Our team has been implementing and consulting on Salesforce Communities for multiple clients. Also, we have been developing communities for our partners and our employees which we are constantly enhancing. Now let us have a look at the top features we have developed over time. These features have been contributing to our clients’ and even our own daily work for some time. Of course all these features are also available for your Salesforce environment.
In case you have not heard about Salesforce Communities before, here is a short explanation. Community Clouds are extensions of your internal Salesforce Environment for partners, customers or employees. Companies which do not want to grant their partners, clients or employees access to their internal Salesforce Org, simply use Communities to make some of the internal features and data available to external users. Communities can also have their own style and branding, or even additional features irrelevant for internal users. Another reason for using Communities are costs: Community Licenses are just cheaper than a full Salesforce License. For more information about Salesforce Communities check out this page.
Now let us have a look at the top features we have developed over time. These features have been contributing to our clients’ and even our own daily work for some time. Of course all these features are also available for your Salesforce environment.
Time Tracking Daily Work
In May 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that all EU companies must track their employees’ work hours. Time tracking has been growing increasingly important and demanding since then. We have a great solution for you to keep track of your employees’ work. Use the Time Tracking App in your Salesforce Community Cloud. Although this solution has been for your internal Salesforce Environment, we have adopted it so it does work in the Community Cloud.
Some key features of our Time Tracking App:
- It’s cloud-based: it works on the go or on-site, whereever you are
- It’s modular: Adaptable to your individual work models due to its modular design
- It’s informative and smart: you can track your project hours with specific link to different projects, both and client related
- It’s user friendly: with several individual apps for different areas for instance HR, Project Management, and others
Project Management with Resource Planning and Skill Matrix
Our TimeTracking app perfectly complements the next fapplication: Project Management in Communities. It allows you to create monthly or weekly project plans where needed. This means project leads and managers can include external resources into their project plans while our TimeTracking app gives them more control over planned and actual efforts in these projects.
Let us assume you planned a project for the next month with six team members who should combine for 40 days of project work by the end of the month. With our project management solution and resource planning you will be easily able to react to deviations even from an early stage on. If you can see that your project team only accounted for 20% of the projected efforts by the middle of the month you might want to speak with them and figure out a way to reach the initial goals.
Another interesting thing we have observed with clients using this particular feature is that they were able improve the distribution of workload among their employees. As a business you never want to lose money and if your employees are fully occupied you can eliminate this loss.
In this screenshot you see the real-time plan of the current and future months plus an overview of actual time used for our test project CCG: Partner Community. Switch filters from project view to ressource based view and you will see all the projects, a particular team member is involved in. With the addition of built-in dashboards and system notifications this is the perfect planning and montoring tool.
We all know this: for projects to go smoothly it is crucial to have the right people on the job. Easier said than done, especially with complex projects and larger or new teams – it sometimes could be helpful to have an additional resource to consult. This is precisely what our Skill Matrix (German) for Communities does. This function offers a 360 degree view of your resources and their skills. You can search for specific team members and the search will show you all their skills directly in Salesforce. In addition, you can search for skills needed for a project and the results will show all team members who have these skills. Together with the resource planning solution you will be able to see their availability directly in the search.
One major benefit of this solution is: you will not staff anyone without capacity or contact people who are already fully assigned to other projects.
Absence Requests for Vacation and Sick Leaves
Another helpful feature for Salesforce Community Cloud is the Absence Request function. It lets users request and track vacation, sick leaves or special leaves. It can be customized to your company’s needs, including holidays in specific countries and regions, a customized approval process and personalized notifications. The absence records can be viewed and reported on in Salesforce. Initially we created this feature for our internal users and recently made some changes to enable it for our community users.