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UW Finance Transformation

Help! Just give me the change details so I can do my work

By: 
Change Readiness Manager, UW Finance Transformation

May 18, 2022

“What’s Changing?” That’s the number one question folks on the UW Finance Transformation (UWFT) program team get asked from our stakeholders. Sometimes, it’s in follow-up to a conversation about a more specific topic like “What’s changing about the design for our new product catalog?” Other times, we get the question from those we haven’t checked in with in a while, who ask, “What’s changing about the setup for security roles since the last time I talked with you?” 

But most often, the question comes from someone who knows their work will be different but isn’t sure how, and they might have a hard time narrowing down their question to just one topic or item. So, “What’s changing?” for them means “give me all of the details.

And all those details come from what we call change impacts: those transformative changes in processes, policies and technology, to name a few, that mean we have to rethink how we go about the work we do. 
 

Record to Report Change Impact
 

High-level: “The University of Washington will adopt a single month-end close process across the enterprise.”

Detailed: “Most of the effort for month-end close will happen at the Enterprise and the Organizational management levels. This will create more effort for fiscal staff in the academy, especially in Shared Environments, but not be a significant change for staff in UW Medicine. All staff, at all levels of the enterprise, will have to pay careful and timely attention to their steps in the close process to be sure the University’s overall process is on track.”

People who have been following the program’s progress for a while will be familiar with the idea of change impacts. We’ve been documenting and refining them for over two years, through business process “deep dives,” process transformation team (PTT) sessions, design sprints and across every other program decision point. 

Change impacts defined
At its simplest, a change impact is a series of statements about a step or sub-process in our finance work. We look at what will that step involve in the future, how will it be different from today, what does that difference mean for people who are involved in that work and how can we help them understand what’s going to be different. 

But change impacts are strongest when they come in context — paired with other change impacts for that step or sub-process, alongside a larger narrative or end-to-end (E2E) documentation. And that’s the context and detail we’re now finally able to deliver. 

Procurement and Supply Chain Change Impact
 

High-level: “All ProCard reconciliation will be handled through Workday.”

Detailed: “All ProCard and central travel account (CTA) reconciliation (but not individual travel card reconciliation) will happen in Workday® instead of through PaymentNet. This puts ProCard spend information into the hands of both cardholders and reconcilers, which allows charges to appear on budgets in real-time instead of only at the end of the month.”

Before now, we were only able to document change impacts at a high level, lacking in detail.

Take these for example:
“The UW will share a single purchase catalog across the enterprise,” or 
“The University will adopt a standard month-end close process across the enterprise.” 

As you’d expect from an organization as complex as the University of Washington, a program as sweeping in scope as UWFT, and with as many hands as are involved in finance, detailed decisions have been slow to arrive (and there are still many more to come).

But there’s good news. Now that we’re through the Configure & Prototype (C&P) stage of our program, most of the decisions are done and our nuanced change impacts are documented, so we can speak a bit more specifically as to what’s ahead. 

Manage Cash and Financial Assets Change Impact
 

High-level: “Reconciliation for all bank accounts will be handled by the enterprise, instead of locally.”

Detailed: “Automated bank file transfers will be set up and integrated through Workday®. This makes uploading via .csv or manual data entry unnecessary and allows the work to be done centrally, instead of by local analysts or managers. This will free up their time to focus on more value-added work and reduce the overall number of reconciliation errors.”

As you read this, we’ll have “put a bow” on our big post-C&P push for change impact documentation, by detailing multiple change impacts for each of our nine E2E business process areas. You’ve seen a few set throughout this blog, already. These change impacts will also be factored into training development. 

The path ahead
Going forward, you’ll see increased detail on that most important question: “What’s Changing?” Here's what to expect:

In June, UWFT’s change managers will walk their Unit Readiness Leads (URLs) and Change Agents through a detailed list of change impacts. Knowing the University has so much variety in the way we perform and manage our work, we want to make sure each group of stakeholders is affected the way we think they are, and by the things we think they are. 

In July, our change management team will share out detailed matrixes of the change impacts we’ve identified — grouped by themes like “month-end close process” or “grant reporting” — as well as slides showing “What’s changing?” from the user’s perspective at each step of the business process. We’ll also be conducting the first in a series of “What’s Changing” Deep Dive sessions to educate core users about what’s changing in the E2E process areas and Shared Environments. This will help users understand how they are directly impacted and "what’s in it for me (WiiFM)."

In August, we’ll help connect those steps to future-state security roles so our stakeholders will be able to understand the “who,” right alongside the “what.” 

In September and beyond, you can expect to see more and more live demos of Workday as it’s configured, so you can put your knowledge of the different processes into the context of our future state financial platform, nearly a year ahead of go-live.

Customer Requisition to Payment Change Impact
 

High-level: “Internal billing will be standardized across the enterprise, using Workday.”

Detailed: “90% of billing between UW departments/business units will be automatically recorded in Workday via an integration with the service source system. This will create billing standardization across the University and improve invoicing transparency because all service data is captured in one place, instead of just accounting/cash impact as is the case today.”

So, “What’s Changing?” Quite a lot! And we’re excited to share even more details with you this summer! 

For more, see the March 2021 UWFT newsletter article on change impacts and the What’s Changing page on the Change Network. This page will be updated as more change impacts are categorized. You can also find change impacts specific to each E2E process area on their Change Network sub-pages

If you have questions regarding UWFT’s change impact work, 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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