Report details service delivery's first year and future plans

In the first year of the improved service delivery (ISD) model, an average finance specialist processed 4,924 transactions on Workday and responded to 708 requests submitted through ServiceNow. Human resources specialists averaged 354 Workday transactions and 180 service tickets.

The service team workload statistics come from the ISD advisory committee's fiscal year 2020 report, which details performance indicators, successes, challenges and future plans for the initiative that launched in July 2019 in tandem with the Workday enterprise platform. ISD shifted most finance and HR work from local departments to centralized teams of specialists.

The advisory committee supports and assesses the ISD service teams, soliciting feedback from campus partners and promoting a culture of continuous improvement. Its first annual report, released Nov. 2, covers the fiscal year ending June 30. Here are some of the report's highlights:

Workload and efficiency

It took finance specialists an average of seven days to resolve a Workday transaction and less than one day to resolve a ServiceNow incident. For HR specialists, the average Workday transaction took two days to complete, while service requests took about a day and a half.

The differences in resolution times and the quantity of transactions and requests handled vary between HR and finance because the nature of the work is different, the report noted. For instance, about one-third of finance team Workday transactions were effort certifications or P-card verifications -- which require a customer approval to complete. If those transactions are excluded, financial transactions took on average two days to complete. HR work, on the other hand, involves more personal interaction and often is more complex.

Both groups reported quicker turnaround on a common task. Finance teams reduced the time to clear unverified P-card transactions by 36%, while HR service teams helped reduce the time it took to hire staff by 47% for professional and scientific positions and 30% for merit.

Benefits and satisfaction

The new structure was designed to provide units more consistent and proficient service, while improving workload balance, collaboration and room for advancement for HR and finance staff.

In responses to customer satisfaction surveys, 88% of employees who worked with a finance specialist said they were satisfied with the service they received and 95% said their concern was accurately addressed. Surveys found 80% of respondents were satisfied with the service they received from an HR specialist, and 92% said their concern was accurately addressed.

Satisfaction surveys of ISD employees will be conducted in the upcoming year. Voluntary turnover and attrition in FY20 was 19% in finance and 21% for HR teams.

Thanks to the switch to cloud-based, anytime platforms in Workday and ServiceNow, ISD staff easily transitioned to working remotely when COVID-19 struck. A survey of finance specialists found that 96% would be interested in continuing to work remotely and 85% would be interested in a hybrid environment.

Staffing and budget

Finance service teams initially were launched with a budget for 129 positions, while an HR model featured 53 positions. Primarily through attrition, finance teams have reduced their head count to 120 employees. HR eliminated two vacant ISD positions. Open positions helped pay for unbudgeted operating expenses.

The ISD initiative was expected to be cost neutral for the university, despite added upfront costs, but it's difficult to make comparisons because employee roles have changed so much. 

"The ISD Advisory Committee recognizes some units have seen increased costs as they, for example, backfilled positions or made positions for remaining staff whole. Over time, we believe units will recognize efficiencies that will bring them and the university closer to cost neutral," the report stated. 

Future plans

After the initial rollout of ISD and Workday, many unit leaders and faculty, in particular, had concerns about the administrative tasks Workday requires and the personal interaction lost when HR and finance staff moved to the ISD structure. HR and finance leaders responded with adjustments such as additional support and outreach. The report identified additional areas for improvement planned in the coming year. 

In HR, those plans include establishing performance baselines and service level agreements, optimizing non-ISD roles (job management support, graduate assistant support, timekeeper) and supporting further Workday adoption, such as using the notification and delegation features.

In finance, two FY21 initiatives already are underway: developing custom financial reports for faculty and shifting finance job aids to the ServiceNow knowledge base. Finance ISD also aims to collaborate more closely with non-ISD staff with finance roles in Workday, such as business unit managers and cost center managers.