ElementsGPT Product Manager gets a ringside seat
Since late 2022, I’ve had the huge opportunity to spend all my time staying on top of Generative AI developments and considering how they can be used to enhance the Elements.cloud capabilities. In my career, I have never seen a technology that has been adopted so quickly and which has the power to change the way we work so profoundly. It has been fascinating to watch, at times difficult to keep up with, and amazing to see what we’ve been able to build.
The potential of generative AI tools is increasing exponentially, making them impossible to ignore. This is the precursor to a new generation of how we engage with computer systems. Therefore, it is key to explore how generative AI is causing a shift in working patterns, as well as understanding how you can leverage it to transform the way you work, no matter your role or industry.
2023 was Generative AI’s “Breakout Year”
McKinsey considers 2023 to be Generative AI’s “Breakout Year”. ChatGPT in particular made itself a household name seemingly overnight, reaching 100m users in less than 2 months. All this without a single marketing campaign – why might this be?
Until recently, the majority of interactions that people had with AI, were through internet chatbots or automated phone lines. These yielded questionable results, causing frustration to those using them. How many times have you screamed “I want to talk to a human!” into the phone?
Conversely, the impact of using apps like ChatGPT is quick to see and therefore very appealing to the masses. Despite being in the early stages of development, generative AI models tend to be more successful in achieving their goals than their chatbot predecessors. Also, they are easily accessible, and the learning curve can be considered steep only for a short period of time. It doesn’t take long to start getting some serious ROI.
As a result, within the Salesforce ecosystem, we are seeing a great shift in how teams and individuals operate, utilizing products that contain AI features and leveraging products like ChatGPT to assist with tasks. So what does this look like?
For Salesforce professionals, AI has already had a transformative effect on how we work, learn, and engage with technology. Whether you’re an Admin or an Architect, AI has a huge variety of applications that can help accelerate the way you work, increase efficiency, and allow professionals to dedicate more time to the human-centered analysis phase of work. Salesforce professionals who utilize AI in their roles are already seeing significant enhancements in productivity and work quality. We’ll now talk through some of how this is happening.
Accelerating Salesforce business analysis
Business Analysis is a critical skill required for many Salesforce professionals, including Business Analysts, Product Managers, and Architects. By ensuring you have rigorously understood the current business processes, data flows, and system architectures, you can feel confident knowing that the changes you make to Salesforce, will benefit your business and teams.
AI is a great way to accelerate the manual aspects of business analysis. These solutions can help with building user journeys, brainstorming or idea generation, defining user stories, and suggesting implementations. We are finding that generative AI solutions reduce the time taken to go from a request or problem to defining the solution required. More importantly, we are seeing that users have gained more time to spend on the aspects of business analysis that can’t be automated, such as cross-business collaboration and process analysis. This allows professionals to deliver more impact in the same amount of time.
Developing Salesforce at speed
Generative AI is also extremely good at understanding and suggesting code, leading to a great advancement in coding assistant tools, such as GitHub Copilot and AWS CodeWhisperer. These tools help streamline the development process, accelerating the time taken to understand code, research and understand new languages/frameworks/packages, and write and implement the new code. Additionally, the time saved for generating test scripts and test data is huge.
It’s key to note that developers aren’t the only beneficiaries: Generative AI is also great at helping with declarative tasks, such as flow design, understanding error messages, querying Org metadata, and designing and implementing complex data migrations.
This is not to say that developers should be deploying at a faster rate just because they can use AI to help them. Instead, generative AI is putting more emphasis on business analysis at the start of the change cycle. Understanding your business needs, and analyzing the technical impact of a change, will always be essential to avoid the accumulation of technical debt and rework that sometimes comes with moving faster.
The importance of data in AI
Salesforce said it themselves: AI + Data + CRM + Trust. Good data is essential to ensure performant, trustworthy, and useful AI solutions. This is because when using AI, the quality of the data that you put in, has a direct impact on the quality of the response you get back. We know this because Salesforce is driving Data Cloud as the key to ensuring all your data sources are connected to the core platform, allowing users to maximize the knowledge available to AI models. This then directly enhances the quality of responses available.
