Why Do I Need To Draw Diagrams?

Universal Process Notation as a new Salesforce standard

Universal Process Notation (UPN) has become a must-have skill for Salesforce Business Analysts in the Salesforce ecosystem. The Get Started as a Salesforce Business Analyst trail heavily features UPN as the recommended approach to discovering and visualizing information.

But why has it become such an essential tool in the business analyst’s toolkit?

Click to open Learning Objectives

LO1-1 Understand Why do I need to engage in business analysis?

LO1-2 Consider What is the value of business analysis?

Purpose of visual business analysis

The ultimate purpose of the business analysis is to discover and understand the business process, i.e. the sequence of activities required to achieve a particular business objective. Drawing a visual picture of those steps is not only useful, in many cases it is even the only sensible course of action to get a thorough comprehension of the problem.

You are already familiar with this. Salesforce flows are built using a visual diagram because it is much, much easier to understand, follow and build a complex logic when you can see all the loops, parallel paths or scenarios. A linear document makes it hard to appreciate that complexity.

Good business analysts work on discovering and understanding how different business processes interact and depend on each other.

Click to open illustrative example

The Sales team has asked you to introduce new record types on the Account object (e.g. “A”, “B” and “C”) and change which fields are available on different types. It might be tempting, having received a very detailed request and specification from the business stakeholders, to get right into implementing it. However, there are many things such a request does not address.


Things to consider for the sales team:

  • What is the difference between record type A, B and C?
  • How and when do accounts A, B and C get created? 
  • Who will decide which type the account should be?
  • What are the criteria by which accounts are classified as either A, B or C? 
  • Why do different types of accounts need to be classified as different record types?
  • Do different account types impact opportunity pipelines (this can impact opportunity process)
  • Can accounts change types over time?
  • etc.


Assuming all those questions (and any others) are answered and indeed the request does make sense, it is not yet the time to start implementing it.


Other business processes to consider:

  • The customer success team uses the Account object to select, prioritize and document workshops run for the client teams. How will the proposed change from the sales team impact their process?
  • The analytics team uses the Account object to classify accounts by their level of product utilization and score their satisfaction. How will the proposed change from the sales team impact their process?
  • The finance team uses the Account object (and types of accounts) to visualize earnings and project revenue by different segments. How will the proposed change from the sales team impact their process?
  • The sales ops team.How will the proposed change from the sales team impact their process? 

Why is business analysis important?

By engaging in visual analysis before architecting a solution you will:

  • Discover use-cases and scenarios that are not self-evident to the business stakeholders.
  • Understand how a system change can affect business processes of other teams.
  • Drive operational efficiency (streamlining, highlighting waste) so you are architecting for future state.
  • Understand where business operations can be changed to improve architectural design.


Photo by krakenimages at Unsplash


What’s next

Click “Next Module” to move on to Module 2, to find out “Why you need UPN?”