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Project Manager Roles You Need for a Successful Workday Implementation

Mar 30, 2020

A successful Workday implementation requires dedication and effort from every member of both the Workday partner team and the customer project team, especially the project managers (PM). Great PMs help keep the project on task, communicate with stakeholders, and understand the big picture of the entire implementation.

Successfully implementing Workday can be a long and winding road, but having a team of experienced PMs onboard will help ease the burden and direct the project to your desired destination. Here are some of the PM roles we recommend you consider for your Workday implementation, as well as the value they can bring to the project. 

External Client-side PM

An external client-side PM plays a vital role in any Workday project. Not only do they bring in-depth knowledge of Workday methodology and experience from other organizations to the table, but they also serve as your advocate, ensuring that all parties on the project are held accountable for their work. 

This kind of PM wears many hats and juggles multiple tasks, but their primary role is as a customer advisor, interfacing with both your internal team and your Workday partner, as well as helping to make sure that the project stays on time and under budget.

They also provide consistent and relevant communications to the entire team. So, if there’s an issue with budget, scope, or schedules, an external client-side PM notifies whoever needs to know (individuals or groups) to quickly fix the problem.

Implementing change management practices are also part of an external PM’s duties, including working with the training lead, marketing and communications teams, and any other key stakeholders. Planning for how you’re going to handle change management needs to start early in the project, and without an external PM to help carry the load here, your project faces a significant risk of failure.

Internal Client-side PM

While not every implementation project has them, you should consider having an internal client-side PM on your team. An internal PM not only has the inside scoop on your company’s current processes and procedures, but they’re in a unique position to share that knowledge with your external PM, better informing their decisions so that they more smoothly mesh with your organization.

An internal PM will also have strong relationships with your team, which can help to bridge the gaps between your company and your Workday partner. Their insider knowledge also gives them an insight into the talents of your organization’s resources, guiding your external PM in choosing the right people for the right projects, as well as how best to communicate with the executives and other key stakeholders about the project. 

Other PM Roles You May Want to Consider 

Depending on the size of your organization and of your Workday implementation, you may want to consider module-specific project managers, such as ones for Financial, Human Capital Management (HCM), IT, Payroll, and Data Conversion. Module-specific PMs can provide in-depth knowledge of their respective areas and make sure that integrations and data conversions that connect to their domain are seamless. These PMs usually roll up to whatever external PM you have overseeing the entire program. In our experience, large enterprises typically bring on a large team of PMs to cover the whole scope of the project.


Getting Workday up and running with a new implementation can be challenging, but the good news is that you’ll add an incredible amount of value to your organization once it’s complete. We have a lot of resources on our website to help you make informed decisions no matter where you are in the process, from selecting the right people to have on your Workday implementation dream team to Workday implementation mistakes to avoid to how other companies have achieved Workday implementation success

When you’re ready to make the investment and get your Workday team together, Surety Solutions can help. Our experienced Workday project managers and consultants are here to assist you with your project from conceptualization to execution. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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