Why is the UA System replacing these systems?
Several UA campuses were at (or had surpassed) end-of-life for their primary software systems to support some of these functions. The systems were aging and the staff who knew how to maintain them were getting close to retirement. Rather than replacing systems at various campuses in a piecemeal fashion, the System leadership determined that it could save money and move the entire System into a more modern environment by combining efforts.
What systems were replaced?
Workday® will replace the current human capital management and finance systems at the institutions in the University of Arkansas System.
What is the timeline for seeing the changes at my campus?
What did training look like for Workday?
Formal end-user training for Workday took place within the two to three months prior to the go-live date for each cohort. The project team worked closely with the Change Champions and Blackboard Administrators from each institution to develop the training plan. A blend of training opportunities, ranging from job aids, classroom and virtual instructor-led training, computer-based courses was used.
Who are the decision makers when it comes to making changes?
After Cohort 1 go-live, formal release management began as part of the ongoing support model and governance. Workday releases product updates every March and September. Requests for changes to Workday are noted and addressed within the formal release management processes that are launched. The process is defined as part of the Center of Excellence that will be established to support the system after go-live.
What criteria will be used in decision making?
Guiding Principles for the project have been established that govern the approach the teams will take. Institution leaders are empowered to represent their organizations process needs and confirm that the business processes can work for their institutions.
Additional frequently asked questions by topic:
What is Workday?
Workday provides unified finance, procurement, human resources and student, faculty and staff lifecycle management cloud applications designed for the way people work in today’s organizations. We believe a new experience is coming to the UA System — one that is modern, focused on users and streamlined, with common business processes across the UA System.
The System will benefit from Workday’s intuitive, web-based applications with self-service and mobile capabilities. Workday is designed to work the way we work today and will help create a more nimble, process and data driven organization.
Many universities are adopting Workday because it is easy to use by employees, faculty, staff, managers and students; it supports what we do in higher education and it emphasizes a collaborative approach to designing business processes.
Have other Higher Education institutions implemented Workday?
The UA System joins many other institutions including Texas A&M University System, Louisiana University System, University of Virginia, University of Chicago, Arizona State University, University of Miami, University of Southern California, University of Texas, the Ohio State University, Brown, Carnegie-Mellon, Cornell and Yale.
What does “ERP” mean and how does it relate to Workday?
“ERP” is an acronym for “Enterprise Resource Planning” and is a generic industry term for integrated suites of business systems (such as payroll, HR, and finance systems). Currently, the UA System uses a variety of applications for payroll, HR, finance, procurement, and student administration.
What are some of the benefits of Workday?
- Workday provides 24/7 access to information over a secure network.
- Workday uses a powerful yet simple user web interface for all applications, enabling staff or students to update or access their information privately from any computer or mobile device with internet access.
- Positions our organization to make changes and upgrades more readily in the future.
- Workday is designed to support the unique needs of higher education.
Will we be customizing Workday or configuring it?
Many of the current UA System’s legacy systems are customized to respond to our unique needs, which adds a layer of complexity that must be addressed whenever system updates and/or changes are required. Workday offers configurable frameworks that can be modified and extended, but prevent changes from being made to the system that will disrupt Workday’s ability to offer updates in the future.
Since Workday provides updates to its software every six months, how will users know what is coming and how they will be impacted?
Before each Workday release, Workday gives us an opportunity to see the changes and determine how the changes impact various user communities. We will let users know about changes before they appear in our Workday solution.
When will we get Workday Student?
Planning for Workday Student began in 2019 and is currently in the architect and configure phase.
Will the Workday system be branded after launch, or will we refer to it as Workday?
We are not planning to rebrand the system itself - we have just branded the project as Project One. After launch, we will refer to Workday as Workday.
Who will support Workday once we go live?
Project leadership has developed a plan for providing support to end users after the initial go-live (sustainment plan) and a Center of Excellence (COE). We anticipate having representatives at each institution who will be able to help with issues or questions, but that plan has not yet been finalized. The COE will, among other things, manage future Workday releases and institution requests for changes or updates to Workday.
Implementation at UA System
Will the steering committee be making all of the decisions on how Workday is configured?
No, there will be a governance framework in place that will facilitate decisions being made by stakeholders and subject matter experts.
