Our Guide to Choosing & Hiring a Salesforce Release Manager
Release management is a crucial process in Salesforce that ensures new features and updates are deployed efficiently, and the Salesforce Release Manager is one of the key roles to ensure this.
As the title suggests, a release manager is typically responsible for executing various deployments for Salesforce.com and related cloud services, such as:
- The way releases are managed
- Efficient delivery of various functionalities
- Seamless implementation and continuous improvement of processes and procedures in support of Salesforce Configuration, development, and migration
While the release manager role does not involve the management of direct reports, it does require candidates to have skills such as strong facilitation and leadership capabilities to manage cross-functional teams.
The ideal candidate for the role of Release Manager is someone with an innovative mindset and knowledge of how to leverage complex data sets. This allows them to navigate existing assumptions better and accordingly identify solutions for continuous process improvement.
In this post, we will discuss more about the role of the Salesforce Release Manager, including the key responsibilities of the role and top tips for hiring a Salesforce release manager.
Key Responsibilities of a Salesforce Release Manager
Among the key responsibilities of a Salesforce release manager include-
- Planning Project Cutovers and Deployments
A Salesforce Release Manager is responsible for managing releases as per the organization’s standards and adhering to set timelines. They ensure the availability of appropriate resources and communicate deployment status as necessary.
- Collaboration and Coordination
A release manager needs to communicate with everyone. This includes the project teams, service and project managers, and functional release managers. This is done to understand the demand better and prepare landscape and sandbox setup proposals for efficient software deployment.
- Risk Mitigation
The candidate needs to identify risks during times of code conflict and merging and make sure to deploy quality code in production, and should be able to conduct release reviews effectively.
- Subject Matter Expertise in Release Management Tools
The release manager needs to be a specialist or should have subject matter expertise in release management strategy and tools.
The manager must also act as a leader to support and train other members of the team, especially if they are facing any issues in the deployment of their releases/project streams.
- Knowledge of the Salesforce Platform
A release manager also needs to be proficient in the overall Salesforce platform and should have knowledge of release management best practices.
- Detailed Knowledge of Various Tools
Another key responsibility of a Salesforce Release manager is detailed knowledge of various tools and efficiency to work on application lifecycle management solutions. This includes IBM Rational Team Concert, Version One, Jira, Visual Studio Team Foundation Services, Git, and more.
Top Tips for Hiring a Salesforce Release Manager
In this section, we will discuss some of the tips and strategies to help you successfully choose and hire a qualified Salesforce release manager.
1. The Candidate Should Be Familiar with the Salesforce Ecosystem
A detailed and comprehensive understanding of the Salesforce ecosystem is one of the top qualities to look for when hiring a Salesforce release manager. This is important so that the candidate you choose can successfully deliver releases while preventing or mitigating potential issues or disruptions.
Among the top familiarity aspects to look for here include the following:
- Salesforce Sandboxes and Scratch Orgs
These are the testing environments that enable software developers to evaluate changes without impacting the live Salesforce production environment. Sandboxes are integral to the salesforce release process.
- Salesforce Developer Experience
This includes the tools facilitating Salesforce app development and management throughout the entire platform lifecycle. Familiarity with Salesforce DX offers a comprehensive approach to software development.
- Knowledge of Salesforce Products
Among these include products such as Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Experience Cloud, Tableau CRM, and Salesforce IoT.
2. Excellent Project Management Skills
Having strong project management skills is another important skill to look for in candidates applying for a Salesforce release manager role. There are several benefits of having these skills in a prospective candidate.
Among these are-
- Identifying Risks
One of the critical aspects of project management is identifying potential risks and taking appropriate measures to mitigate them. A candidate with these skills is more equipped to prevent small issues from escalating into major problems, thus keeping the release process on track.
Better coordination and an eye for oversight are very important project management skills to have. These skills enable release managers to effectively plan, organize, and supervise multiple tasks and teams involved in a Salesforce release for more efficient and timely completion of tasks.
- Adaptation To Changes
Considering the dynamic nature of Salesforce releases, it is also important for releases to adapt to changes and implement alterations to the project plan as and when necessary. This helps to navigate unexpected challenges better and keep the project on track.
3. Proficiency In Automated Testing
It is always recommended to hire a release manager candidate with proficiency in automated testing. Unlike manual testing, automated testing is much less time-consuming. It serves as a robust tool for ensuring both the functionality and performance of your new releases without putting too much pressure on your team.
Apart from this, there are several advantages of hiring a candidate with proficiency in automated testing for the release management process. Among these are:
- Reliability– A candidate with knowledge of automated tests is more equipped to reduce the risk of human error, thus offering consistent testing procedures.
- Efficiency– Automated tests run much faster as compared to manual tests, thus allowing for frequent testing and faster feedback on any kind of potential issues.
- Coverage– Another advantage of automated testing is that it covers various scenarios, thus ensuring that all new features and updates work as per the expectations in different contexts.
Overall, with knowledge and experience in automated testing, a Salesforce Release Manager will be able to manage and implement testing procedures much more effectively.
4. Relevant Experience In the Field
It is very important to hire a candidate with relevant experience in Salesforce. Some of the key areas you can focus on here include:
- Enough Experience with Salesforce Releases
The ideal candidate you choose here should have relevant experience managing Salesforce updates or releases. This involves managing the end-to-end update process, troubleshooting issues, and mitigating risks.
- Experience in Change Implementation
This includes the candidate’s experience in implementing changes in a structured and systematic manner, thus reducing the likelihood of disruptions.
- Environment Management Experience
The release manager also typically has a role in managing the Salesforce environments. This could involve setting up and maintaining development, testing, and staging environments and controlling the flow of changes between these environments.
The idea here is to not simply find and hire a candidate who knows Salesforce but a qualified professional with a detailed knowledge of how to leverage their Salesforce expertise to manage releases effectively.
This will help you ensure that your organization gets maximum benefits from Salesforce’s powerful features without having to worry about the successful implementation of the release process.
Hiring a professionally qualified Salesforce Release Manager is the key to a successful Salesforce program that remains on the right track and delivers continued benefits.
A release manager does so by drafting a clear and transparent process for receiving, reviewing, and prioritizing requests for updates, followed by delivering those updates in an organized fashion.
To help you realize the benefits of Salesforce long term, we have discussed here some of the tips and things you need to consider when hiring a Salesforce release manager. Hiring the right candidate will help you unlock greater returns on your investment and will ensure that both end users and stakeholders are engaged in the program throughout.
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