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UW Finance Transformation

How will we know we're ready for UWFT go-live?

March 15, 2022

By:  Jeff Bishop, Change Management Pillar Lead, UW Finance Transformation
Jason Kalivas, Change Readiness Manager, UW Finance Transformation

Over the past two years, the UW Finance Transformation (UWFT) program has ramped up its engagement with you — our stakeholders — and your units through various team outreach and multiple activities. The functional and technology teams are working with units on system remediation and retirement, business process flows, data conversion, reporting and the new foundation data model. The organizational change management (OCM) team is preparing you for what’s changing and how to work with these new processes and systems. 

So, how do we know how we’re doing and how you’re doing? How do we know if you’re engaged and building knowledge, if units are progressing in readiness tasks, and in the end, if we collectively are prepared for go-live on July 1, 2023? 

Structured Measurement Approach

The answer is that OCM is implementing a structured measurement approach and plan, which provides invaluable insights and understanding, a compass to help us navigate the journey to readiness. This takes the guesswork out of preparing you for transformation. The OCM team measures people and unit readiness via two activities that work hand-in-hand: Change Readiness Assessment and Unit Readiness Tracking. The former diagnoses the people-readiness side while the latter enables us to monitor progress on the “tactical” unit-readiness side. Together, the assessments and tracking equip the units, program and leadership with information to monitor our progress, course-correct, as needed and, ultimately, validate we’re ready for go-live.

Let’s take a deeper look at these two measurement programs.

Change Readiness Assessment

We’ll call this the “tell-us-so-we-know-what-you-know-and-how-you-feel” survey. You learn about the UWFT program and progress through regular communications, engagement events, learning opportunities and training — much of which is cascaded to you by leaders and change champions within your own organizations or units. To check the effectiveness of these activities and gauge your level of engagement and support, we invite you to respond to three anonymous Change Readiness Assessment surveys, which are fielded about seven months apart as the program progresses towards go-live. 

Sample Survey Dashboards

Sample Survey Dashboards: click for larger version

The first survey — conducted October through November 2021 — set the baseline for our subsequent second (slated for May ’22) and third surveys. These will repeat the questions from the first survey and also add on new questions asking you to measure your support and ownership of the changes finance transformation will bring to your work based on everything you’ve learned.

By asking the same questions across all three surveys and plotting your answers onto dashboards, we can see how readiness is changing over time. Boxes on a dashboard that change from red to yellow to green reflect your increasing engagement with the program, completion of essential preparations and confidence in your ability to perform your job after go-live. 

All three Change Readiness Assessment surveys also ask you to identify where you work (unit, department, college, etc.) and your role in UW’s finance ecosystem to provide key stakeholder demographics. The OCM team then analyzes this quantitative and demographic information to fine-tune and target our effort and energy. What program information do we still need to share? What content and knowledge hasn’t filtered clearly through the noise? What groups of stakeholders have we been unable to reach? 

With this analysis firmly in hand, OCM’s change managers work with the change champions in each unit to create and enact an evolving action plan to help each unit’s people get ready for go-live. This people-focused action plan complements the tasks in the more tactical unit readiness tracker. 

Unit Readiness Tracking 

We’ll call this the “help-you-to-know-what-to-do-and-when" tool. This further measurement capability keeps us gliding along the right tracks. Like the UWFT program team, units also need to complete a standard list of tasks to be ready for go-live. Our Unit Readiness Tracking is a structured approach and toolset that provides units with a list of standard tasks and a way to track their status.

This allows the units and UWFT program to know how progress is going at any given time and identify challenge areas and escalate issues, if needed. Plus, this tracking toolset provides leadership visibility to individual unit progress and overall UW readiness.

Unit readiness tasks are grouped in three main categories: People Readiness, Process Readiness and Technology Readiness (see below). Each category is comprised of task groups and related individual tasks that are due at different times in the program during each program stage, leading up to go-live.

Unit Readiness Categories 

The UWFT program has built three unit readiness tracking tools that the units and the program will use to manage, track and report on readiness status.

Unit Readiness Tracking Tools

With support from OCM’s change managers, unit readiness leads (URLs) are responsible for coordinating and tracking the progress and completion of their unit’s tasks. The unit readiness tracker provides the URLs and other unit leaders the real-time visibility they need to understand what’s expected and when, who’s accountable and the ability to plan their work. Task status is regularly updated with real-time feeds to the unit and primary dashboards. At any time, the program can see where units are with task completion and whether we’re on track for go-live.

In combination, the Change Readiness Assessment and Unit Readiness Tracking are critical to monitoring UWFT program progress, identifying issues, risks and mitigation plans and confirming we are ready to go live. They help us answer the big question: Are we ready for go-live?

And, at risk of being a plot spoiler, that answer will be yes, thanks to the dedication and engagement of our stakeholders — people like you.

If you have any questions on either approach, please reach out to your unit’s change manager. For other questions about the UWFT program, send a note to uwftask@uw.edu

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