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UW Finance Transformation

Workday® Financials: firing up the engines for launch

June 13, 2023

After years of preparation and anticipation, we’re finally on the brink of launching Workday® Financials next month. At the end of 2022, I shared that our Workday high-speed train was going to transform into a rocket ship as we accelerate on the journey toward our future state.  

Modernizing our nearly-50-year-old, highly fragmented financial infrastructure for the entire University is a monumental achievement. It bears repeating that when we go live on July 6, this transformation will ultimately enable our huge, complex organization to deliver accurate and complete financial information.  

It’s also a feat of efficiency,  as Workday Finance becomes our “single source of truth” for most financial work. This historic change for our institution is the result of years of work by many skilled professionals, who have collaborated with leadership, business owners and various stakeholders every step of the way. The engagement we fostered was necessary to achieve another very important goal — meeting the needs of all our UW employees. This change will positively affect how we do our work. I thank the many staff and faculty who have given their time and energy to board this rocket ship with dedication and enthusiasm to help us learn how to navigate our future life with Workday Financials.

Recent milestones

As we inch closer to the launchpad, we’ve been engaging with those of you who will be impacted most. Below are two highlights: 

  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) — which is when representatives from across the University conduct end-to-end test scenarios to confirm functionality, but more importantly, the usability of Workday — has concluded. I’d like to thank all our stakeholders who were involved. We executed test scenarios with a 98% pass rate. During the four weeks of testing and the two weeks of defect resolution and cleanup, 22 defects were found, with the last one currently undergoing resolution .
  •  End User Training — some of this testing going on was happening while users are just beginning training and I’m aware there are some who are still actively completing their training and for whom our launch date seems to be approaching at hyper-speed as they work hard to become familiar with Workday Finance and integrations with ancillary systems. Not only are we excited to finally see what we’ve built get its official start, but we’re also committed to making sure all end users are ready. 

As of June 9, 7,139 foundational learning courses have been completed out of four course offerings and 6,074 functional self-paced courses have been completed (of 26,399). We launched virtual instructor-led training (vILT) courses in early May and to date, we’ve trained 1,609 people. 

So far, we’ve learned through training surveys that 74%  of end users feel their courses have prepared them to complete their job duties related to Workday Finance. To learn more about end user training, you can visit the Change Network or check out our March and May newsletters. 

Remaining key activities

As we finish out UWFT’s Deploy stage leading up to go-live, in addition to training, here’s a peek at what we’re focused on for the next three weeks:

 

  • Support Readiness Testing (SRT) —complete testing to ensure that people, processes and technology are in place to transition from program operations to support (including Shared Environments). This also includes tests for the customer experience and considers the staff experience, testing performance related to managing requests, end-to-end workflows, dashboards and service level management.
     
  • Cutover — complete the planning and activities required to successfully transition the University’s finance processes to the new ecosystem…all in a specific timeframe with minimal disruption of day-to-day operations. Planned are more than 2,500 tasks that are dependent on one another and have to be executed over a five-day period. For key cutover dates and terminology, see the Cutover page on the Change Network.

In addition to closing out key activities to get us to go-live, the UWFT program team will be collaborating on the Workday Sustainment Model with sustainment organizations (UW-IT, UW Medicine, Research, Central Finance, Shared Environments, Units, etc.) to continue the planning and preparations of how we’ll support, operate and govern Workday into the future.

And we’ll also be gearing up for our Stabilization Phase, with vital focus on Hypercare, the three-month period immediately after we launch Workday. This is characterized by an elevated level of customer support for end users, as well as system troubleshooting, to ensure the seamless adoption of our new Workday® Financials. Reminder that UW Connect Finance has been selected to be your self- help resource after go-live. 

So, we’re T-minus 23 — all hands on deck — as we hurtle toward the official go-live launch. There’s much to do before we start the final countdown prior to our Workday blastoff and you can expect to receive additional communications on where/how to get support once Workday Finance is live. Again, I want to thank all who’ve been involved in delivering this transformation. It’s exciting to be a part of this amazing achievement — one that will have a positive impact on the UW for years to come.

Here’s to liftoff and a successful launch next month!

Editor’s Note: If you have questions or comments about the UWFT program, send an email to UWFTask@uw.edu.

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