Are shared services being considered as part of this project?
No, at this time the UA System is focused on the implementation of Workday. Shared services will continue to be evaluated as a possible future strategic direction for the UA System.
Have institutions from both cohorts been participating in the configuration sessions?
Subject-matter experts from both cohorts have been involved in design, local review, and playback sessions to configure the system to meet the operational requirements of all institutions in the UA System. Every institution selected a voting member to approve each business process as it was configured in the session. Cohort 2 schools will not be participating in hands-on testing with Cohort 1 because their security roles will not yet be assigned in Workday, but institutions in Cohort 2 will have an opportunity to test in Spring 2021.
What business functions will Workday replace?
Workday will initially encompass various modules for HCM and Finance, which can be found on our website. Throughout design, local review, and playback sessions, institution subject matter experts provided input for the business process needs. Specific business processes were added or removed from the project scope as institution needs were evaluated. The Project Coordinator for your campus should be able to provide more detail about what was shown in the sessions.
What is the exact go-live date?
The exact go-live date will be determined after payroll cycles are confirmed. Go-live for Cohort 1 was July 7, 2021.
My institution is in Cohort 2, so why do we need to be engaged now?
The design process begins with the overall common design that should accommodate 80% of the HR, finance, and procurement processes for institutions in both cohorts. There will be a local review activity where institutions will carefully look at the new design and evaluate how they will apply the processes to their departments and units.
My institution is in Cohort 2, but can we switch to Cohort 1?
Cohorts were selected after considering timing of recent implementations, aging of current systems and other criteria. Cohort membership is set.
Is the goal of Project One to eliminate jobs?
No, the goal of Project One is to have all institutions on a common finance, human resource, and student software platform.
Questions from Workday Wednesday Q&A
Once Workday goes live, where does the responsibility for activities and application support surrounding Workday live?
Users will receive support from within their institution. A Center of Excellence (COE) will be designed during the project that will among other things will manage future Workday releases. The support structure will be communicated close to go-live.
Where can we receive more frequent communications to keep us informed of key dates, milestones, activities and progress of Project One?
Subscribe to our newsletter! We have a monthly Project One Newsletter that will keep you informed of key dates, milestones, activities, project progress, and more. Additionally, you can submit your questions by attending our monthly Workday Wednesday Q&A Session. We will do our best to answer them live - or provide an update when we have the information.
Is there a detailed project plan for Project One that we can access so we can better plan activities at our institutions?
Check with your Campus Project Coordinator – they can let you know the current and future activities surrounding Project One on your campus. Each phase has a set of activities and outcomes that sets the project up for the next stage. The project timeline shows the stage that we are currently in.
How much data conversion is being done?
Data history will be going back only 12 months, and in some cases, only 6 months. Data history for Grants, Projects, and some other financials will likely be more than 12 months. The goal is to get the data we need in the system but not too much data to where it becomes an overload.
What is the parking lot?
During design, local review, and playback sessions, questions that needed further exploration were put into a "parking lot". The questions or in some cases, user scenarios listed in the parking lot are not only being discussed in working groups, but the project team continues to address these items through adding to testing scenarios, future Workday releases, and further configuration. As of 10/7/2019, 82% of the current parking lot items have been resolved. The project team continues to address the items in the parking lot. If you would like to see the latest list, please contact your institution’s Project Coordinator.
How secure is Workday?
Workday is extremely secure. It is used by multiple Fortune 500 companies, including many familiar Arkansas companies like Walmart, JB Hunt, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Higher education institutions and systems such as the Texas A&M System, University of Miami, Yale, and LSU are using Workday. It is an industry-leading product that is very secure, but we will still use best practices around accessing Workday. All institutions will utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access Workday – meaning a second authentication method (such as a text message, phone call, or mobile app) will be used in addition to a password to log in. Using MFA will add an additional layer of security to safeguard against phishing attempts and keep the system, our System, and our information secure.
Will employees receive a cell phone stipend or an institution-provided device because of MFA or because Workday is available to be accessed on a mobile device?
No. Using Workday on a mobile device will not be mandatory for employees but will be an option that is available to everyone. The use of MFA on a mobile device is considered insignificant or de minimis.