Salesforce Admins: Is ‘admin’ the right word? – Jenny’s Admin Tip #31


After attending the London Admin UG and being part of the #awesomeadmin panel, a number of admin related questions were asked from “What is your favourite #whyadminsdrink moment?” to “Is developer a dirty word?” Both of which provided equally entertaining answers! However, there was one question that I was asked that not only left me feeling like I had given an unjust answer, but I also knew that the question deserved to be spread to a wider audience, you guys! Hence my reason for this post.

The question? “Is ‘admin’ the right word for what we do?”

For me the short answer is yes…to begin with.

When you first start your journey in Salesforce as an administrator the majority of your time will possibly be spent behind the setup menu. This will generally be for supporting your company’s or even clients Salesforce organisation requirements e.g. managing users, creating fields, customising page layouts etc. It is also at this point that you begin to know the hows and whys Salesforce works i.e. how to click a button and why it performs an action when clicked.

Although you will continue to carry out numerous declarative tasks as your progress within the admin role, these customisations will eventually become more than just clicks. You will question why these clicks need to be done in the first place and your role becomes a lot more than ‘maintenance’ of the platform.

So onto the long answer. No…not in the end.

Speaking from experience and from the reaction that this question generated at the London Admin UG, admins are destined to do much more than just clicks. It can argued that some (if not eventually all) turn into their company’s business analysts.

Why are we Business Analysts?

In order for admins to provide support, customise or suggest solutions we need to be more than the person on the outside waiting for the client/company requests to roll in. To be so would mean making (potentially) ill-informed amendments which might not necessarily fit in with that company’s org requirements. That’s why it’s not unprecedented for admins to be smack bang in the middle of consultancy work – That is in between the customer and the consultant from inception to production. In the end we take on a much more strategic role.

Why are we in the middle?

There is one key feature that we need to know – The business process. I would possibly not do or at least understand the reason behind half of the tasks in Salesforce if I did not have some knowledge of the business model that drives the way the platform is structured for the clients I support. I have found that it is only upon knowing the business process, that it enables me to provide the best support that the user’s/org requires, make well informed amendments and take a much more forward thinking approach to solutions. This in turn provides a solid base to continue any further work that could be required in the future.

Not only does being the middle person enable you to take on more of an analytical role, but it also provides you with the opportunity to do more tech. Admins can now take on the tasks that would otherwise be left to the Devs with things like visual workflows/ process builder. This provides you with a deeper insight into the cogs that can help to keep the business process working in Salesforce.

So what are your thoughts? Is admin the right word for what we do? Leave a comment below or tweet @jenny_bamber.

One to look out for. Adam Pearless – Advanced Administrator and Trainer, will be presenting this topic in more detail in the admin zone at Dreamforce.

I’ll see you next week.


By Jenny Bamber
1 July 2015
Jenny's Admin TipsThe Good Systems Blog

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