Workday Project Newsletter: September 2018

September 2018 | Workday Project Newsletter

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The results are in: We are prepared for Workday

By Anna King, Communications Coordinator, Workday Project

During the week of August 27, Agency Readiness Contacts, Change Leaders and HR directors completed the third round of the Workday Project’s Enterprise Readiness Survey on behalf of their agencies. This survey gauges the readiness level of three stakeholder groups across state government: agency executives (“leaders” in green), managers (in blue) and employees (in orange). Survey respondents had four readiness levels to choose from when categorizing each of these stakeholder groups: opponent; unaware; follower; or champion of Workday implementation. “Champions” are Workday implementation advocates and active supporters. “Followers” represent members of state government who have the ability and willingness to learn and support Workday implementation. Fifty-three percent of survey recipients completed the survey. Click on the following graphic if you would like to view a PDF version of the chart summarizing the survey responses.

Bar chart of round three results of the Enterprise Readiness Survey

Survey results suggest most state government leaders are champions whereas most managers and employees are followers. Employees represent the stakeholder group least familiar with the pending Workday system. In addition to stakeholder readiness evaluation, survey respondents were invited to provide feedback for the project team; Erin Haag (Executive Director, Board of Examiners for Speech-language Pathology & Audiology) summarized how many members of the enterprise feel in the wake of pushing back Workday go-live twice this year: “We’re looking forward to [Workday] but glad [the team is] taking time to get it right.” The first two Enterprise Readiness Surveys, completed in February and June, show stakeholder groups steadily moving toward “champion.”

Results of rounds one and two of the Enterprise Readiness Survey

The photo above captures the first two rounds of survey responses, and readers are welcome to revisit the February 2018 edition of the Workday Project Newsletter for a deeper look at the first round of the survey. The project team’s Organizational Change Management unit continues to use Enterprise Readiness Survey results to help steer project communications in preparation for the new Workday go-live date announcement.

Please note that the Enterprise Readiness Survey and Agency Readiness Assessment are two separate surveys; the first Agency Readiness Assessment was distributed to agencies through the Change Network during November 2017 and will be distributed directly to all state government employees 30 to 60 days before Workday goes live.

Brian Deforest edited

From the inside in: Steering committee interview with Brian Deforest

By Karsyn Mathany, Project Administrative Support, Workday Project

What are the primary project messages and communications methods you want to see delivered to your managers? To staff in general?

My number one priority is that payroll is accurate and on time. As such, I want to make sure that staff, who are accustomed to “green screen” technology, are comfortable with the fact that this new system will be on our handheld devices and available to them like never before.

What is the biggest challenge your agency is facing as a result of the project?

I think that the biggest challenge DAS* is currently facing with regard to the Workday Project is trying to manage processes and cultural changes around personnel and payroll. We have to consider whether to change statewide policy or not; DAS has to consider whether to make blanket changes for the entire enterprise. We also must ask ourselves, “What are the lessons learned from this project that we can apply to the payroll/timekeeping project in two years?” It is important for us to consider mistakes and successes from previous projects to make progress on future projects.

We learned a lot during the implementation of the Statewide Financial Management Application (SFMA) and the Oregon Budget Information Tracking System (ORBITS). For example, procedures should be less agency-specific and more enterprise-focused. We learned that agencies gravitate toward more concrete policy lines. People want to know where the boundaries are, and there needs to be balance – no boundaries is bad, and too many boundaries is bad. I would argue that this project is the completion of (or the next step of) SFMA, not the beginning of a separate, new journey. It is only a matter of time before other systems will need to be replaced; this is just a part of the process to keep things as efficient as possible.

What is the biggest challenge you see the project team facing right now?

The project team’s biggest challenge is striking a balance between training people too early versus too late. Personally, I am not sure when the right time to start training actually is, but at the very least, people want to know when training will start in order to mentally prepare themselves for learning the new system. Fortunately, the steering committee for this project is one of the most balanced committees I have ever been a part of; the agency sizes and functional areas represented are very diverse. The executive leadership team and Katy’s** participation have had a great hand in this project, helping round out its overall guidance.

Do you have any advice for the project team?

My advice for the project team is to continue listening. In terms of making sure that our new system works, you can’t solve every conceivable problem with it, but it can certainly deliver on outperforming the legacy HR systems we have now. The transition to Workday won’t be perfect on day one, but the product will adapt to our future needs and will get better every day. Looking back on previous projects, SFMA most directly affected the accountants and reporting professionals, and ORBITS affected the budgeteers and the Legislature; but this project affects all employees and the upcoming payroll/timekeeping project will affect all employees on an even more personal level. This is why we need to make sure the Workday Project is as successful as it can be.

*Department of Administrative Services

**Katy Coba, Chief Operating Officer and Department of Administrative Services Director

Recap: Project sponsors give JLCIMT presentation

By Joyce Martinez, Project Manager, Workday Project

On September 25, Katy Coba (Chief Operating Officer and Department of Administrative Services Director) introduced the project’s sponsors (Madilyn Zike, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Lisa Sumption, Director, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department) before the Joint Legislative Committee on Information Management and Technology (JLCIMT). Although they were slated for an approximately 15-minute presentation and Q&A session, time constraints limited the presentation. As such, Madilyn and Katy provided a higher level synopsis of project efforts thus far. Included in the "DAS - HRIS Report" PowerPoint (available under the published "Meeting Materials") is a much deeper dive in to the project's current status.

The PowerPoint summarizes completed go-live preparation activities and milestones spanning August 2017 through May 2018. The capstone of the slide deck is a status update on the interface testing between state government's legacy systems and Workday. The following slide captures action items during the current testing phase surrounding the release of Workday 31, the version of Workday state government will implement at go-live. Green check marks designate completed tests, blue arrows indicate items that need to be completed before implementation, and grey check boxes specify items in process and those that need to be completed after testing is done and the enterprise prepares for the go-live stage of the project. (Click on the slide for a PDF version.)

JLCIMT slide1
"Activities for Implementation" slide for the project sponsors' JLCIMT presentation

The interface of the legacy payroll system and Workday is the project team’s highest priority interface (read the August 2018 edition of our newsletter for more information).

Click on the screenshot of Katy, Madilyn and Lisa’s JLCIMT presentation below to watch their entire 6-minute presentation.

JLCIMT screenshot - 9/18
Screenshot of the recorded JLCIMT presentation


Agency Readiness Contacts:

August 2018 edition of the Workday Project Newsletter:


Change Leaders:

Enterprise Readiness Survey III results:

February 2018 edition of the Workday Project Newsletter:

JLCIMT - Activities for implementation:

JLCIMT informational meeting recording:

JLCIMT meeting materials:



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