I had the privilege of attending this week's HEDA OSS Sprint event in Boston, organized by Salesforce along with Higher Ed Salesforce Users. Now as a Salesforce MVP, I had attended, presented many sessions but I was blown away by this Conference. This was a conference which was a very much not like a conference and totally different. I want to thank Salesforce.org , Corey Snow and Jace Bryan and all the other Higher ed folks who volunteered and spent a lot of time to make this a great conference.
Conference with Deliverable than sales pitches and power points
This conference was a 2 day event which was clearly defined as a Sprint with an Agile delivery mindset. We had topics and team leaders on the topic with clearly defined outcomes at the end of the sprint. Here was some of the topics which was of great value to the Higher Ed Salesforce community
- Migrating to HEDA from an existing Org and Integration to HEDA best practices.
- Decide between NPSP and HEDA and when to use one over the other.
- Mock Higher Ed data and demo Salesforce with real data and tips to win over the executives.
- Banner Integration
- Contact merge best practices
- Salesforce for K12
- Creating test data automatically for HEDA
- Student Recruitment Success Pack
- Advancement best practices.
On each of the above topics, there was no power point presentation, consulting pitches or demos. Instead each team member volunteered to the topic of interest, rallied around the team leader . Most of the topic sessions had a white paper or a best practice document as an outcome . All the team members collaborated on topics, discussed, shared insights and issues and worked with an outcome in mind.
Working Sessions compared to hour long presentation
Once the topics were designed, the team agreed on the deliverable and worked tirelessly on the deliverable. The deliverable’ s were in the form of the following below
- Sticky notes
- Wall papers
- Visual Entity relationship diagrams.
- White Papers
The team discussed what they want to deliver at the end of the session, discussed challenges, asked for volunteers on specific skills , combined with other teams on needs and was a complete working session. It was an agile show with each session starting with a stand up where the team discussed what they want to accomplish and at the end of the session reported on items completed, things in progress and impediments.
Best practices on data migration to HEDA from an existing org or new org.
Since I had volunteered to lead the Data migration to HEDA topic, I worked the team and ended up creating a best practice session for Higher ed universities or colleges which plan to migrate to HEDA. My best practice document would help in the following way
- Provide a step by step approach on the sequence of steps to be followed to migrate data to HEDA from an existing Org
- Educate on gotchas and things to avoid and consider which would save a lot of time.
- Discuss Issues with loading prospective students and registered students and load the related objects.
- Guideline on requesting and preparing for data load from people soft SIS system.
If you want to download the document, please click on the below link to download the document. I would like to thank the following team members who helped me to complete the document.
- Guy Gaskin (Carlson School of Management, Minnesotta)
- Julio Hernandez( Umass Lowell)
- Pranav Nagrecha( Umass Lowell)
- Christopher Littlefield (University of New England)
- Megan Roche (Eigenx)
- Mikhail Nitko( Umass Boston)
- Dale Mccrory( Lingk)
- There is also a great university which is working on a great free open source product for recruitment folks. This product safe harbour might be released officially in Dreamforce. What this app is capable of doing for recruitment folks is that if a prospective student or registered student makes a phone call , provides change in address, shows interest in a new program or course and attends a event, this product provides the user to record the interaction in one place. With point and click this package would create leads, contacts , update information and also create opportunities on new programs or courses with one click of a button. A very great time saver for recruitment folks.!!!
- I also have a spreadsheet which has test data for organizations which plan to migrate to HEDA. My spreadsheet would provide you the sheets for university data, programs, faculty , students, course and enrollments which can help universities to quickly load data to HEDA. Please click on the excel file to download sample records. HEDATestRecordsTemplate.xlsx (3 downloads)
- I also learnt that there is a whole lot of guidelines, features and considerations for Higher ed to decide on NPSP vs HEDA.
If you are a higher ed university or college planning or using Salesforce , you should attend the HEDA OSS Sprint session next time. Here is your best value attending the session.
- You can walk away with a clearly defined document with other university folks best practices instead of wondering what you learnt.
- A real chance to collaborate with experts and hear solutions than sales pitches from consultants and MVPS.
- Just a 2 day investment compared to a week long event with Fun, Networking and Happy hours!!
I hope Dreamforce and all the big events follow this model allowing team members to work on a defined deliverable, collaborate with minimal sales pitches. As always please feel free to post your comments and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further questions.