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Workday Implementations: Five post go-live considerations

Once you have gone live with Workday, what are some of the key areas upon which to keep focused?

Ian Strachan / September 09, 2021
Digital HR Insights Community

Have you implemented Workday with an amazing team of internal and partner resources? Looking back, you see how much has been achieved in a comparatively short period of time. There is a shared sigh of relief, and you look to the future of your "life in production". But what are the typical areas you need to focus on, post go-live?

After go-live when we often take a moment to reflect on the lessons learned, all the hard work and dedication that implementations need, and begin to gain the benefits of the Unified Platform that is Workday.

The nature of agile projects is of course that we focus on the most important decisions to keep moving in a timely fashion. This means multiple items will remain, post go-live for your attention, and these will need a structured, mindful approach.

So, during the implementation project, what did you postpone, either decisions entirely, or to delay implementing decisions that were made, so that you kept your project on budget, on time and in scope?

Equally, you now need to maintain the new HR system, keep it aligned with your business, and working fluently and efficiently. There are many topics to take into consideration, so let me help you to identify the most crucial areas.

1. Business Processes

Fundamentally, processes run systems - that has, and probably always will be the case. During your implementation project, decisions were made about how your processes must flow. It may be that the decisions were taken while your Workday knowledge was still in its early stages, or to simply reflect your existing “ways of working”. Perhaps compromises and workarounds were needed to achieve this?

Now that your Workday knowledge has progressed, and project deadlines are not looming, try to consider, can your processes be built in a more advantageous way?

Further, now that you are experiencing first-hand how Workday’s self-service functionality can facilitate greater involvement by managers and employees, and as user familiarity increases, this may anyway be the right time to start considering process improvements.

Combining these two reviews of your configured processes can give good value, whether this is done internally, or with the help of your chosen consulting resource.

Lastly, post go-live, be very clear about who will own each process, and make this information available to your users. Clarity of ownership ensures your user community can efficiently feedback any issues found, driving further improvements and, critically, enhancing user engagement.

2. Security

As we move from project kick-off to life in production, the overall security configuration can become quite complex. Complexity impacts system performance and the ability to efficiently resolve new issues as they arrive, post go-live. Consequently, you should review your security configuration again soon after go-live - a holistic, top-down view can provide insight into inconsistencies, and layers of complexity that are no longer required.

If you are not confident in achieving a good level of depth in your security analysis internally, ask for a review from your post-production support partner. You should receive improvement and simplification suggestions, ensuring your system performs as efficiently and effectively as possible.

And of course, Workday is a living breathing system which you will no doubt develop over time. Complexity can lead to errors finding their way into your configuration as changes are made, even in disparate areas.

Workday delivers a security exception audit report which is a very good diagnostic tool. This shows separately domain, business process and security group errors, and should also be reviewed regularly.

Depending on the volume of changes you typically are making, it might also be time-efficient to build out your own custom reports. These can even trigger alerts to your security administrator, so that you can mitigate any impact if errors do occur.

3. Integrations

No man or woman is an island, and neither is Workday. Data flows in and out of Workday in multiple ways, be it manual re-keying, via mass loads or by integration.

During the project, budgetary considerations may mean some integrations were avoided, causing your “business as usual” to require more manual effort than necessary.

Naturally, any time user intervention is required, a risk of error, however small, is present, plus manual effort takes time from users that might otherwise be used more productively.

Conversely, if you integrate any data flow as much possible, errors found can be resolved and avoided completely in future, and you empower your most valuable resource, your people, to instead focus on more valuable tasks, driving value into the business.

Revisit those project decisions, and review the amount of time being used for manual work, the volume of errors that are occurring and the impacts of these errors. You may find that the cost of implementing those backlogged integrations is outweighed by the advantages they bring.

4. Feature Releases

Workday feature releases happen twice per year, so at least one feature release will usually be delivered during your implementation project.

Your implementation partner will typically be hands on with an impact analysis, including regression testing of this new release during the project. Typically the focus is on ensuring everything continues to function as expected and per the decisions made before this new release.

However, each new release brings additional functionality and improvements that could be of great value. While these may have been sidelined during the project, it is advisable to revisit these to understand where we can derive maximum value from our investment.

Partnering with your chosen post-production support resource is invaluable here in assessing the cross-functional impacts these may bring, and ensuring the options are fully understood, pitfalls are avoided and new functionality can be taken into use in a timely fashion.

5. End User Experience

User adoption and engagement is a key deliverable for any successful project and is affected strongly by delivering targeted user training for your new system.

Be mindful of your audience and try to create training content and approach accordingly. If your users are likely to access Workday infrequently, consider whether simple, clear documentation or in system guidance might be the most appropriate format, along with a very light training session and incentivise users to begin using the system.

Conversely, if you are training your internal HR, Financial or IT resources, perhaps a deeper, hands-on test environment might be more effective. Potentially your Sandbox Preview tenant could be utilised, however you may be concerned about data visibility or security. If so, speak to your post-production support partner about the possibility of provisioning a separate testing tenant, with scrambled data or even just sample data.

Also, compared to legacy systems, Workday improves user experience, we see this again and again. But backlogged development items can often be the difference between an improved user experience and an amazing one. Those “nice to haves” from the project often relate to user experience, while you focused on processes, data integrity, compliance etc.

Do not ignore these, they can be a game-changer for your employee satisfaction statistics.

Honorary Mention: Reporting

And one last thing (I know, that’s six areas not five, but think of this as across all areas rather than its own).

Do not forget to use Reporting. Workday delivers hundreds of excellent reports across all areas, but let your internal reporting resources or your partner consultants know your wildest reporting dreams.

In many HR systems, creating and updating reports can be a huge effort, taking many weeks for results that are “nearly there”. Workday makes reporting upon, and analysing, your data possible in ways that previously required multiple systems, HR and Financial data sources, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., with users needing advanced skills in each.

With Workday, the ability to analyse your line of business data is far more achievable, directly within Workday itself. Even that one report you always thought would never be possible.

But don’t settle for possible… go further, go get amazing, and wow your people!

 

Do you need help ensuring your Workday setup develops with your business, or perhaps any of the issues discussed here resonate with you?

If so, or to simply to discuss how TietoEVRY can be of service, contact us via contact form, or me directly by email at ian.strachan@tietoevry.com

Ian Strachan
Lead Functional Consultant

Ian has been working in the Workday ecosystem since 2013, both as a customer and as a consultant, and so is well placed to assist both new and existing Workday customers. Ian is certified in Workday Core HCM, Absence Management, Advanced Reporting and Launch, focusing primarily on Absence Management and Advanced Reporting projects and post production support.

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Ian Strachan

Lead Functional Consultant

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