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UW Finance Transformation

UW Finance Transformation to stay flexible in 2021

 January 19th, 2021

As we start the new year, I’d like to thank the teams across the University for their ongoing collaboration in bringing UW Finance Transformation (UWFT) to this point. As noted in the November and December Transformation Insights posts, through the planning process last fall, we discovered that our systems and data requirements are more complex than we initially thought.

Based on what we have learned with similar UW projects -- and to confirm that our systems ultimately work together -- we are reassessing what is, and is not, included in the UWFT scope of work, the go-live timing, and the implications that UWFT decisions will have for other UW systems and units. Last month, the program sponsors and I approved this new stage – Architect Validation – that will last through March 31. We’ll be doing the work to ensure everything is aligned to be ready for the program’s subsequent Configure & Prototype (C&P) and Test stages. During the new Architect Validation stage, key parallel work, which is detailed below, will continue. And, once Architect Validation is completed, a formal presentation with options will be made to program governance for final decision making in April 2021.

President Cauce and I remain committed to UWFT as one of our core institutional priorities. As I’ve said in the past, replacing our (now 47-year-old) financial systems, policies and processes with modern cloud-based technology and business practices is critical to moving the University forward. Meeting these challenges now will ensure that units and users are equipped for the transition to a standardized, transparent and modern finance structure.

I look forward to the ongoing progress for UWFT in 2021.

A look at the Architect Validation stage

The timeline below shows how this new stage fits into the UWFT program. 

The objective of this stage is to provide options and recommendations to program Sponsors to validate and adjust as appropriate the comprehensive UWFT program scope, schedule, and budget. This includes revising program structure and operations to support improved collaboration.

What goes on during the Architect Validation stage? Simply put, reprioritizing and staging work to accommodate what was learned during the design process of the Architect stage. That is, acknowledging the significant technical complexity linking Workday® to UW systems. 

In addition to concluding if the program must make substantive changes to scope, schedule and budget, the Architect Validation stage will focus on integrated planning, business process maturity, completion of Architect design deliverables and, where possible, making progress against deliverables planned for the C&P stage. In parallel with these validation efforts is continuing the critical work progress and reprioritizing the schedule to ensure a completed and aligned plan across all of our partners. 

This work includes: 

1.    Finance data repository (FDR) assessment and recommendations
2.    Workday report inventory supporting campus requirements
3.    Data conversion mapping
4.    System remediation planning
5.    Gap applications identification
6.    Identifying and designing items needed for Tenant 1.5 build, including first of
       five design sprints
7.    Refining foundation data model (FDM) fields
8.    Operating model design decisions and enabling efforts
9.    Payroll sub-ledger assessment

Editor’s note: For more information on the Architect Validation stage, please see the fact sheet on the Change Network. If you have any questions or comments about this work, please send a note to

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