One of the best features Salesforce has to offer is the ability to automate processes. From handling program sign ups to sending out reminder emails, automation helps organizations cut down time spent on manual processes and streamlines operations so that teams can focus on doing the work they’re passionate about.
In the past, Salesforce automation has been handled by two tools with overlapping functionality– Workflow and Process Builder. Now, Salesforce has announced the retirement, or “sunsetting,” of these tools with the intent to make a full transition to a recently rolled out tool, Salesforce Flow.
So when will these changes be taking place, what do they mean for your organization and how can you prepare for them? Keep reading for all the information you need to navigate this transition as seamlessly as the firing of a thoughtfully built, tested and debugged Flow.
What is Salesforce Flow?
Salesforce Flow allows users to create complex automations across an instance with intuitive point-and-click development tools. Process Builder and Flow Builder are currently included under the umbrella of Salesforce Flow. However with these upcoming changes, Flow Builder will completely overtake outdated Process Builder and Workflow functionality, which “lets you automate standard internal procedures and processes to save time across your org.”  Among other features, Flow is differentiated from Workflow and Process Builder in the ability to look up, create, update, and delete records from more than one object, and to present screens (known as Screen Flows).
Why the Transition?
Automation is a functionality developed to drive efficiency. But what happens when the process of automating is, itself, inefficient? That issue is at the heart of the decision to transition to Flow. Essentially, moving to a single standard system should make automation within Salesforce more efficient by:
- Requiring users to learn how to use only one tool, rather than having to learn and maintain a knowledge base about all three.
- Making troubleshooting easier by collecting all automated processes in one place. This way, users don’t have to navigate across tools searching for the source of an error.
- Streamlining the number of automations needed. A single Flow can be implemented where previously several workflow rules or processes may have been needed.
Though making the switch can feel tedious, especially if you’ve already built out automation in Workflow and Process Builder, doing so is a step in the direction of growth. After the initial time and energy investment required to clear the hurdle of transitioning, focusing in on Flow should make working in Salesforce easier.
Switching to Flow
As the saying goes, “The only thing constant in life is change.” It’s time to ‘go with the flow’ of the new wave, and this roadmap will detail the steps you need to make the switch successfully.
- Survey your current automated process – Create a list of all automations across Workflow, Process Builder and Flow. Detail their steps and functionality in one place, such as in a spreadsheet.
- Map it out – Use a whiteboard or mind mapping tool like Lucidchart to map out all of your automations. A great way to organize your map is by object, so that you can see which automations may interact or overlap.
- Refine and enhance – Assess your automations as a whole and determine whether there are any outdated processes that can be discontinued or in technical terms, deprecated. If possible, simplify processes by streamlining them into fewer Flows. Keep in mind the “Rule of Three” i.e. the recommendation of having a maximum of three Flows per object– “a single before-update, an after-update, and delete flow for each object.” 
- Keep good notes – As you update and transition your automations, make sure to keep thorough process documentation. This will ensure clear communication to your administrative team and end users, who may be affected by the changes.
Timeline and Support
Salesforce hasn’t released an official date by which Workflow and Process Builder functionality will become inaccessible, or by which automations built with these tools will cease to function. But they have already taken steps to deprioritize the functionality, including barring users from creating new Workflows or new automation in Process Builder. If you need to create new automation, Flow is your only option at this point.
In Spring ‘22, Salesforce released a tool called Migrate to Flow to assist end users in making the transition. This tool is available from the Setup menu and is supported in Production and Sandbox environments. More information about the Migrate to Flow tool is available here.
Salesforce anticipates providing additional support for Process Builder migration this winter. Salesforce has also stated that they will “begin blocking the ability to create new processes and workflows in Winter ’23, pending successful migrations and community input.” 
Thankfully, Salesforce seems to be keeping users in mind as they roll out these new changes stating that they, “plan to incorporate community feedback and put our upcoming migration tool to the test as we work out specific timelines.” 
Still feeling overwhelmed by the work ahead, or just want some support as you navigate this momentous transition? BTH is here for you, and has already helped clients successfully migrate from tools soon to be obsolete and join the future of Salesforce technology. Contact us to get started on your Transition to Flow project.
Written by: Lily Moseley
Lily is a certified Salesforce Administrator and Solution Consultant with 5+ years of experience in the nonprofit industry. Lily is a lifelong writer and has enjoyed writing and editing for publications such as the Northeastern University Political Review and Science Po’s La Gazelle.