We’ve written about what Workday Launch is before—an approach designed to accelerate your time to value by taking advantage of pre-configured processes for faster deployments—so we’re not going to use this article to tell you yet again why organizations of every size can benefit from this proven methodology to set up a solid foundation in Workday.
Instead, we reached out to one of our expert Workday consultants to ask them about their experiences working with many different types of companies as they implemented Workday Launch for human capital management (HCM). What sorts of strategies did they see succeed? What were some common mistakes to avoid?
In this article, we take you on a guided tour of Workday Launch, from what to expect along the way as well as tips and tricks to make sure your trip is a speedy and successful one.
Let’s get started!
Workday Launch—Planning Phase
The first phase of the Workday Launch methodology is the planning stage, typically referred to as “discovery and requirements gathering.” For example, this is the stage where you’ll need to detail your organization’s requirements for areas like employee data and employee-manager self-service so that the implementation partner can configure the system to follow that process as closely as possible.
The Launch methodology uses a sort of “recipe book” that the implementation partner follows to build your configuration. It’s designed with Workday best practices in mind, as well as business processes for areas like benefits. In many cases, we’ve seen clients want to change some of those processes and workflows, which is completely fine, so long as those changes are documented so that they can be configured correctly.
A third-party project manager can really help out during this phase to ensure you gather these specific requirements and set expectations early. That way, your implementation partner will build a solution configured to your organization’s needs (as opposed to you trying to adapt to an out-of-the-box system that doesn’t quite fit).
Workday Launch—Configuration Phase
Once you get through the planning stage, you’ll move into the configuration stage. Configuration is typically a shorter period as this is when your implementation partner will be busy building the solution. Once they’ve configured it, they’ll come back with a base configuration and prototype of the tenant for you to review.
During this phase, you’ll be making tweaks to the system they’ve put together, testing and building integrations. One of the big challenges we’ve seen arise during this phase, however, has been extra reconfigurations. Obviously, some changes will need to be made to the system your implementation partner has made for you, but actually putting those updates into practice takes time. Too many extra reconfigurations can delay the project.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to set expectations with your implementation partner early and really nail down those unique requirements. An experienced Workday Launch project manager can be your advocate in this process to manage expectations across the project team and ensure your implementation stays on track.
Workday Launch—Testing Phase
Next up is the testing phase. This is the longest and most critical phase in Workday Launch. While some may think the configuration phase is the most important, we believe testing those configurations validates the system requirements (not to mention giving your organization peace of mind that the whole thing works).
Once you start to go through testing and you’re fully engulfed in Workday as a practitioner or functional lead, that’s an excellent time to start some of the more detailed training courses. The information there is far more likely to “stick” during this time because you’ll understand how things work like reporting, security, and integrations.
Another thing to consider as you head into the deployment phase is the need to hire some backfill for the team members that will have the most time-consuming work with Workday. Trust us—asking someone to perform their day job and manage full-time responsibilities on the project is a recipe for disaster.
Workday Launch—Deployment Phase
Last, but not least, the final phase in Workday Launch is deployment. Obviously, this is a very exciting time. Now everyone gets to take advantage of all the new features and functionalities of the tool you’ve been working on!
In this phase, you’ll need to consider how much data you want to load into Workday from your previous system. Many organizations don’t move a lot of historical data into Workday; typically just the current year’s history.
You’ll also need to consider vendor integrations at this point. While the pre-build integrations go quickly, others can take weeks. A project manager who knows their stuff can help you manage these third-party vendors so that you can have a clear understanding of when they need to start.
Partnering With an Expert Workday Launch Project Manager
In our experience, Workday Launch provides customers with the methodology they need to get up and running within a predictable timeframe. But when it comes to more customized configurations, it’s helpful to have an expert that’s familiar with the terrain to advocate for your team. That’s where our senior-level Workday consulting team comes in.
Bringing on an experienced Workday Launch project manager means providing your team with someone who’s been there and done that, someone who knows where the potholes are and which “shortcuts” are best avoided, someone who not only knows what success looks like, but how to actually get you there.
So if you’re ready to bring in a heavy hitter, we’re here to partner with you on any of your Workday projects. Contact us today to get started.