As part of our series exploring different Salesforce-adjacent career paths, let’s dive into the world of Salesforce Project Management.
p.s. If you’re thinking “but I manage Salesforce projects all the time and that’s not my title”, welp…you’d be in a giant boat with the rest of us. But it can be its own thing!
Salesforce Project Management
What It Is
Salesforce project managers often work out of consultancies, but they can be in-house as well. Their specific job is to ensure that Salesforce projects get done: by coordinating the tasks, timelines, deliverables & people required to get there.
What It Can Look Like
It goes without saying that the more Salesforce knowledge you have, the more helpful/desirable you are as a candidate. But the crux of this is really your ability to manage projects. Expect to:
- Gather & document user requirements
- Implement project management methodologies, tools & processes to get/keep the ship running
- Collaborate frequently with various stakeholders. That includes holding people accountable to deadlines & relaying updates in a timely manner
- Juggle, organize and prioritize multiple demands
- Problem-solve, communicate and lead effectively
- Sometimes, consulting experience
How it Differs from Admin
True Salesforce Project Managers don’t do much admin or configuration work at all. The whole point of their job is to corral the actual admin/s, developers and other stakeholders who are key to a new project/implementation getting done.
Who It’s Good For
This is a pivot from being an admin, since your focus isn’t on building solutions. But it could be the right move if you’re a current project or product manager who wants to dip their toes into Salesforce, OR if you find yourself generally interested in project management.
What to Learn
Project management, with dabs of Salesforce sprinkled in. Prioritize learning PM principles and consider a certification through the Project Management Institute. The PMP is a well-known, commonly requested credential for those serious about a project management career.
Some jobs ask for Salesforce Admin certification too, though frankly, I think that’s asking a lot. My suggestion is to do both only if you want to, or if you’re 100% confident it will provide the differentiation you need to get interviews. Recruiters/hiring managers, feel free to address this one in the comments.
Tips for Breaking In
Start your Trailhead study with Sales and Service Cloud, since those suites are most common. But feel free to expand to other clouds based on your interest & the types of roles you’re seeking.
My other big tip is to connect with other Salesforce Project Managers directly. This niche is smaller, and the work presumably more varied. You’re likely to get more useful input by asking those professionals about their path.
p.s. Of all the Salesforce resources out there, I couldn’t find one specific to Salesforce Project Managers. But you’re likely find them by joining any of the Trailblazer Community Groups and Slack communities, or getting on Twitter & LinkedIn.
More resources for Salesforce Project Management Careers
What Does A Salesforce Project Manager Do? by Salesforce Ben. This website is one for the bookmarks bar. They’re a great resource, in part because of their thoughtful, comprehensive guides.
Salesforce Project Manager Career Page by Salesforce SuperMums. Another fantastic resource in the ecosystem, with mommas in mind.
5 Must Have Skills for Salesforce Project Management by Inspire Planner. I really like the realness of their list. (p.s. If a giant signup banner appears & blocks the screen, you can click No Thanks to get to the article.)
Any of the Project Management modules on Trailhead I haven’t done any yet. But how great is it that they’re there?