Salesforce Admins Podcast

3 Tips to Help Admins Build and Deploy Apps Fast with Justin Kuryliw


We have a special bonus episode of the Salesforce Admins Podcast for you today, where we talk to Justin Kuryliw, the project manager for the Salesforce Crisis Response App. We learn about the process behind building and deploying this app so fast.


Join us as we talk about the importance of recruiting a team and delegating to them, why they spent two days planning out of the week they had to build, and why teams need to overcommunicate.


You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Justin Kuryliw.


Building a product quickly with early feedback.


In his day-to-day life, Justin is a Solution Engineer at Salesforce. “Normally, what I do is focus on helping Salesforce customers architect solutions,” he says, “but the project that we started is a crisis response app to help Salesforce customers with COVID-19 in helping to track employee and location impact.” This app, which you can download on the AppExchange, allows companies to keep track of whether or not their team members need to self-quarantine, or even just mark themselves as safe.


COVID-19 has drastically changed things quite quickly, so time was of the essence. They started with a paragraph description of what they thought the app should do, while at the same time having conversations with customers who might have a need to find out if they were on the right track. They refined these ideas into potential features based on feedback, which allowed them get buy-in in further conversations and recruit more members for the team.


“The best feedback we got was when we actually showed the app to people and gave them a chance to react,” Justin says, but they could only start doing that by building an MVP. They put it in front of people who never used Salesforce—their dads—which let them see where they could add in-app help features to make it easier to use.


Recruit a team early, delegate, and communicate.


As the team added more members, Justin needed to focus on coordinating his team while still keeping things fast and nimble. He recruited people and transformed the features from his description into products, making each team member a product owner so they could divide and conquer. They coordinated via a working document to make sure they always knew who owned what, as well as what roadblocks they were encountering in their work. This document guided their daily standups and kept them on track through their two-week development cycle.


Justin was building this app with a four-member team, and they all were still doing their day jobs, so communication was key to being able to work quickly. “Two weeks is not a lot of time when you consider that that was design, that was building, that was testing, and that was deployment,” he says, “so really we only had four or five days to actually build the app.” 


The importance of planning.


“When you have four different people building the application, consistency starts to become very challenging,” Justin says, “so every other day we’d demo what was new and what was built for each other.” In the first two or three days of work, they published design principles to align the team: have little to no impact on production objects, make it user friendly, and use less code. Using Lightning Flows, Lightning Pages, and other declarative tools helped them accomplish that vision and deliver an app with only four Lightning components and a relatively small amount of Apex coding.


They spent two days of their week of building just on planning. “We got a lot of value out of making sure that we all agreed on the data model, we all agreed on what was in scope and out of scope,” Justin says, “so when we finally put hands to keyboard nobody had any questions about what needed to be built.” 



Love our podcasts?

Subscribe today or review us on iTunes!


Full Show Transcript

Direct download: 3_Tips_to_Help_Admins_Build_and_Deploy_Apps_Fast_with_Justin_Kuryliw.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT