Workday Project Newsletter: September 2017

September 2017 | Workday Project Newsletter

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Workday Project moves forward, launches rebranding

The Workday Project (formerly known as the HRIS Project) officially kicked off on August 24! The project team has many updates to share – and anticipates even more in the near and distant futures – given that Workday go-live across state government is only about nine months away. To keep audiences informed on a consistent and frequent basis, the team has decided to revamp its communications efforts, starting with the release of its own newsletter and a newly formatted website (link in footer).

You may think this project only impacts HR professionals, but that is not the case.  Workday has something for everyone!  For instance, budget professionals will have new tools for budgeting and reporting that coincide with the HR data; managers will have new tools to help them manage their workforce; and every employee will soon be able to access their own profile and manage a significant portion of their information in the system.  In the coming months, look for tailored communications for each of these stakeholder groups for further information about what Workday can do for you. 

Functionality overview

This table outlines overall Workday functionality state government expects to receive.

Workday aligns with COO’s areas of emphasis

In her role as State Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Director, Katy Coba upholds five areas of emphasis: (1) equity, (2) transparency and accountability, (3) leadership development, (4) customer service and excellence in government, and (5) "Ambassador of Public Service."

Workday, the new Human Resource Information System for Oregon state government, aligns with these goals:

Equity: HB 2005 (2017) was passed with the goal of increasing equity within the workplace by preventing Oregon employers from screening out job applicants on the basis of current or past compensation. Employers must rely solely on an applicant’s education, training and experience as compared to those of existing employees holding similar positions to determine the level of compensation to be offered. Without Workday, hiring managers must perform these analyses manually. Workday will automate this process and allow hiring managers to access this data instantly.

Transparency and Accountability: Workday will enhance the communication and workflow between users, provide accurate human resource data for data analytics to improve the quality of business decisions, and provide on-demand and secure public records upon request.

Leadership Development: In addition to assisting managers in making equitable hiring decisions, Workday will provide managers with reliable data for workforce planning and give them the ability to easily access and track information about their employees.

Customer Service and Excellence in Government: Workday will increase efficiency by reducing the duplication of tasks with legacy systems and by minimizing paper-based human resource business processing. Workday will also help maintain data integrity and enhance enterprise data security, continuity and reliability.

Ambassador of Public Service: Workday will provide policy makers the necessary tools to obtain reliable and timely workforce data, in addition to scenario planning at both the statewide and agency level.

Workday debut: Oregon state government partners host first demonstration of industry-leading HRIS software solution

On July 13, over 280 state government professionals participated in two 90-minute demonstrations of Workday, the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) industry leader. Attendees included executives, human resource and position budgeting professionals, technology professionals, and other personnel from over 37 agencies. Participants gathered in the Employment Department auditorium or tuned in remotely through desktops and television screens to catch the first glimpse of Workday in action. Both Dennis Rodgers, Workday’s Solution Consulting Manager for Education & Government, and Twyla Lawson, the Workday Project’s Business Change Manager, answered questions from the auditorium and through a live-streamed chat room for the entirety of each 30-minute Q&A session that followed the demonstrations. In all, the Workday Project Team was very pleased by the positive reception.

Mary Beth Herkert, Director of the State Archives Division, offered her favorable opinion when asked how she perceived the quality of the new HRIS solution following the demos: “[Workday] brings HR into the 21st century.” Demo participants were shown how Workday’s user-friendly interaction closely resembles modern computer, tablet, and smartphone screens. Rodgers demonstrated impressive software capabilities for several system modules, including employee profiles, organizational charts, employee on-boarding, and talent management, while effortlessly navigating employee and manager self-service portals.

Workday has joined forces with IBM (a Workday partner implementer) and Oregon state government to implement the solution in every branch and agency. Workday is a Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS), which means that all customers use the same system but have the ability to configure the flow of business processes to fit their needs. In this sense, the implementation of Workday is largely a configuration project. Through careful configuration, Workday will replace the legacy HR systems (PPDB and PICS) and the employee recruitment system (NEOGOV). The anticipated go-live date for Workday is during June 2018; in the meantime, the Workday Project Team is focused on a smooth transition from the aging HR systems to the 21st century HRIS industry leader. The project team will dive deeper into specific functionalities of interest such as position budgeting, recruitment and pay equity in future Workday viewing opportunities prior to implementation.

State government employees may log in to iLearn to view the recorded demonstration.

Dennis Rodgers

Dennis Rodgers, Workday’s Solution Consulting Manager for Education & Government, engaged both demonstrations’ audiences with his energy and enthusiasm.

