Companies looking to implement Workday for the first time or add new applications to their existing Workday system do so to streamline their current business operations, optimize functionality across their Human Resources (HR) system, and find more efficient ways to extend Workday functionality across teams.

Read on to learn more about making the most out of your Workday investment and where our team of expert Workday consultants can fit in your organization.

What is Workday Implementation?

Workday implementation teams can deploy the full suite of Workday applications, including Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), Workday Financial Management, Recruiting, Time Tracking, and Payroll, or roll out one module or a handful of applications as needed.

And, when it comes to implementing new Workday modules, applications, or tools across your organization, outlining a well-defined deployment plan with multiple phases to meet your needs is critical to your success.

Key Phases of the Workday Implementation Process

Let’s take a look at the main phases outlined and addressed in the Workday implementation process:

1) Plan

The planning phase is designed to help your company prepare for pre-implementation checklists and requirements, set realistic expectations regarding their deployment plans, outline a timeline and budget for the implementation project, and assemble a team to support the transition to a new system.

Planning also involves outlining a change management strategy to ensure your project team and organization as a whole are prepared for any changes that come with implementing a new software solution, including leadership/personnel changes, payroll/benefits management, miscommunication issues, and more.

2) Architect

During the architect phase, your Workday project team will build the foundation of your Workday system through a well-defined framework and initial Workday tenant.

This phase also requires teams to hold standard operating procedure (SOP) meetings to analyze and discuss key business processes throughout the Workday system and define company-specific Workday requirements across business units.

3) Design

When it comes to designing your Workday system to meet business needs or industry-specific requirements, configuring your individual tenants and building out modules across business units is an essential step.

This phase includes identifying where integrations between applications and other systems are needed, reviewing technology requirements, outlining core customizations, and ensuring software configuration and installation plans stay on track and within budget.

4) Testing

During the testing phase, project teams are responsible for testing their Workday software to ensure all modules, applications, tools, and integrations function properly, meet system requirements and business expectations, and don’t contain any defects or bugs.

Your Workday testing team will test the software in several phases, including…

  • Parallel Testing: This phase involves testing both your payroll solutions and your current systems simultaneously to ensure payroll will be processed correctly and employees will be paid accurately and on time once the system goes live.
  • Unit Testing: During this phase, each individual unit of the software is tested to ensure that all individual pieces operate correctly and work together when the solution is launched.
  • End-to-End Testing: This testing phase is designed to test the entire system from end to end, specifically across the entire employee lifecycle.

5) Launch

Once your Workday tenant is configured properly and your team is prepared for implementation, the software is deployed throughout your company.

The launch phase ensures the system runs smoothly with no configuration or operation errors, functional gaps are identified and resolved, and risks are mitigated to avoid disruptions.

6) Support

After your Workday deployment process is complete, it’s essential that your team has the resources needed to stay up-to-date with new Workday releases or make adjustments to keep up with business growth or changes within the industry.

Common Workday Implementation Challenges

  • Business Process Alignment: Because Workday systems usually involve app customizations and integrations with other solutions, your implementation team must ensure all existing business operations are aligned properly with Workday.
  • Data Migration: When it comes to matching up new and old software, it is crucial to ensure your data is exchanged correctly between systems and risks for unidentified data or duplication errors are mitigated.
  • System Maintenance: Updates or changes to your company or Workday software can often lead to unbalanced operations and inaccurate metrics, so regular quality checks and functionality testing are essential to keep everything operating smoothly.
  • Documentation: Defining documentation requirements for your new Workday software and integrations is crucial in ensuring your solution operates properly, and your team can keep up with updates to the technology.

Key Considerations When Implementing Workday

When it comes to making the most of your Workday solutions, there are a few main things to consider:

1) Assess Key Integrations

  • Assess integrations within Workday and beyond
  • Consider Workday operations from an end-to-end perspective rather than point-to-point
  • Ensure your integrations are configured properly to handle high volumes of data
  • Outline the core data and operations your Workday solution will need to interface

2) Evaluate the Scope of Your Project

  • Evaluate current business practices to determine high-priority tasks (i.e., Reporting, HR Management, Financial Management, etc.)
  • Develop a business case and evaluate the costs and advantages of a new Workday system
  • Avoid unnecessary configurations to simplify system management and maintenance
  • Define the scope of Workday operations to ensure business objectives and industry expectations are met

3) Outline Project Timeline and Budget

  • Set a realistic, feasible timeline and budget for your implementation process
  • Ensure the project team has adequate resources to improve implementation efficiency and deliver a positive Workday experience

4) Determine the Flow of Data

  • Determine what data is needed and what needs to be extracted or transformed for an efficient implementation process
  • Have a plan for “data freeze”
  • Outline data migration processes to ensure data is exchanged properly between platforms

5) Focus on Documentation and Data Logs 

  • Leverage documentation to help users effectively navigate their new system
  • Configure data logs to ensure users are up-to-date with current processes and updates
  • Reduce risk by documenting complex business practices and defining core requirements

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help outlining an implementation plan for a new Workday platform, additional training support from a project manager with extensive Workday experience, an extra hand building out functional integrations between solutions, or anything in between, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our team of senior-level Workday consultants have the skills and experience needed to lead you to success, regardless of where your implementation or integration needs lie. And, even better, we’ve included a sample profile of one of our Workday consultants to give you a better idea of what to expect when partnering with us…

Surety Senior Workday Implementation Consultant

  • 7+ years of Workday implementation experience
  • Successfully led 15+ Workday full cycle implementation and phase X projects
  • Certified in Workday HCM, Recruiting, Core Compensation, Learning and Launch
  • Experience serving as SME during Workday implementations, from best practices to overseeing configuration build and sustainment
  • Has worked across multiple industries, including healthcare and higher education 

Getting Started with Us

Interested in learning more about implementing Workday and our implementation support services?

Ready to get started on a project with an expert Workday consultant?

Contact us today to get connected!