Path: Set up Path in Salesforce Lightning Experience

In my last post (#LightningFlap!) I named my favourite Sales Cloud features in Lightning Experience. The first being Path. Here, I outline its benefits, setup and how Path can help your Salesforce org!

NOTE: Lightning Experience Only

Path is only in Lightning Experience. If you’re using Classic please read-on to see why Salesforce is #BetterInLightning!

Recap: What is Path?

So, what is Path? Introduced in Spring 15 it only supported Opportunity records on the Salesforce1 mobile app. Since then, it has been enhanced. It now supports various objects and mobile and desktop users. Key features include:

  1. Visually show users where they are within the process
  2. List 5 key fields which are of particular importance for a step
  3. Provide ‘Guidance for Success’ (1000 characters)
  4. At key milestones, celebrate success with confetti!
Screenshot showing Path on an Opportunity record, as part of Sales Cloud Lightning.
Screenshot of Path

What’s in it for me?

You may be wondering how does Path help and why use it? Let’s consider two scenarios:

The ‘New Starter’You’re a new starter at a business. You have so much to learn! Its the first time you’ve seen Salesforce. The business process is complex with multiple stages. Pages are lengthy and you don’t know where to look. You keep on asking your busy colleagues for help.
The ‘Existing Users’You’re part of a high-flying team. On the surface, everything looks great, then you dig into the data. Everyone is working inconsistently! Key fields are blank. Key steps are missed. Some users are outperforming others.
Example use cases of where Path can help business users

Both scenarios are common in businesses. Both are associated with users lacking clarity on what they need to do in Salesforce. Path provides a means to demystify a process for both new and existing users. By adopting this, we can achieve the following:

Beneficial outcomes from using Path in Lightning Experience

Path is not a replacement for training. Likewise, it is not a replacement for good database design. However, it does support other features (e.g. validation rules, page layouts etc). By using it, you can help your users work efficiently and celebrate their success. A win-win!

Deep-dive: Setup

Setup is quick and easy. I would recommend following these steps. However, this is only a recommendation. As with all things, tailor this to suit your needs.

Steps to setup Path in Salesforce Lightning Experience

1. Design

First think, not click! What outputs do you want to achieve? Odds are you know the problem you want to solve. Consult your stakeholders and understand their needs. Above all, plan what you want to share with users in the Path. When planning, consider:

  • Which Object will the Path be on? (e.g. Lead, Opportunity, etc). Check if the object is supported
  • Which field will you base your Path on? Typically, this will be a ‘Status’ of the process
  • For each Stage, what fields do you want to highlight? Similarly, what ‘Guidance for Success’ do you want to share?

Lastly, consider whether you want to use ‘confetti’ when you reach a key stage:

Example of confetti in Path

Things to consider:

  • Workplace: Users and Culture. Will the confetti feature be welcome/appropriate in your use case?
  • When: When in the process would confetti be appropriate? For example, if used on an Opportunity, confetti on the Closed Lost Stage would be odd!
  • Frequency: How often do you want confetti to appear on chosen steps?

Personally, I feel confetti is a great feature. However, less can be more so avoid overuse! You can even make it a competition, if it is rare. For example, if in a sales environment, offer a prize when users see confetti! Confetti is a rewarding feature, so have fun!

2. Enable

To check if Path has been enabled, an Administrator can follow these steps.

Tip: I would recommend trying this in a sandbox (i.e. a test environment) first. For more information, refer to this article.

  1. From Salesforce, navigate to Setup (top right of screen)
How to access setup
  1. Go to ‘Quick Find’ (top left) and search for ‘Path Settings’
Navigate to ‘Path Settings’
  1. Read the text shown and click ‘Enable’:
Click ‘Enable’ to activate Path
  1. The ‘Enable’ button is replaced with ‘New Path’. Pay attention to ‘Remember user’s Path preferences’. By default, the Path component is collapsed on a Page. Checking this box will remember a user’s choice. It will be expanded until a user collapses it (see Section 4).
    1. This screen also provides the ‘Disable Path’ link. Path can be disabled at any time.
Settings to create a path, remember user preferences & disable path

3. Configure

When ready, click ‘New Path’. This is where the planning during Design comes in!

  1. Fill out the boxes for Step 1. Here, I am creating a ‘Sales Process’ Path on Opportunity, based on the Stage. You can select any supported object and picklist field.
    1. Tip: If you have no ‘Record Types’ on your object, it will default to ‘–Master–‘. For more info on Record Types, click here
Step 1 of Path wizard
  1. Step 2 is where the magic (except confetti!) happens! Based on your selections on prior screen, you will see the available picklist values. In addition, you can select fields and ‘Guidance for Success’. Here, I’ll add some sample guidance, select 5 fields and click Next.
Step 2 of Path wizard
  1. On the last screen, we have the option to ‘Active Path’. You can save without activating. When selecting activate, you can enable confetti. If you do, select which steps this applies to. In this example, I’ll enable confetti ‘always’ on ‘Closed Won’. Select the options to suit your needs.
Step 3 of Path wizard

4. Test

When the Path is activated, you can test it by navigating to a relevant record. NOTE: It is recommended you test in a sandbox first.

In my example, I will go to an Opportunity. As I did not select ‘Remember user’s Path preference’ previously (see 2. Enable) the Path is collapsed. To expand, click ‘Show More’ on the left hand side.

‘Show More’ on the Path component

When expanded, you can see the ‘Key Fields’ and ‘Guidance for Success’. Users can also edit Key Field values, if they have edit access.

Example of Path component on an Opportunity

If enabled, check confetti settings. Here, I mark the Opportunity as ‘Closed Won’ and check if confetti appears. If you selected a less common frequency, you may need to repeat this step.

Confetti on a Path

NOTE: If you use Record Types, also check the Path works on records of your desired Record Type.

5. Deploy

When ready, deploy your changes. As with any change, communication is key. Inform users of the change ahead of time and show the feature. Once deployed, test to make sure it works as desired.

6. Review

Deploying isn’t the end of the line! Adopt a ‘continuous improvement’ mindset. Get feedback and engage your stakeholders (users, managers etc) and learn how to adapt. Remember, we are talking about a business process. What was appropriate 1 year ago may not be appropriate now if customer or business needs change. Review, reflect and improve!

In addition, remember this is Salesforce. Every few months new features are released. As a result, things which were not possible 3-4 months ago could now be. Be proactive and ensure you are using the latest and greatest features!

Bonus: Summer ’20 Release: Confetti in Kanban Views!

As if the features above were not enough, in Summer ’20, confetti will be supported in Kanban Views! More on Kanban Views in the next post, but for now, check out the Release Notes for this feature!

Summary

Path is a great way to guide users through a process. Whilst Path does not substitute good design or training, it supplements them well. Use path to promote adoption and celebrate success.

This post has outlined the steps for creating a Path. To get the best from this, plan it carefully, engage your stakeholders and review to ensure it remains aligned to your needs.

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