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UW Finance Transformation

UWFT goes beyond tradition to deliver awareness and education

August 10, 2021

When change requires us to alter the way we’ve done things for years, or brings new concepts into our vocabulary, it can be daunting. The UW Finance Transformation (UWFT) program may seem that way to many users of the University’s finance and supply chain systems. But imagine being able to approach your work in your comfort zone, understanding all the financial systems and processes developed by UWFT. You and the new Workday® in sync. 

Sure, it’ll take training to get there and sometimes it can be hard to muster the enthusiasm needed to acquire expertise in unfamiliar territory. That’s why UWFT’s Organizational Change Management (OCM) pillar is looking beyond traditional training methods to provide diverse ways to bring about awareness, deliver instruction and prepare employees for the future of UW financial management.

When people think of preparing employees to use the new financial systems and processes that UWFT will bring, they usually think of traditional training only. While the OCM team will provide a robust end-user training program, that’s just one piece of the overall engagement and user preparation plan. We’ve developed a three-pronged complementary approach, comprised of communications, stakeholder engagement events and learning fundamentals, each with their own set of activities:


Our communications strategy employs multiple delivery methods and provides different levels of detail because we know not everyone absorbs information the same way. Following UWFT’s segmented communications is one of the surest ways to stay in the loop and learn the latest information.

The bi-monthly UWFT newsletter and monthly Transformation Insights blog provide the broad UW faculty and staff community with an overview of the program, progress, general timelines and what’s changing at a high level. Information gets more specific with What the What?! and Rumor Has It videos and UWFT Change Chats podcasts, which focus on future state details and more targeted finance and supply chain audiences. All these communications can be accessed and are supported on the UWFT Change Network website. It’s your one-stop shop for information about the program: timelines, operating model, end-to-end business process areas, pillars, system remediation, and more.

Stakeholder Engagement Events

One-way communications are great, but we also need to engage with the UW community through live events that facilitate real-time responses to employees’ questions. We know that our faculty and staff have a strong desire to better understand the new financial system and business processes and see them “in person.” The OCM team has developed the following four engagement events to effectively educate different groups of UW personnel: 

  • Workday Core Concepts Series
    Quarterly virtual sessions for core finance and supply chain professionals to help prepare them for formal training on detailed Workday topics (i.e., reporting, security); the first session, focusing on the foundation data model (FDM), kicks off this week on August 12 and will be repeated on August 17 (if you’d like to attend, please email
  • UWFT Roadshows
    Following in September is the first UWFT Roadshow, a quarterly virtual event for all UW employees providing program updates and overviews on our new financial systems, policies and processes to increase knowledge and awareness of the changes at hand, as well as resources available to employees; you’ll start to hear more specifics in the coming weeks, including registration information for this free event
  • What’s Changing Sessions
    Aimed at the core finance and supply chain professional, these virtual sessions, which begin this fall, offer system demos and a deeper understanding of what’s changing within the new Shared Environment and end-to-end process areas
  • UWFT Open Houses
    In-person, pop-up events at various campus and UW Medicine locations for all UW employees to increase awareness of the program, ask questions of subject matter experts, build energy around the new financial solution and see the new system in action; slated to start next spring

Learning Fundamentals

Training of finance and supply chain employees on systems and processes months before go-live is not enough. The training team plans to prepare people early on with the foundational knowledge needed to be successful during formal end-user training and in their jobs post go-live. We’ve developed a user preparation program to build employees’ financial literacy and basic knowledge of Workday. Some of these training opportunities can be done at your own pace, while others are in-person events.

These include a curated online finance literacy catalog with recommended external “off-the-shelf” finance education courses and materials to build foundational knowledge. Finance literacy seminars are one-hour, in-person sessions for core finance employees to build understanding in key finance and accounting areas used in various finance processes, such as accrual accounting and journal entries. Building on some topics from the Workday Core Concepts Series, Workday Basic Deep Dives are one-hour, in-person sessions that focus on foundational Workday concepts, such as system navigation and crosswalks. Lastly, a half- or full-day interactive learning fair is planned for all UW employees and will include system demos and process overviews, “ask an expert” discussions, an open forum with functional and technical subject matter experts, and more. Details on all these events will become available as dates get closer.

You can keep up with all these different activities by checking the schedule on the UWFT Events page on the Change Network.  

This is a lot to accomplish, but with the combination of these three engagement components, along with formal training opportunities, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to approach your financial work with self-assurance and success.

If you have any questions, please email me at or send a note to

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