The Challenge

The Challenge

The DDP provides community engagement and strategic planning services for the city of Denver. Due to their unique role in the community, they have a diverse set of stakeholders. The list includes civic leaders, local and regional government offices, businesses, organizations, donors, and the residents of, and visitors to, the Denver metropolitan area. The complex nature of the DDP’s programs stressed its existing technological tools and processes as they grew quickly over the last decade.

The DDP team primarily used Salesforce Classic to manage their stakeholder activities. They also relied on other non-integrated systems (e.g., event planning software) to manage their engagement programs, including Microsoft Excel. These separate systems made it difficult to have a single point of view for engagement tracking at an individual contact level across all DDP’s activities. The organization wanted to achieve a “Customer 360” view to improve internal reporting and increase the efficiency of how they connected with their members and the community.

The organization also experienced waning support for the Salesforce Classic ecosystem – which caused serious problems. Many of the Salesforce apps used by the DDP, such as Emma email marketing, were no longer supported on the Classic platform and failing. Some of their Salesforce integrations quit working. This disrupted their ability to efficiently manage their programs and serve the community. The lack of support for Classic and deteriorating systems made the migration to Salesforce Lightning a crucial project. The DDP also needed technical expertise to achieve their ambitious roadmap since they did not have any inhouse certified Salesforce personnel.

“We only knew the tip of the iceberg of what Salesforce could do. One of the main reasons we partnered with Spinnaker Support was to get a better sense of what the capabilities are as a whole and then how to standardize CRM processes across the organization,” said Brooke LaPlaca, Manager, Civic Leadership Programs, at the DDP.

The DDP selected Spinnaker Support as the best Salesforce partner based on its experience, Agile delivery approach, understanding of their environment, and the unique blend of project-based work and ongoing support. The project included data hygiene, a Lightning readiness audit, new processes to store contact data, and streamlining reporting with new dashboards.

The Approach

The Approach

The DDP Salesforce project team knew that transitioning to Lightning could create a difficult experience for their users if not carefully executed. The project started in May 2021 with a two-week discovery period to conduct the Lightning readiness audit, verify needs, identify reporting requirements, and prioritize deliverables.

To mitigate any change management pushback from the DDP team, Spinnaker Support recommended a phased release approach. The team developed a two-month timeline that would sequentially release the Lightning environment to six unique user groups (e.g., marketing, accounting, etc.). The DDP identified “change champions” who worked closely with Spinnaker Support to ensure that the release of Lightning met each department’s specific requirements before going live.

“The phased rollout allowed us to do little pieces of the migration with minimum disruption. Each group had a week or two to get familiar with Lightning so we could fine tune it before rolling it out to the team at large,” said LaPlaca. “This approach was instrumental to making it an easier transition, and I was surprised at how smoothly it went.”

The Spinnaker Support team used project management and ticketing software to track each release cycle and monitor progress. Spinnaker Support’s Agile delivery approach worked seamlessly with the DDP Lightning migration launch plan.

The Solution

The Solution

The DDP solution included:

  • Lightning readiness audit
  • Agile delivery methodologies
  • Incremental user group migration to the Lightning Experience
  • Security improvements (custom domain and profiles)
  • Onboarding, support, and training of all end users
  • Data hygiene and reporting improvements
  • New data collection processes
  • Retirement of Salesforce Classic
      “Working with the Spinnaker Support team was great. Any time we had questions, the team was right there to help, problem solve, and work through issues,” said LaPlaca.
    The Results

    The Results

    The key project goals were to: 1) migrate all users from Salesforce Classic to Lightning, 2) provide a modern CRM environment that would support the growth of the organization, and 3) improve business processes using features available only in the Lightning Experience.

    Key outcomes of the project:
    • A current and stable Salesforce environment that will scale
    • Updated processes to utilize the latest Salesforce features
    • Improved reporting and visualizations for the DDP’s diverse set of programs
    • Elimination of inefficient manual reporting processes
    • Improved goal setting based on organizational transparency
    • A single view of all contact engagements throughout the organization
    • A consolidated view of all accounts across multiple departments
    • 100% end-user adoption to Lightning

    Day-to-day process improvements:
    • Real-time reporting metrics
    • Integration with the Microsoft Outlook app to store contact data
    • Consolidation of data entry processes
    • Increased data hygiene and reporting accuracy
    • Time savings from manual reporting processes
    • 360-degree visibility on activities across business divisions

    “Switching to Lightning elevated and streamlined our Salesforce environment. The new reporting dashboards save us hours and hours. We no longer have do a lot of manual calculations, which was a full-time job in itself,” said LaPlaca.

    Final Words

    “I would 100% recommend Spinnaker Support. The model that Spinnaker Support offers, which is a mixture of project-based and ongoing support, is so valuable to us,” said LaPlaca. “Without that model, I’m not sure we would have been able to achieve our CRM goals. Kudos to Spinnaker Support!”


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