Twyla Lawson

Twyla Lawson (Business Change Manager, Workday Project) introduces the project team and Workday’s Solution Consulting Manager for Education & Government, Dennis Rodgers, prior to the morning demonstration.

Recap: Agency SME kickoff meeting

The key to success with any large software implementation is a robust change management effort. Every state government employee will interface with Workday at some point in time. Therefore, ensuring that every employee is well prepared for Workday implementation requires close attention to how Organizational Change Management (OCM) knowledge is shared and maintained across all agencies, boards, and commissions. This effort provides a conduit for much needed OCM growth, both in methodology and training resources, across state government. To address the need, the Workday Project has formulated the following OCM-geared groups to build the framework for organizational change: Agency Subject Matter Experts (SMEs); Agency Readiness Contacts; and Change Leaders by Program Area.

Agency SMEs, also referred to as “Workstream Participants,” are consultants to the Workday Project Team who provide unique input and expert advice for system design and decision making. Agency SMEs have the opportunity to contribute to system design, clarify unique challenges facing state government, and enhance their knowledge of Workday as they become “super users” for their own respective agencies later in the project. Agency SMEs are categorized into seven “workstreams,” which are specific areas of functionality within the Workday software solution. Each workstream is led by a Workday Project SME from the project’s business team. Agency SMEs are not synonymous with the project’s business team SMEs; project decision-making is reserved for the business team SMEs.

On August 16, the Agency SMEs met for a group kick-off meeting. The group reviewed anticipated position responsibilities and expectations, brushed up on the project’s implementation schedule, examined the project’s decision-making hierarchy matrix, and became familiar with basic Workday terminology. The project’s change management team emphasized that time commitments per workstream will vary depending upon future project needs. The Workday Project applauds Agency SMEs for agreeing to help facilitate agencies’ transitions from legacy HR systems to the new Workday solution.

We will provide Agency Readiness Contacts and spotlight Change Leaders in a future newsletter. In the meantime, feel free to review the “Workday Project change leader network” guide for more information about all of the OCM groups spearheaded by the Workday Project. 

Recap: Workday kickoff event

On August 24, the official project kickoff included the Executive Leadership Team, HR Advisory Board, and the project’s Steering Committee. Executive Sponsors Madilyn Zike (Chief Human Resource Officer, Department of Administrative Services) and Lisa Sumption (Director, Parks & Recreation Department), as well as Katy Coba (State Chief Operating Officer and Director, Department of Administrative Services) provided introductory remarks. Joyce Martinez (Project Manager, Workday Project) gave a project overview before Debbie Crawford (Solution Architect, IBM) conducted a brief demonstration in the Employment Auditorium.

Before engaging the audience in a Q&A session, Twyla Lawson (Business Change Manager, Workday Project) provided an Organizational Change Management (OCM) talk regarding both the project and the enterprise at large. Twyla gave an overview of the OCM-geared groups that the project team has formulated in order to build the framework for enterprise-wide organizational change: Agency Subject Matter Experts (SMEs); Agency Readiness Contacts; and Change Leaders by Program Area.


Chief Human Resource Officer Madilyn Zike’s cursive signature added a personal touch to the back of the kickoff event invitations.

Workday, Inc. and IBM reps

Workday, Inc. representatives and IBM project consultants contributed to the kick-off event discussions and activities.

Training is coming: Meet the newest Workday Project team members

The Workday Project welcomes Tammy Maddalena and Shane Wallis to the team. Tammy and Shane serve as Business Transition Training Co-Leads for the project and will lead a training team consisting of five trainers who will be recruited in the near future. Tammy’s team leadership focus is Content Delivery, and Shane’s is Content Instructional Design. The training team is responsible for planning, creating and delivering “train the trainer” tools and methodologies across state government in preparation for Workday implementation and post-implementation support. Tammy and Shane are both Change Management-certified through Prosci.


Tammy joins the project team on rotation from Oregon Youth Authority (OYA), where she has served as an Operations and Policy Analyst II since 2014. Previously, as a Training & Development Specialist II Lead with the Business Transition team for three years, Tammy assisted in developing and deploying strategic training objectives as well as blended learning solutions to meet business objectives. Tammy’s state government service spans approximately seven years across the Business Transition team, Department of Human Services (DHS) and OYA.


Shane is also on rotation but calls Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) his home agency. Shane has served as a Training & Development Specialist I for PERS for approximately four years. Shane designs and develops training curriculum, eLearning, orientation materials, training plans, and training schedules. Between his service in (PERS) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Shane brings over five years of state government experience to the team.

For more information about the project, please visit our website. Stay informed by following us on Twitter and bookmarking our blog!