To implement Workday faster, take your time

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By Ross Garrett (Managing Partner)

Many companies I work with choose Workday for HCM or Financials because of their long track record of getting customers live fast. However, the biggest mistake I see is companies not taking enough time in the planning stage.

Once you’ve selected Workday there is a huge urge to start design sessions and get the implementation going. However, once you do that you are “on the clock”. What I mean is that your partner will have to keep resources available for you and employ an engagement manager. You are now on a path to have to finish as fast as possible.

In that rush so many critical planning tasks get overlooked and they damage the project later on. A week of planning is worth at least a month of project time so take your time and don’t rush out of the planning stage.

To be successful you should:

1) Scope accurately — have you reviewed every subsidiary, country, integration, and report you want? The best results happen when you are intentional about your end point.

2) Govern well — create procedures for approving any scope change and documenting all important design decisions.

3) Train well — Workday requires some of your resources get training. But remember that until you begin designing applying training can be difficult. We recommend spreading training out sending some people early, others in the middle, and others near go live. That way some users will have more context for your setup and needs.

4) Plan your resources— the biggest crunch will be the demand on your team. Be realistic about other demands. Make sure there are two people in each area so everyone has a backup and can take vacation.

5) Build you project plan — spend more time then you’d dream building out every single task that needs to be done. So many clients say I had no idea I needed to do that in the middle of a project. If you invest in this early the dividends in running a smooth project are enormous. Don’t be satisfied with the high level this should be a high 4 digit or 5 digit number of tasks if you are truly being comprehensive.

You would never start building a house without full plans. The house can be ruined while it’s exposed to the elements. Likewise with Workday the planning stage is your best friend, design is the fun part, but a clear plan is the best way to form a high functioning project team.

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