Implementing Workday doesn’t have to be an uphill battle—especially if you know some of the roadblocks you could encounter. Recently, for example, we wrote about an organization that faced a few challenges during their implementation and how bringing on a third-party project manager (PM) helped them get back on track. 

Now, we’re tapping our Workday expert’s 30+ years of HR experience to give you the inside scoop on 5 of the most common Workday implementation mistakes clients make (and how you can overcome them). 

1) Overengineering Your New System

Every organization has a ton of processes, steps, approvals, and notifications in their system. However, Workday functions best if you keep it simple. Instead of trying to duplicate everything you’re doing today in your system, consider keeping only what you need. 

Another way to look at it is to think about why you’re implementing Workday in the first place. If you’re doing so because something isn’t working with your current setup, you don’t want to implement that same inefficient process, right? So, take a step back and start with a clean slate. Streamline whatever steps, notifications, and approvals your organization needs to function and move forward from there. This winnowing will also help as your company grows and changes because it will require less maintenance down the road. 

2) Expecting the Implementer to Develop the Testing Plan 

Organizations often underestimate how much time and energy they truly need to dedicate to testing. Workday and Workday implementers tend to leave everything up to the client when it comes to developing testing scenarios, so if you’re not prepared for that reality, it can be an unpleasant experience. Far too often, clients think that the implementer will present all those testing cases, but the heavy lifting is the client’s responsibility (i.e. the people who know their business practices best). 

This step is where bringing in third-party support can really help. An expert can help you identify and develop all the real-life scenarios that your organization might face, and they can make sure everything gets tested before go-live. 

3) Not Thinking About Your Setup Early Enough

When you first start working with Workday (the company—not the product), they give you a plethora of different Excel workbooks. These workbooks include every business process topic you can think of, such as your departments, codes, call centers, compensation, and so forth,, and you’re required to fill out all the workbooks before you can move forward. This is the point where many clients pump the brakes. They understand what their processes look like today, but they’re not really sure what they want them to be in Workday. 

First, be aware that this step—coming up with new processes and filling out the workbooks—is going to take a significant investment of time. Additionally, you should be thinking about this step long before the implementation project actually begins. Second, this is another step where having a third-party expert can speed things along. 

An experienced consultant can talk you through all the business processes to consider how they might impact your organization. They can also help you fill out those extensive workbooks because they know exactly what you’ll need. 

4) Forgetting About Change Management

Too often, clients treat change management as an afterthought, but if you’re implementing a new system, your employees will be doing things differently, from how they submit time to how they get paid to how they change their benefits. And that’s not even going into all the changes your front-line managers will experience in the new system. 

To help you develop your training and communications plan (and to avoid getting blind-sided later), plan for change management at the very beginning of the project and keep a log as you’re going through things. Also, remember to keep your business stakeholders up to date throughout the project so that they know what’s coming and can be champions for change across the company. 

5) Not Getting Involved in the Workday Community

Did you know that Workday provides a robust community with information, tips, and best practices curated by other users? Far too often, clients don’t know about it, or if they do, they don’t realize what a treasure trove of information is available there. Every Workday customer has access to this rich online community where they can reach out to other Workday users for advice and support. It’s easy to search by industry as well as post questions for others to answer. Even better, the Workday community is a great place to help your employees develop their best practices, getting you even more value out of your investment. 

Don’t Make the Mistake of Implementing Workday Alone

In short, our consultant advises planning ahead, creating a strong team, and leaning on the experts. Whether you need a PM, testing lead, implementer, or a consultant, our senior-level Workday consulting team can help you navigate the twists and turns on your implementation journey. 

Our consultants have seen what can go wrong. Why not let them help you avoid those rough spots before they pop up? Contact us today to get started on your Workday project.