Here at Torrent, there are two different models we use to deliver the work our customers need. The first is the traditional project — probably a pretty familiar idea. Whether it’s an implementation, optimization or integration, we’ll explore each customer’s needs and develop a scope for a solution that solves their business challenges, making sure to outline a timeline, budget and key deliverables. This document is what guides what tasks we will — and won’t — perform.
Our other key delivery model is a little different, in that it isn’t based on a defined scope. Managed services is built on the idea of a longer-term relationship. Our customers sign on for a set number of monthly hours to work with a dedicated consulting team. These hours can be used in any number of ways, from completing basic admin tasks to implementing new Salesforce solutions.
Given the flexibility of our managed services packages, it can be difficult to determine which delivery model is right for your business. In many cases, after all, you can use either one to achieve the same results.
To help you make the right choice, we put together this quick guide. Reflecting on the questions included below will help guide your decision.
What are you looking to accomplish?
It’s a common misconception that managed services is only meant for basic Salesforce maintenance and admin-level tasks. As mentioned above, managed services hours can be used for almost anything. That said, some types of work are indeed better suited for a managed services contract, just as some types of work are better suited for a traditional project.
If your company simply wants to implement a new Salesforce solution, you might find a traditional project is a better fit. On the other hand, if you don’t know exactly what you need — but know you’ll need new objects, fields and automations as needs arise — the length and flexibility of a managed services contract could be ideal. When you aren’t sure about specific requirements, it can be difficult to put together an accurate scope for a project.
How fast do you need to move?
In general, traditional projects are designed to move fast. Timelines will always depend on scope, of course, but our goal is to solve your business challenges as quickly as possibly. The very nature of managed services, on the other hand — with its focus on continued support over the course of months — means it isn’t designed for speed alone.
Are your business needs related?
Another key factor in deciding between managed services and a traditional project is whether or not your business needs make sense as a contained group. For instance, building out a new case process in Salesforce is a good use case for a project, since all the work involved will go towards a common goal. If your needs are more scattered, though — some new objects here, a few automations there — managed services could be the better choice. Working with a consultant on a weekly basis is a great way to get a long, diverse list of priorities done. Trying to fit that same list into a project scope doesn’t always make sense.
What is your budget?
Again, projects are a great way to move fast. For each of our customers, we put together a scope that allows us to tackle their implementation, integration, optimization, etc. as quickly as possible. However, this model necessitates being able to cover the cost of the work within a shorter period of time. With managed services, conversely, you’ll pay on a month-by-month basis, which some businesses find easier to fit into their budgets.
How much time do your stakeholders have available?
Most of our projects are designed to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. For us to be able to execute on schedule, however, all stakeholders — including decision makers on our customers’ teams — must commit to a certain amount of involvement. Our approach to projects involves weekly sprints, which means stakeholders must be available for regular discovery and review meetings, and also have time to offer feedback and answer questions — these are essential aspects of a successful project.
However, we understand not all of our customers have this kind of time. In the case of managed services, many tasks can be accomplished with only the involvement of an admin or IT stakeholder participating in a single meeting each week. If a fast finish isn’t a major concern — but finding regular time on stakeholders’ calendars is — managed services could be the right move.
Still not sure whether a traditional project or managed services would better meet your business needs? Drop us a line and we’d be happy to tell you more.