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What Is the Key to Workday Implementation Success?

Updated: Aug 7, 2023


WHAT IS WORKDAY?

Workday is an on‑demand financial management and human capital management software vendor. Today, it is a USD4.3 billion revenue multinational corporation and a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance, human resources, and planning for businesses.


WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DRAW ABOUT WORKDAY?

Based on data consolidated by marketing agency firm Enlyft, it found that companies using Workday are most often based in the United States and come from the Computer Software industry. Of these companies, most of them have an employee headcount size of 1,000 – 5,000 and have more than USD1 billion in revenue.


Companies typically implement Workday because of the following business drivers:

  • A directive to consolidate multiple ERP applications (often across multiple geographical locations) that are supporting HR, payroll and other processes into a single application.

  • A need to meet division specific requirements that are not catered for in the centralised ERP solution.

WORKDAY IMPLEMENTATION

Like any other software platform, implementing Workday comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. A successful Workday implementation is likely to result in reduced costs, faster execution, improved performance, and boost overall employee morale. Workday has the potential to expand an organisation’s existing human capital management (HCM) related functionality and streamline business processes. However, it cannot work in isolation. To maximise efficiencies and cost savings associated with Workday, organisations need to focus on integrating Workday with their payroll provider’s platform through Workday PECI (Payroll Effective Change Interface). Workday PECI transmits each payroll change for each employee sequentially and includes the effective date and data entry date for each change. The benefit of this feature is that information comes directly from a single source. This translates to a more accurate and faster payroll process where payroll processing is based on live data.


On the flip side, one of the biggest challenges of Workday implementation is end-user adoption. End-users, which typically includes HR professionals and people managers, may have difficulty adapting or adjusting to the new system.


KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION

A successful Workday implementation requires detailed planning. It requires a carefully laid out roadmap and a clear change management plan. Take into consideration the various business scenarios post Workday implementation. For example, which part of the business requires more visibility in order to facilitate effective business decision-making. At the same time, leaders need to consider any other phase X implementations such as payroll or leave management modules. Other HR-related system implementation planned for the organisation will definitely have an impact on the Workday platform. The implementation and change management plan needs to account for those future changes.


A successful Workday implementation also requires a decisive and effective project manager to roll out the implementation plan. On top of driving the project throughout the entire lifecycle, ensuring milestones as met as per the timelines, he/she is also responsible for identifying the required resources and setting up the change management team.


Having a robust governance structure for the team can help to facilitate a more efficient implementation. For example, scheduling regular cadence meetings allows project members to stay on top of the project progress and outlines the next steps or phase for the project. It also allows project members to escalate any potential setbacks within their assigned scope and allows the project manager to address potential issues or delays immediately.


Finally, Workday is ultimately a software platform that relies heavily on the data that is feeding through it. It is important to spend time cleaning existing HR data. A HR platform can only be as good as the data that is feeding into it.

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