Dreamforce – the massive Salesforce conference that brings over 170,000 people to San Francisco for 4 days of non-stop learning, inspiration, and fun. With over 2700 sessions from experts across industries that cover several city blocks, Dreamforce can be overwhelming. But now you’ve been, and you have sore feet, a full brain, and new ideas leaking from your ears.
At over $1600 a ticket, you or your business want some return on that investment. And we both know you’ve learned a lot – from the ‘Revolutionary Innovations’ to the simple ‘Tips and Tricks’ – but how do we now make it useful? How do we turn all of this knowledge into something actionable?
Step 1: Consolidation
In order to get some semblance of order over everything you’ve learned, you’re going to want to do a quick review. Whether you have pictures of the important slides, 100 pages of notes, or just your own memories, try to capture the biggest ‘A-ha!’ moments from the past week. What made you say: “This would be so useful!” or “I need to look into that!”? They don’t have to be complete ideas – simply the biggest things you wanted to follow up on. Write each one down as a brief description, such as ‘Amazon Web Services on Trailhead’ or ‘Mulesoft for Partner API’s’.
Step 2: Action-ize
If you did this first bit right, you should have a sporadic assortment of half-ideas – but this is just the framework for your Dreamforce to-do list. Flesh out each one, adding in detail, use-cases, and implementation steps. This will likely involve additional research – depending on the details you have from your notes, photos, or memories. You want to get to a point where the idea is a complete thought; you should be able to both explain it to others and know what the first steps towards implementing it would be.
Step 3: Evaluate the Impact
Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far, you now have a list of ideas, tasks, or solutions that could have a great impact on you and your organization. But it’s still a big list, and you are still only one person. Which ones should you follow up on?
Start by evaluating each of your notes by its potential impact. Did you pick up a best practice that could make your organization run more smoothly? Maybe you found an AppExchange app that could make your team more effectively communicate, or increase their efficiency. Think about which of these Dreamforce take-aways would be the biggest successes – which ones address current major pain points, or which ones could take your team to new heights.
Step 4: Evaluate the Difficulty
Unfortunately, now it’s time to get your head out of the clouds. Or cloud, in this case. Bad joke aside – visualizing the potential impact is one thing, but it’s entirely another to make that vision into reality. You need to take your same list of ideas, and imagine the roadblocks in the way. Activate your inner pessimist, and really try to see the worst. Is there a price associated? Would you need organizational approval – if so, from who? How long would it take to implement, and then train users on the new process? Is there a list of short-term, long-term, and pipeline dream goals you can iron out into an actionable schedule?
Step 5: Putting it Together
Now some of you likely know where I’m going with this, as we have just created an impact/effort matrix!
Just throw your ideas on the chart and you’ll have a solid understanding of how valuable each idea is; quick wins should be prioritized first, while thankless tasks should likely be ignored entirely.
Step 6: Get to Work
Now get to work! You have your prioritized list of the best Dreamforce ideas you want to implement. Go make an impact!
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