How to Avoid Five Common Workday Implementation Pitfalls

Picture this—your Workday go-live date suddenly seems too close for comfort, as numerous challenges are threatening to derail your implementation. The completeness and accuracy of the data for your go-live tenant can’t be verified, it’s not clear who will maintain integrations, and reports that were supposed to be approved by now have not even been developed. On top of it all, your implementation team is burned out. To varying degrees, this scenario becomes a reality for many HR and finance implementations when it can be avoided.

ScottMadden highlights the top five tips to help your organization avoid common, last-minute Workday implementation pitfalls.

  1. Aim to own integrations on day one. A big reason cloud-based systems, like Workday, are attractive is that integration support requires fewer resources. In a rush to go live, outside vendors build integrations and the client—due to organizational design, personnel, or knowledge transfer gaps—is unable to take prompt ownership. Develop a knowledge transfer plan early and hold the team accountable to minimize the likelihood that you will need a vendor to run or modify integrations following go-live. Cut-over and go-live rehearsals can also help drive go-live readiness.
  1. Be clear on internal audits. If you have not heard from your internal audit team, be proactive in asking for requirements, particularly in the area of data conversion and validation. This will ensure you avoid scrambling to meet late requests. Moreover, early auditor involvement will make your methodologies and controls more effective.
  1. Check your priorities. In the final months before go-live, do not expect to make substantial progress in work streams that you have de-prioritized throughout the implementation. Reporting and training are often areas of neglect, posing threats to business continuity on day one. If you find that your team repeatedly postpones needed system training because of competing work, review whether those items getting attention are prioritized appropriately.
  1. A complete cut-over plan ensures readiness for go-live. There is high risk in using processes and tools for the first time during cut-over from your legacy system to Workday. Avoid this by treating your final tenant build for testing as a cut-over dry-run. Involve all technical and functional resources. No matter how prepared you think you are, you will find holes that will allow you to improve substantially for your actual cut-over. If new processes or tools are still needed for cut-over, test them fully in a practice tenant well before you actually need them.
  1. Hypercare counts. Your organization will need to triage and respond quickly to issues following go-live. Planning for this stabilization period is often ignored or performed by a standalone change management team. Do not let this happen. The functional and technical resources who led your implementation will be critical for resolving issues following go-live. Make sure your entire team understands how your organization will respond to any volume of tickets logged and prioritize resolution of the most severe issues.

ScottMadden has helped lead clients through successful transformative technology implementations since our inception. Workday and other cloud-based solutions bring unique challenges our team has proven highly adept at managing. We would be happy to talk about the unique challenges involved with your implementation. For more information, please contact us.

Additional Contributing Author: Joffre Myers

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