5. Great documentation habits


After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand good documentation habits
  • Install the tools to make life easier


You will need the Elements Catalyst Org Model (metadata dictionary) set up. There is a 14 day trial so you can see the power of a managed meta dictionary on your own Org data.


There is no later

The quickest and easiest time to add documentation is “in the moment”. It is fresh in your mind, you remember the rationale and you have the item open on screen.

Nike said it best back in 1988. “Just Do It”.

Think of this as a tweet to say  “Wow – look what I’ve just created”. A quick 280 characters or photo that will be gold dust in 6 months time.

Take the example of a validation rule. 30 mins to build, validate and test. It could take 2 hours to work that out 3 months later. Adding documentation takes 5 minutes, max. BTW It could be even faster if you created a process diagram to understand the process that needed the validation. Then it is 30 seconds to connect the process diagram to the validation. No need to create extra documentation.

At a minimum, fill out the descriptions in Salesforce. Did you know that you can update descriptions and help text directly from the Elements Catalyst Org Model?


We started looking at where you as Admins, Developers and Consultants work: in Salesforce Setup, in your development IDE, in workshops with users, inside Quip, and in the Org Model. That’s where we needed to make it easy for you to add documentation. We wanted to take away the friction and excuses.

That’s why we created the Chrome extension to provide the Org Model inside Salesforce Setup. We developed the iOS mobile app.

We also looked at the principles of Chatter and wanted the discussions about configuration out of email and into the app. So, every item in the Org Model has its own discussion stream.

Finally, you don’t need to be a Salesforce user to edit, collaborate on or view the Org Model. Anyone can be invited in to collaborate and contribute.


The approach to documentation, in the context of the implementation lifecycle, is covered in an earlier training.