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Group Membership Locked

Knowledge Article Number 000171140
Description Error: "Group Membership Locked The operation you requested affects group membership. This operation can't be processed right now, because it interferes with another operation already in progress. Please try again later."
Resolution The Sharing capabilities of Salesforce give administrators great flexibility in modeling their organization and sharing information between different groups of people. Administrators can define a role hierarchy, create public groups, establish queues for work teams, and organize sales operations with territory management. Accurately maintaining the membership of all these groups is crucial, as mistakes could lead to exposure of sensitive information to the wrong people. Accordingly, Salesforce uses various kinds of database locks to ensure that updates to group membership don’t interfere with each other and introduce incorrect data in the sharing system.

While these locks protect the integrity of customers’ security configuration, they can also generate error messages for some large organizations when trying to perform multiple updates at the same time. These errors, called "lock errors," indicate that an update was "locked out" (that is, not allowed to proceed) because a previous update had already locked the table that maintains group membership, and was still running. For customers with a lot of data and a very large number of roles and public groups, the probability of obtaining these locks is greater.

The best current workaround to this issue is simply waiting for some time, and trying again. Salesforce will only enforce these locks while the records are being changed.
If you believe there are no operations currently running that should collide and you are still seeing these errors please contact Salesforce Support.

Note: A similar error received is "Group membership operation already in progress" when mass updating account owner field. The best practice again is to wait for the operation to be completed.

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