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UW Finance Transformation

Supporting units in the technical requirements of finance transformation

Technology Change Management Director, UW Finance Transformation

June 24, 2021

One of the major goals of the UW Finance Transformation (UWFT) program is to collaboratively redesign our finance-related systems so they better align with Workday® and enterprise tools functionality. As you can imagine, this is a huge lift, involving many units and systems throughout the institution.

In 2020, the UWFT technology change management (TCM) team worked with our stakeholders to assess disposition of their current systems and how they might function in our new cloud-based, modern financial infrastructure. During that time more than 900 systems supporting finance and supply chain processes were evaluated. Several large enterprise systems on both the Academy and Medicine side have been slotted for retirement (such as FASand MyFD2) or remediation (including UW Connect, Epic, Award Portal and SAGE 3).

So, what does this mean for your unit and the systems and processes you use today? Well, this is where system design support (SDS) comes into play. The SDS is an initiative to provide relevant information about Workday to system and business owners to support current-to-future state mapping. Our goal is to prepare stakeholders to successfully remediate their systems to be compatible with Workday future-state architecture.

What happens next?

Now that disposition identification has concluded, UWFT’s TCM and design teams will conduct initial working sessions with system owners to finalize exactly what is needed to start the work of remediating 394 systems currently marked as “retain.” The idea is to dig into the questions that units have, such as, “What is happening to our systems?” “Where am I going to get this information in the future?” “What is the new process going to look like?” and “How will UWFT increase our efficiency?” 

Most retained system remediations will include some (not necessarily all) of these actions: 

  • Reduce system overlap with Workday functionality or future reporting (e.g., remove screens or reports)
  • Change system functionality due to changing business processes (e.g., update workflows or provide data more frequently)
  • Align how closely the side systems works with the new central system (e.g., use Workday to store a service catalog for internal billing)
  • Modify systems that must be retained but are no longer sustainable with their current technology

These working sessions will make sure the SDS can bridge the gap between most functional and technical requirements for all unit-based systems and set up system owners to adapt to the new foundation data model (FDM) in the future. Systems currently identified as “retire” will work through a process to determine data retention needs and access in the weeks to come.

How is this going to happen? 

The SDS process will start with a joint assessment by UWFT’s TCM, design, change management and integrations teams, who will then take the unit system and business owners through three iterative steps of work: 

  1. Applications Rationalization
  2. Disposition Analysis
  3. Develop Remediation

Priority groups will be established during the assessment period and may be based on system, unit or end-to-end (E2E) business processes. Each priority grouping will take approximately six to eight weeks to complete all parts of the iterative process, depending on volume and complexity of systems4

Your involvement is key to the remediation process 

System and business owners will be invited to a round of functional E2E business process walkthroughs beginning in late-June. A hosted kickoff event will introduce all system and business owners to the remediation process and explanation of the next steps and expectations of the units. Over a two-week period, there will be multiple 90-minute sessions of business process walkthrough sessions for systems slated for remediation. 

You may remember that other sessions were conducted in the past, but it’s important to ensure everyone has the most relevant and updated information on processes that impact their systems prior to remediation. Part of the SDS process is to collect questions and feedback from these walkthrough sessions. 

Each system and business owner will receive a packet of information at the end of the session to inform them of all of the requirements necessary to retrofit their system, including (but not limited to):

  • Future state business process flows
  • Identified integrations
  • FDM overview
  • FDM mapping and crosswalks
  • Workday screenshots

This process will enable units to validate retain or retire assumptions through an understanding of Workday and future state, obtain additional information to plan and design remediations and better estimate their work, identify specific timelines for go-live and assess their capacity to meet timelines for testing and implementation.

Once the SDS process is complete, units will be better equipped to identify resources to complete remediations, complete future state requirements and technical designs, prepare their systems for unit testing and complete integration testing and end-to-end testing, as necessary.

Remember, you’re not alone in this process. System and business owners in the units are directly responsible for creating and executing project plans to effectively complete their systems remediation, and the TCM team is here to support you through the process. We’ve created tools and templates for units to use and will establish regular check-ins to monitor status.

Want to learn more? 

If you’re interested in learning more about the technical impacts of UWFT, check out the upcoming UW Workday Technical Conference with a welcome by UWFT Executive Director Chris Mercer and keynotes by UW Chief Information Officer and UWFT Sponsor Aaron Powell, and UW Director of Enterprise Architecture and Strategy Jim Phelps. Register on Eventbrite

You can also learn more about the work of the Technical pillar on the Change Network. If you have a question, feel free to send a note to

1. Financial Accounting System
2. My Financial Desktop
3. System to Administer Grants Electronically
4. Priority groupings and cycle schedule will be posted on the Change Network 


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