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UW Finance Transformation

UWFT Training: Prepping to get us ready for future-state finance work

By: 
Training Lead, UW Finance Transformation

April 20, 2021

Planning has started in the UW Finance Transformation (UWFT) program for a comprehensive, structured training program to enable UW employees to thrive in the new world of streamlined and Workday®-enabled finance and supply chain processes. We know transformation programs often result in new ways of working and in new tools and skills, which require the need for users to acquire knowledge and fresh capabilities. A significant component of the UWFT program is user training, which builds the skills, knowledge and capabilities for successful adoption of the future-state Workday finance and supply chain processes and system. 

Typically, training is planned as a “point-in-time” event. Courses run over a specified duration of time, usually two or three months, before the go-live of a particular system. This adheres to the principle of “just-in-time” training, which schedules users to train as close to the time that they have to perform their new tasks so they are able to immediately apply their new learning. But the UWFT organizational change management (OCM) team is taking a broader approach to prepare users for the new technology of Workday and updated business processes. We believe that even before you step into a training class or click to launch an online training course, you can benefit from a variety of education and knowledge-building activities and communications. We have developed our user preparation program to include the following:

  • Build early understanding and familiarity with key process and system changes 
  • Provide a preview of the new system “look and feel” via multiple events
  • Provide opportunities to refresh or gain knowledge about foundational finance, accounting and supply chain concepts and methods that are essential to complete business processes
  • Have an opportunity to ask clarifying questions to subject-matter experts 

How will this happen? In conjunction with overall change readiness for the various units, user preparation might include these activities:

  • Small-group system demos and larger town halls to walk through future state processes and show the system look and feel through representative system transactions
  • “Lunch and Learns” to introduce key process and Workday principles such as the foundational data model (FDM)
  • Knowledge-sharing sessions to review and refresh basic finance and accounting concepts and methods
  • An inventory or catalog of available off-the-shelf, self-paced finance training courses from both the UW and external training sources, such as industry associations and massive open online course providers, which units can consider for user enrollment
  • Awareness and information-building communications through FAQs, fact sheets and short videos
  • Feedback mechanism built into each activity to check for understanding and gather user questions

All of these preparation activities, including knowledge-building sessions, are planned to begin more than a year before go-live. This ensures there is adequate time for users to learn, absorb and understand new information, ask questions and get clarification from the project team. Some of the learning activities will also focus on strengthening the fundamental knowledge and understanding of finance and accounting concepts that underlie the processes. These activities are part of comprehensive change readiness plans for the units.

The UWFT program’s perspective on user preparation and post go-live support is illustrated below: 

In future blog posts, we’ll share details on the formal training program curriculum, delivery, finance basics and Workday basics training prior to formal training sessions and how training courses will be assigned, as well as go-live and post- go-live support actions and procedures.

If you have questions about UWFT training activities, feel free to contact me at fcsadac@uw.edu, reach out to your change manager or send a note to uwftask@uw.edu.

 

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