Laying the Foundation
As we wind down the calendar year, you’ll find that the Workday Finance project is well under way! We’ve completed the Planning stage and migrated into Architecture in November. This phase will continue through the end of February. Important milestones during the Architecture phase include the Deep Dive Sessions and the Design Workshops (TBD in January).
Starting on Tuesday, Nov. 2, we began a series of 24 Deep Dive workshops on topics that include employee expenses, financial accounting, procurement, business assets, banking and settlement, endowments, and grants. Sessions are led by UM project team members and our Deloitte consultants. Session attendees primarily include Finance Advisory Councils (see last month’s newsletter) and other central office staff with responsibility for a particular area. The purpose of the sessions is to provide information about Workday’s functionality to prepare attendees for involvement with business process design in January. In between the Deep Dives and the Design Workshops, the project team will be doing limited configuration in the Workday Alma Mater University (AMU) demo tenant. A tenant is an instance of the software available for the team to begin preliminary design and build activities.
Participants are invited to share their feedback in a weekly survey to help us continue to improve sessions and to assist with change management and communication activities. At the end of week one, we received nine responses out of 30 attendees. Respondents generally indicated that the session increased their awareness and they felt comfortable contributing to the discussion. Prior to attending the session, participants were either “not at all” or “somewhat” knowledgeable about Workday’s functionality. Nearly all left “more knowledgeable.” Terms the respondents used to describe their feelings about Workday Finance included: excited, curious, interested, and ready. One comment in particular makes a good theme for this month’s newsletter:
“For most (part) I believe it is helpful, but also frustrating since it is not yet configured to UM’s specs. Visually it’s appealing, but the true functionality is still a mystery…” (anonymous)
The implementation of Workday Finance is a process…and a journey. There are basically five phases to a project of this magnitude: planning, architecture, development, testing, and deployment. Each stage has specific tasks and deliverables involving both functional aspects, integrations, and data conversions. As we move along, more and more is known and decided. We are early in the Architecture phase and that means we are still gathering (lots) of information to help with the system configuration.
Configuration is occurring in a demo tenant to facilitate the Deep Dive sessions. The demo tenant is a generic one set up by Workday for use by higher education customers. It contains very basic design and data elements and is useful to get a feel for how various screens and processes look. Once the Deep Dive sessions are complete, the configuration becomes more involved and more specific to UM. Design sessions will still use the demo tenant (which does not have UM data), but the processes will begin to look more like what will be configured for UM. It will not be until the end of Architecture that a clear picture on how Workday will be configured for the University of Miami will emerge. As we put processes together during the development stage and begin to bring in data and integrations, additional changes may occur.
It’s tremendously exciting to be at this stage of the project where the possibilities feel endless! We understand the frustration though of the commenter above and others because we’re all just so excited to see the end result. With your input, suggestions, feedback, and support, together we will build something truly amazing for the University of Miami!