In continuation of my previous blog articles about Salesforce events like OneCommunity Women in Tech and Salesforce World Tour London 2023, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share my experience attending the Salesforce Commons Community Sprint that followed. While I have previously discussed why I sprint and how I started, this article aims to delve into the event itself, highlighting how it brought the community together and the personal fulfilment it brought me.
The Unexpected Return to London
After the January 2023 sprint, we didn’t anticipate the Sprint returning to London until 2024. However, when Cori O’Brien contacted me about the event planning, I was elated to learn that the success of World Tour New York had prompted World Tour London to be next on the list! The available spaces quickly filled up, and I extended my stay in London to ensure I could attend. This marked my second in-person sprint, having participated in several virtual sprints before (although I lost count!). Needless to say, I was incredibly excited. There’s an indescribable magic that emerges when over 70 attendees come together to identify, prioritize, and build solutions that simplify the use of Salesforce technology for nonprofits. It’s an experience that can only be truly understood by those who have attended. The gratitude circle at the end of the event perfectly encapsulated the transformative magic that occurred throughout the day, as Trish Perkins, an experienced sprinter, eloquently pointed out.
Commencing the Sprint
The sprint commenced with a delightful breakfast and a visit from the Commons mascot, ‘Sprinty’—a T-Rex reminding us that everyone, even dinosaurs, is welcome and able to contribute in the Commons! After a session on mindfulness led by Trish, we engaged in an exercise focused on identifying and prioritizing the challenges faced by nonprofits, along with potential solutions. This exercise was expertly facilitated by Chris Rolfe and Richard Booth. Subsequently, we chose specific themes and formed groups. In these groups, we brainstormed and developed solutions around our chosen areas. Additionally, two existing projects—Technical Collective UK&I and Animal Shelter Starter—recruited participants and made significant progress. Silvia Denaro, the leader of Technical Collection UK&I, witnessed her idea evolve from a mere post-it note back in January to four productive working groups that surpassed her original expectations. The level of achievement left her smiling uncontrollably!
Burgeoning Projects and Collaborations
The abundance of ideas generated during the sprint led to the birth of at least three new projects (pardon me if I miscounted!). Personally, I worked with a group focused on automation and settled on flow recipes as our theme. Remarkably, a similar project had already begun at Dreamforce, so we merged our efforts and now aim to carry our ideas to the Chicago sprint. As the Sprint concluded, we compiled a comprehensive report highlighting our achievements:
“Our objective is to empower nonprofits, instilling confidence and inspiration through our flow recipes, thereby enabling them to create automation for their organizations. We have initiated the curation of Automation Resources on different levels, resulting in 17+ unique flow recipe ideas (including 5 completed and documented flows, with 7 currently in progress). We are in the process of developing naming conventions and have started documenting everything on a Google Doc. As each recipe gets built out with the correct naming convention, we plan to transfer them to a wiki and eventually ‘publish’ each wiki on Sprinty’s Community Resources.”
In addition to our project, other noteworthy endeavours emerged. These included Onboarding New User Best Practices, GDPR Compliance for small-budget non-profits, and an AI Prompt Recipe Book for Nonprofits. The wealth of ideas that sprouted from the Commons sprint would not have materialized without this collaborative effort. These projects will now continue their journey, either through subsequent meetings held outside of the sprint, mini-sprints that attract more volunteers to expand project teams, or during future sprints. You can find out more about what we achieved on the Commons Github Repo.
Expressions of Gratitude and Unity
As per sprint tradition, once the report backs concluded, we formed a gratitude circle—a cherished highlight of my day. During this circle, I expressed my heartfelt appreciation to the Salesforce employees—James Broome, Chris Rolfe, and Richard Booth—who joined us despite the ongoing changes within Salesforce that have altered the landscape compared to last year. I sincerely hope they can join us at future Sprints. The amalgamation of these in-house Salesforce masterminds with the community’s Salesforce wizards creates an unparalleled synergy.
Gratitude was shared generously throughout the circle, with participants proudly announcing their origins. Places include those as distant as Scotland, Belgium, France, and even New Zealand. The commitment of the Salesforce community to contribute and volunteer within this space is truly evident when individuals are willing to travel such great distances.
The Power of Unity in the Salesforce Ohana
As one of the attendees reminded us, within the Salesforce Ohana, one is never alone. Let us continue to come together, support one another, and give back. I eagerly await the opportunity to experience it all again at the upcoming sprint in Chicago…