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The Salesforce Operating, Governance & Architecture Framework (SOGAF) applies the MIT-CISROpen link in new window Enterprise Architecture Framework to Salesforce implementations and programs.

Introduction

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.

Key Considerations

Components

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 Common Entity (CoE)’s mission is made up of 4 components

Activities

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

About the Contributors

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 LinkedInOpen link in new window.