The Salesforce Operating, Governance & Architecture Framework (SOGAF) applies the MIT-CISR Enterprise Architecture Framework to Salesforce implementations and programs.
Coming up with a clear definition for the Common Entity, aka Center of Excellence, is tricky. The Common Entity (CoE) within transformation programs has a variety of names:
The Common Entity can also play any number of these roles, adding to the confusion:
After all, the Common Entity (CoE) does a bit of everything.
In SOGAF, the Common Entity’s mission revolves around 4 components and 20 activities focused on establishing the purpose, vision, values, roles, processes and metrics of the operating model.
The diagram below depicts the 4 components (Project & Product Management, Platform & Product Enablement, Product Development & Platform Optimization and Adoption & Operations) with their key responsibilities.
The following table extends each component's reponsibilities detailed above into key activities to be successful.
|CoE Component||Key Activities|
|CoE Mgmt & Salesforce PMO||Set CoE goals, scope & plan, budgeting, sizing & risk Mgmt, people/ team Mgmt, Onboarding of Staff & reporting|
|Bus. Reqts, Value & Change Control||Demand Management, program scope governance meetings, Change Control Board meetings, stakeholder escalation,|
|Product Portfolio & Innovation||Set up Innovation Lab & Innovation Hub (evangelization). Product portfolio Mgmt / 3 annual releases, build POCs/ prototypes|
|Security & Compliance/ regulations||Align with corporate security guidelines, implement security guardrails on programs, compliance training for staff & contractors|
|Architecture Oversight||Oversee & expertise for Org strategy, configuration & code quality, integrations, data volume, archiving, backup & restore, CD/CI|
|Design Authority||Establish, own and apply principles, standards, policies. Guarantee compliance and quality (UX, applications, data, security, reuse, scalability, and sustainability). Ensure flexibility to meet business needs and make use of new technologies incl. AppExchange|
|Product/ Platform/ CoE Standards||Define norms and SOPs, Repeatable methodology for implementation, deployment & maintenance of Platform and applications|
|Roles & Skills, Communications||Define roles & skills, training paths & certs, toolkits. Communicate on new features, scheduled upgrades and services disruptions|
|Internal projects consultancy & QA||Project QA methodologies (Agile, Hybrid, Waterfall) and tools for discovery, design, build, test, deploy; reviews & expertise|
|Shared service for product devt||Have resources, teams, organization (incl. PO) and toolkits to enable delivery of products in factory mode – alone or with SI|
|Best practice Community||Define, validate and circulate processes, ways of working, lessons learned and solution configuration, either mandatory & ad-hoc|
|Reusable Assets Mgmt||Collect, centralize, curate and circulate potential assets (solution configuration, code, integration pattern, documentation)|
|Environment Mgmt||Support all environments – sandbox to production, and marketing BUs, etc – monitor status and quality. Data & metadata migration|
|Release Mgmt & Integrations||Establish major & minor release schedule, with Tools. Oversee versioning, branching, frequency, components, integrations|
|Data Migration & Quality Mgmt||Oversee data model and metadata, updates to production data, volumes, quality, compliance, as well as reporting on data|
|License & Usage Mgmt||Monitor usage of the Salesforce licenses and provide a regular update on utilization. Tool selection|
|Deployment, Training, Adoption, NOE||Process/ LoB / Market end-user deployment and training. Application and business adoption. Network of Excellence|
|Administration – App, UI, Data, Platform||Run application - UI & usage (Lightning/ Mobile), automations, standard & custom objects, reports & dashboards, Chatter. Data. Run Platform environments, archiving, backup & restore,. Monitoring, Security. Releases & Roadmap (SF)|
|Access, Identity, Authorization||User provisioning, authorization & access (Profile & P-set). Identity & SSO, authentication, certificates, (de)activation|
|End User Support & Ticketing||Run Ticketing process. Address Level 2 (Admin) and coordinate with L3 (Devt.) (app defects) and/or L4 (SF) for support|
Martin Griffiths is a Business Architect Director at Salesforce, with an Anglo-French background and based in Paris, France. Martin joined Salesforce 5 years ago. His 30-year career in CRM, ERP and digital transformation spans business consulting, enterprise architecture and program delivery roles. His focus is advising customers on complex Salesforce-based transformations, operating models and architecture, applying academic frameworks to guide decision-making and address governance at scale topics successfully.
You can connect with Martin Griffiths on LinkedIn.