Three considerations before you implement Workday

Three considerations before you implement Workday

Wed 9 Jul 2014 | Case Studies

Workday is continuing to take the HR technology market by storm, but what are the pitfalls of implementing it? We uncover 3 key aspects which might be the difference between success and failure!

With over 650 customers and counting, Workday’s HCM solution is offering a genuine opportunity for HR functions to revolutionise their HR service delivery.

Many organisations with employee bases from 1000 to 100,000 have found benefit in their solution. However, HRIS (not just Workday) change projects are rarely straight forward. They can often highlight system capability issues and challenge an HR function to apply rigorous project management, change management and an outcomes focus which isn’t necessarily applicable to the day-to-day management of an HR function.

So what do you as an HR stakeholder REALLY need to know before implementing Workday?

According to Adrian Cresswell, a Workday consultant with over 3 major implementations under his belt:

“We’ve often seen organisation leaping into Workday or HRIS implementation without having a full understanding of the impact. There are some really simple steps an organisation can take to make their Workday implementation a success, but ownership from the HR function is a critical component from the start.”

We spoke in-depth with Adrian and current Workday clients to understand what you should really consider BEFORE embarking on a HR SaaS or Workday implementation. What was clear was that conducting your own ‘pre-mobilisation’ will save you headaches in the long run and here is why:

Workday’s focus is their software offering and not necessarily on your particular organisational needs. Before you start engaging an implementation partner who will take you through a classic Plan, Architect, Configuration/Build, Test and Deploy methodology, you’ll benefit considerably in understanding the full impact of your undertaking before spending time (and a significant amount of money) on 3rd parties, project resources and organisational upheaval.

We have uncovered three considerations which are Workday specific before launching the project:

1. The importance of (accurate) Data

“This is truly one of the biggest minefields in implementing Workday and if you have multiple HR data sources or systems and over 3500 employees it can get very difficult, very quickly”.

  • Why is it important?
    In simple terms, poor data accuracy can significantly delay your implementation. During the build of your Workday prototype, you will have strict deadlines to supply the data to your implementation partner. If you miss the deadline, it will cost you more. More critically, if your data is not accurately mapped to the Workday format, the data load will simply be rejected by the system, causing further delays and issues.
  • Action steps:
    Decide on which modules you need for your first ‘go-live’. This will give you a good starting point. During ‘Pre-mobilisation’ you can tidy up your data, make it as accurate as possible, and explore how it would look differently in Workday. Start with the type of employee data that is the most important to your organisation and work backwards. You may even want to approach a Workday certified implementation partner to scope how it works practically. Doing this work upfront, without the pressure of rigid deadlines and potential mounting costs can be invaluable.

2. Thorough examination of your IT/IS eco-system

  • Why’s it important?
    Quite simply, you need to understand the full impact on your entire IT infrastructure as any “blind spots” can become costly and time consuming. Adrian commented: “On one particular Workday implementation, we actually had to update the Desktop technology globally to launch Workday”. If Workday is the first true SaaS solution adopted in your organisation, this becomes even more critical. The way Workday integrates with other systems can be very different from your standard ERPs and requires careful consideration from a time and cost perspective.
  • Action steps
    Engage with your IT stakeholders in the ’pre-mobilisation’ stage and ensure you have a solid Business Analyst that represents HR to support the due diligence process. Detail the cost of any required change and upgrades to the IT infrastructure and explore how you can support the Workday system after ‘go-live’ as it may require a change to the IT function ways of working. Spend extra time on reviewing the points of integration between Workday and other IT/IS systems as they could be complex, costly and challenging.

3. Crystal clear Organisational Structure

  • Why it is important?
    The in-system Workday process for organisation structure is different to the classic “org chart” structure you may be used to. Without a clear definition of your Org structure, you risk trying to impose your “classic structure” in Workday’s system which can cause risks around data security access, notifications, manager approvals and other user-centric processes.
  • Action steps
    Create a solid foundation by mapping and documenting your organisational structure to the most detailed level possible, with specific clarity on roles & responsibilities. If you are going through (or are about to) embark on significant organisational change, you may want to consider how it could interfere with systems processes. This link gives a high level overview of common terms used in Workday. You can also view this PDF presentation which goes into further detail.

In this article we have highlighted 3 of the major considerations when looking to implement Workday.

If you want to learn more – including 2 additional areas of risk, then click this link for your free PDF download (no email or contact details need to be submitted) and option for a FREE 45 minute strategy session with us. The session is designed to provide insights and help you reduce the risk of HRIS implementation failure as well as deliver within budget. The link will take you to a page in one of our Associate Directors’ diary where you can select a time slot that suits you.