Data is not just customer data. It is also all the documentation generated throughout the implementation lifecycle. AI reads this to drive productivity improvements.
Therefore, those managing Salesforce data will face added pressure to ensure its cleanliness, accuracy, and security. We should expect to see a bigger reliance on professionals who know how to work with data.
A company’s AI strategy is only as good as its data strategyParker Harris
Staying ahead of the curve
Amongst the excitement, there is also a lot of fear shared by professionals who worry that if we keep automating tasks, their jobs will no longer be needed. In reality, I believe the truth is slightly different. AI won’t take your job, but it will certainly change the way you do your job moving forward. Significantly, if you don’t stay ahead of the curve, it is likely that someone else leveraging AI to do the same job, will be a preferential candidate.
TDLR; you won’t lose your job to AI, but you could lose it to someone who uses AI well. The recommendation is to try and keep up with changes, and learn how to leverage new technology as it evolves.
Navigating the risks of AI
In some cases, we are seeing great hesitancy in approving the use of AI in organizations. Particularly, for enterprises who are unsure of the consequences of this technology on their data security, this seems quite common. Strict company-wide AI bans may be implemented until the risks are known and/or can be mitigated. Contrastingly, smaller companies seem less risk-averse, more experimental, and more flexible in changing their processes to align with technological advancements.
This is not to say that using AI does not come with risk. In fact, one of the biggest challenges for organizations is finding the balance between leveraging new AI technologies to increase efficiency, whilst keeping data secure, maintaining stable systems performance, and keeping customer or user satisfaction high.
Be prepared to learn
However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid AI entirely. Even if you are working in an organization where AI is banned, you can still explore and learn about the technology outside of work, and prepare yourself for the evolving skill sets in the professional world. Doing so will help you stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for the future. It will also help you if you choose to move jobs. For instance, you might find yourself at a disadvantage, if you’re unfamiliar with the technology and join an AI-friendly company.
There are plenty of resources online to help you get started with using ChatGPT, and how to craft good prompts. The easiest way to get better is to practice! Use ChatGPT for simple tasks – recipe suggestions based on the items you have, or movie recommendations based on your interests.
Using AI with Elements.cloud
ElementsGPT is a growing and comprehensive suite of AI-powered solutions to help turbocharge the Elements.cloud Change Intelligence Platform. By leveraging ElementsGPT you can spend less on the time-consuming parts of business analysis, impact assessment, and documentation. This includes:
- Generating the first cut of a UPN (Universal Process Notation) process map, eliminates the “blank sheet fear” that comes with starting any project from scratch.
- Automating user story generation, by taking your polished UPN process maps and creating stories in a matter of seconds.
- Using “Ask Elements” to suggest user story implementations using grounded knowledge of your Org metadata.
- Using our Org Copilot to ask natural language questions of your Org, generate customized analytics charts, download custom CSVs, and understand capabilities.
This helps to ensure you have considered all the necessary user journeys, stakeholders, metadata components, and external systems when designing solutions or improvements to your implementation. Not only that but using a combination of these solutions reduces the time it takes for the most time-consuming parts of managing changes to Salesforce.
ElementsGPT helps you to intelligently analyze your Org landscape and ensures you can move forward confident that your teams are building the right thing. The value add? Less rework, more confidence, and better results when managing change to Salesforce.
AI and GPT are transforming the way we work, and the way we interact with systems. This is no different for Salesforce professionals. Whether you are working on or with Salesforce, generative AI is having a profound impact on the technology you use.
The key takeaways are the following:
- Good data is a crucial aspect of using AI successfully, and the emphasis on this will only increase.
- Keep up with technological trends – experiment and learn as new developments emerge. Be aware of how you can use AI to improve your efficiency at work. Only use it for work if you are allowed.
- ElementsGPT offers a variety of AI-powered solutions to help you quickly and intelligently manage changes to Salesforce with ease.
To learn more about ElementsGPT and Change Intelligence, connect with the Elements.cloud team today.