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UW Finance Transformation

Championships are won at practice

Enterprise Project Management Office Pillar Lead, UW Finance Transformation

April 20, 2022

Many of you know earlier this month, we officially moved into the fifth stage within UW Finance Transformation’s (UWFT) Implementation Phase — the Test stage. Program sponsors approved our request to formally exit the Configure and Prototype (C&P) stage, passing along congratulations and praise. And our collective C&P accomplishments are cause for celebration and represent a huge UWFT milestone achieved. We’ve known this program would be a big lift for us all — and as excited as many of us were for our testing home opener on April 4 — more hard work lies ahead before our season ends. Yet, one thought sustains me: having the opportunity to build something that is relevant and will carry the University forward for the next 50+ years. 

I’ve been a part of approximately 50 enterprise resource planning implementations, including a number of Workday launches, joining programs from the beginning, near the end and some in the middle — like when I joined UWFT. You might be interested to know that I joined the Workday® HR/Payroll (HR/P) implementation right before its go-live. I can tell you that no implementation is perfect, but I’m proud to say that we’re building on many lessons learned from that experience. For example, we’re collaborating broadly, and early, on design — in process areas and the system. We’re shoring up our program’s change managers and local-level grassroots support to engage the right people at the right time. We’re planning pre-go-live engagement opportunities and offering self-paced learning. We know there’s a tremendous amount of work with change management, and the hardest part is the soft part — getting people ready for the change. The HR/P implementation underscored that you — our colleagues and stakeholders — are key to our rich program’s success. Keeping you, the end-user, in mind: your perspective and what you need to win in the work you do.

There’s Test stage and there’s testing
They may sound the same, but there’s a distinction. Here’s the deal about Test stage. It’s when we verify our aim — are all the plays we built in our C&P playbook executing as we thought they would and getting us on base? Yet, there are other things going on because the scope of Test stage is broader than just technology; this stage also encompasses people and processes. So, we have testing and a whole lot more during Test stage, which will last through March 2023.

The Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) pillar will lead testing. What this means is we’ll collaborate with other pillars, each having appointed a dedicated test lead who belongs to a working group. The EPMO brings structure, transparency and metrics, program alignment and accountability to our transformation process. Think of the EPMO like a team of baseball coaches with the goal to make sure we all perform well in our designated positions — avoiding fouls or strike outs — but also keeping us working together like a well-managed team to finish the season…or in our case, the end of Test stage…and on our way to the championship — a successful go-live implementation.  

We’ll conduct a rigorous and varied slate of testing, incorporating system testing, end-to-end testing, payroll parallel testing, performance testing, regression testing, user acceptance testing and operational readiness testing.

In these first weeks of testing, our energies are focused on end-to-end (E2E) and systems. E2E testing means to test from start to finish. We’ll be testing functionality and integration of systems and processes — from initiation to completion, input to output. E2E Cycle 1 has started with a focus primarily on business process functionality within Workday and will last 10 weeks. Overall, three E2E test cycles are planned from now through December 2022; additional cycles will be added as necessary to ensure a successful implementation. 

Over the course of the next 12 months teams we’ll thoroughly test finance and supply chain business processes in the future-state Workday® Financials system, as well as in the many non-Workday systems needed to perform our financial work. The point is to verify that systems and processes perform as built and find any bugs and errors, then fix them, track and retest until they work. 

We’re tracking all of our testing with ongoing status reporting. We’ll keep track of progress, understanding what’s behind schedule and plan how to stay on task. We’ll track test defects and designate priority for resolution. Plus, we’ll provide metrics: number of test scenarios, passed, failed and open defects, closed defects, open blockers and more. And we’ll make sure this reporting is presented not only to test and project teams but also to stakeholders and program leadership for transparency. We have 315 E2E test scenarios comprised of 2,331 test subtasks in scope for Cycle 1. To date, we've completed 30% and are ahead of plan.

Currently, testers are limited to a small number of UWFT program team members but toward the end of the Test stage in March 2023 — when user acceptance testing (UAT) starts — more staff will have access and opportunities to interact with the systems. This will include Power Users — the final tier of the Change Champion Network — and process transformation team (PTT) members who will conduct a subset of end-to-end test scenarios to confirm functionality. 

For sure, we have plenty to do before we reach go-live, but in racing to third plate figuratively, it feels like home is in sight. Cheers to this new stage in our financial transformation.   

Editor’s note: Check out the new Testing page on the Change Network for more information — content will be added and updated on a regular basis; you can see more about the Test stage here.

For questions about testing or the UWFT program, reach out to

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