The Workday platform is one of the most powerful Human Capital Management (HCM) and Financial Management solutions on the market. But despite its popularity and ease of use, it can present it’s own set of unique implementation challenges…

Our consultants have decades of Workday experience and successful software implementation stories. They have seen companies struggle with a lot of the same software implementation issues so they’re familiar with the most commonly identified challenges during implementations and know exactly what steps to take to get your team back on track.

Those delays can start chipping away at your return on investment, costing a lot of extra time and money, putting your plans for a successful implementation on the back-burner.

To help avoid these issues and keep your project on track, we decided to share some of the nine most common implementation challenges our experts have seen when helping clients move to a new system, as well as where they can come in to help you overcome them without wasting time or money in the process.

Let’s get started!

Common Workday Implementation Challenges

Workday software implementation can be very rewarding for a company but flowers don’t grow without a little bit of rain, right?

Let’s take a look at some Workday implementation challenges that can arise if you don’t have the right team or resources for the job…

1. Finding the Right Workday Implementation Partner

Even before starting the Workday implementation process, many organizations hit their first road bump when trying to find the right Workday partner. There are many choices out there, so you need to prioritize your organization’s needs and look for the right fit for your team.

 When on the hunt for your software implementation partner, you should keep an eye out for these desirable traits: 

  • A strong reputation of successful implementations for companies of varying sizes where they’ve carried out all aspects from planning to testing to post-go-live support.
  • Up to date on Workday’s latest products and updates.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of change management strategies.
  • Impeccable project and time management skills.
  • Ongoing support resources for approximately 12-18 months after the implementation goes live.

2. Poor Documentation

Workday is a highly customizable tool—which is a huge benefit for organizations. However, the more customizations you add to a system, the more complexities there are which can impact the implementation process.

Without proper documentation to provide a clear understanding of your current or proposed Workday operations, your organization will eventually run into frustrating snags, making it a struggle for employees to effectively use the tool.

We suggest documenting a standard operating procedure that explains exactly how your company will use Workday and each use case. One way to prevent a roadblock in this area is to hire a consultant (Surety Systems…hint, hint) to manage the documentation and ensure the data integrity as Workday releases major updates.

This person will also be responsible for distributing the documentation and making sure it’s accessible to the project team and relevant stakeholders. Documentation should be hosted on your company’s intranet or a central location for easy access and improved user engagement across the board.

3. Data Migration

Data migration is the most common hurdle for organizations during implementation. Everyone’s familiar with the old data adage of “Garbage in, garbage out,” but matching data formats between the two systems can be a daunting task.

If data migration is done incorrectly, you could end up with data integrity issues like incorrect data, duplicate data, and long-term issues uploading data in certain formats. An experienced consultant can provide best practices for data migration to ensure data “goes in” the right way the first time.

4. Budget and Time Considerations

Everyone wants to deliver an implementation project as fast as possible, in the most cost-effective way. But in many cases, organizations don’t consider the importance of their budget and an accurate timeline before getting started.

The first step in avoiding this problem is proper planning. A dedicated internal project team or manager can scope out the project and develop a realistic budget and timeline for your organization.

Bringing in a third-party PM to help with this allows you to take advantage of their expertise, helping to keep overly optimistic (or pessimistic) estimates in check.

5. The Testing Phase

Testing multiple phases is key when conducting new software implementation. Many companies wait until the end of the implementation project to test it, which runs a high risk of delaying everything.

For example, if you run quality checks right before go-live and find an issue, it will take longer to fix if you have to make changes to the entire system, rather than if you’d discovered the issue earlier on in the process and only had to make a few changes. 

Typical implementation phases we suggest to test during include…

  • Parallel: This testing will help to eliminate issues related to payroll down the line.
  • Unit: In this phase, we recommend testing each unit of software to make sure they all function well together.
  • End-to-End: During this phase, you will want to test the system from start to finish to ensure every aspect of your new software works smoothly.

6. System Maintenance

Updates and changes are always happening to your company and Workday software. If the integration of new software is not maintained, it could lead to inaccurate metrics and throw off the entire operation of the software.

This and testing go hand in hand with each other to ensure functionality of your new software.

7. Updates During Implementation

It can take up to 4-6 months for large companies to implement most features in Workday. On top of that base amount of time, you also need to factor in several major annual updates.

Depending on when you begin your Workday implementation and how long it takes, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to make one of these updates during or just after go-live, which can make for an even more complicated situation.

The solution goes back to documentation. When updates are expected and documented, it makes for much smoother sailing than trying to navigate through stormy seas without paying attention to any kind of documentation. 

8. Communication

A Workday implementation involves a lot of different teams. Organizations tend to focus on looping in leadership, which is a great start point, but software implementation challenges start to arise by not including mid-level managers and users. (Not to mention HR, and finance, and IT, and service partners, and consultants…) Any gap in communication between these teams over the course of your project can lead to failure.

Involving all stakeholders at each stage of the implementation will help to ensure the project meets the expectations and goals of everyone involved while improving employee productivity. 

9. Poor Training

Often times, companies think that once a Workday implementation plan is nearing the end, that they are done with Workday. This is false and is only complete when the end-user adopts it and you have data that proves successful software implementation. If this doesn’t happen, it is likely the result of poor training. Some of the most common reasons for poor training are:

  • Inadequate training time: Training takes time and often times there isn’t enough time allocated for training purposes. Because of this training can be rushed forcing learners to miss important things they need to know.
  • Poor training approach: Taking a one-size-fits-all approach does not take into consideration the different learning styles people may have and the different level of experience people possess.
  • Insufficient resources: When not provided with the proper resources like funding, training can be difficult to complete.

Partner With the Workday Implementation Experts

These challenges might make a Workday implementation sound overwhelming, but you can mitigate these issues and any other roadblocks that may arise with careful planning and a knowledgeable guide who knows the terrain.

Whether you need help assessing the many benefits of each software option before making your decision, an extra hand planning budgets and schedules for a new software implementation project, or additional support training users to operate their new system efficiently, Surety Systems is here to help.

Overcoming Implementation Challenges with Surety Systems

Our senior-level Workday consulting team can help you develop a strategy and framework that works for you and then assist you at each stage so that you can have a successful Workday implementation.

Get in touch with us today and get started implementing Workday.