A look back at the Workday launch

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Iowa State is in week two of Workday, and reports show that the campuswide transition to a central system for its finance, payroll and human resources work is going well.

"What a fantastic experience it was to see the project team -- and, really, all campus employees -- pulling together to hit this milestone," said Kristen Constant, interim vice president and chief information officer. "We know there is a lot of work ahead of us, but we're off to a great start."

With the help of improved service delivery (ISD) specialists who were the first to get access on July 1, the WorkCyte team identified and addressed inevitable gaps in the massive amount of data transferred from ISU's legacy systems. The rest of campus was given access July 2. Kumari Henry, change manager in information technology services (ITS), said issues are being solved as they're found. Most are specific and easily fixed.

"Having the specialists in Workday first helped them and the WorkCyte program teams iron out the wrinkles," Henry said. "It went well. The feedback has been generally positive. We're working through data and issues, but overall it's been really positive."

By the numbers

Some Workday numbers through July 5:

  • 138 different processes were used
  • 6,511 employees logged in (about 5,000 on July 1-2)
  • 53,196 transactions were performed

The most common HR transaction was requesting time off (3,892). Purchase orders (283) topped the list of finance-related actions.

"Those numbers say that people are logging in, and they're executing a lot of HR and finance transactions in Workday," Henry said. 

He said the WorkCyte team now is focused on issue resolution and first-time events in Workday -- for example, Workday's first payroll run at the end of July. 

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WorkCyte story archive

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Brent Black, ITS senior customer success manager, said the IT solution center logged fewer than 60 Workday help requests in the first week.

"Workday go-live has not disrupted the normal operation of the solution center too much, which is a testament to the efforts the Workday implementation team has been putting in over the past 2.5 years," Black said. "Kudos to them."

He said the most frequent issues the solution center received inquiries about were: 

  • Student employees who needed to be "rehired" in the system
  • Net-IDs suspended due to incorrect information in Workday
  • Incorrect or new department names assigned to employees

Help with common finance transactions was added as a "How Do I" resource on the WorkCyte ISD website.

More than 1,850 Workday service requests were submitted last week, with more than half of those resolved. The finance teams fielded about 730 through July 8. 

ISD finance and HR specialists meet regularly to share solutions and best practices for the work they're doing in the Workday system. Jenni Winter, finance manager in the operations and finance division, said the financial specialists have a collaborative space to meet, but some are beginning to report to their individual work spaces. 

WorkCyte team members reemphasized that patience is appreciated during the transition. 

"Be understanding that this is a continual process to tweak Workday to work for ISU," Black said.