You guessed it right – we don’t want to do it, but we complain about the lack of it – documentation wins hands down in this category! In our rushed world of deadlines and quick fixes, documentation finds itself residing on whiteboards, pictures of whiteboards, post-its, shared Google docs and my personal favourite – illegible notes.

Now imagine all this together with the Salesforce environment. How likely is it that your organization turns into a chaos of well-meaning workflow rules and processes, validations and custom fields, added undoubtedly with the best intentions? If you are asked to add something or change something in your organization, how many times have you played detective (using good old setup) to figure out the impact? Situations such as these are not uncommon and there are many tools available to deal with them – or you could use just one – here’s where Catalyst by comes into play.

Catalyst at its heart is a process documenting tool. Which means it can be used to document any business process, with or without Salesforce. But, if you make the salesforce connection – that’s where the magic begins.

Catalyst is available via AppExchange. It helps give a new perspective to your SF organization by figuring out – HOW? WHAT? And WHY?

How? – How does this part of the business work?

What? – What did we do in the Salesforce to support this?

Why? -Why were these changes made – what were the requirements and where is the documentation to support this development?

With Catalyst, you can capture an end-to-end process (like an opportunity life-cycle or a case life-cycle, lead to a sale, idea to product or recruit to retire process) and associate requirements and user stories with them. It has easy to use the drawing tool to draw your business processes. This takes care of the “HOW” part.

Here’s an example process diagram within Catalyst:

Once this process is clear, we link the various activities (depicted by a box in the above diagram) within it with SF items like classes, triggers, VF pages or any other artifact that was created/ edited to satisfy that particular activity. This takes care of the “WHAT” part.

And then comes the “WHY” part. In this, we add the existing and any new documentation related to those activities in the form of requirements/user stories/notes/images or URLs. The mobile app for Catalyst has a feature wherein you can take a picture of a note or a whiteboard and upload it straight-away as documentation!


Here’s an overview (a very important diagram picked up straight from their website)

Well – so far, so good. You documented everything. Now, how do you use it?

Catalyst provides you with:

  • Reports
  • Salesforce analytics
  • Usage analysis
  • Comments and resolution
  • Plugins with SF

Are you hitting the custom field limits? Use the usage analysis on the object and find out which fields have no data filled – these are candidates for possible deletion.

User licenses gone askew? Run the users report to figure out license assignment and figure out who doesn’t use your organization much.

A new requirement and you don’t know whether to customize or build something new? Find out everything associated with your requirement at one location and all the existing customizations done. Reduce your investigation time and sound smart.

Think, you already have a description and help text where you need it? Run a documentation report and see the statistics for yourself.

Want to sync your SF releases with the processes themselves? You want to create a new version of an ongoing process and want to associate SF items, certainly, you can do release management within Catalyst.

All this and so much more! The best part is that you don’t have to be SF savvy to use this tool. Bring in a non-SF user of your system who can draw the process better, have the Project Manager and the Tech Lead fill up the SF links to these processes and everybody gets to add documentation and have a chatter like a comment-based conversation. All in one place.

I hope this article piques up your interest and you want to know more!

Some references:

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