool automation tools (I love you Lightning Flow) you can cut the time it takes them from 15 minutes down to about 4 minutes.

So you build something super-cool and let it out into the world. You write-up an email about why and how it works, you even record a quick video about it, then send it to those who will benefit the most.

Then you wait for feedback.

And someone might reply with ‘Cool bro, thanks’, but most are piled under with other emails and urgent matters and don’t get around to responding. You wonder if they even read the email.

You wonder if they have even tried out this new super cool automation.

And sure, some of your wonder is personal. You worked hard on this, and it’s nice to see that something is being used. But some is also about understanding whether you are like that tree falling in the forest. Can you make a sound if no one is listening? Are the users in your organization resistant to change, are they welcoming to new ways of doing things?

That’s sometimes a hard one to contemplate. And hard to measure. We’ve recently put together some great Lightning Screen Flows to save time for a group of users who have a heavy workload. But while we rolled it out, we had a hard time determining whether anyone was using it, much less get feedback on why they are/aren’t using it or what might make it better.

So we decided to create a very simple Automations Analytics process so we can see when one of our screen flows is being used. This way we can see who is (and who isn’t) using an automation and we can work to investigate why or why not and make changes or improvements as needed.

Here’s what we did:

  • Create a Custom Object called Automation Analytics
    • Add 2 fields: Automation Name (text field), Run Date/Time (date/time field)
    • Enable Reports
    • Give Create permissions for all profiles
  • Add a Record Create element to create a new Automation Analytics record at the end of each screen flow
    • Put the name of the Flow in the Automation Name field, stamp the flow run date/time in the Run Date/Time field
    • No need for any other mapping – the person who runs the screen flow will be the Owner of the new automation analytics record

Botta-bing botta-boom! Now you can report easily on when your screen flows are being used and by whom. You are, in essence, listening for trees falling in the forest!

Now, I’ll be honest, in our case the results haven’t been blazing. It confirmed my suspicions that the flows aren’t being used as we had hoped. But at least I know now. We can find out why and tweak the flows to be more useful. Or we can realize that this particular team is resistant to change and either try figure out their ‘WIIFM’ or make the decision to stop spending time trying to help those that don’t want the help and focus on other groups and/or processes.

Either way I can now point to real results when someone asks me to validate some of the things we are doing.

Take a look at some of your automations and see where you might want to build in some analytics. This could even be done with Process Builder as well. But only do it if you intend to act on the results. Analytics for the sake of analytics with no real plan to review and revise is just extra data no one needs!

Read my previous post on Innovation here!

About Nana

Mom. Salesforce Architect. Runner. Artist. Writer. I am a Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame member. For more information on the Salesforce MVP community, visit: . Salesforce, Force,, Chatter, and others are trademarks of, inc. and are used here with permission.
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3 Responses to Invisible Innovation

  1. This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing with the #Ohana, Nana!


  2. feel this way often – noodling on how to implement. Thank you!


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