By: Gabriella Padgett
Ibza Consulting, HCM & Dallas Practice Lead
The inner workings of Workday’s logic can often seem opaque and inconsistent across modules. While it is true that Workday sometimes employs different configuration methods and tasks for different modules (particularly split around Financials and HCM), there is one reliable data model that can help unwind very tricky problems and get to the bottom of how the Workday brain is operating.
At Ibza Consulting we pride ourselves on training clients to employ the same troubleshooting methods we use to become more familiar with their Workday environment. The methods below are tried and true for solving the majority of your Workday issues!
1.) Refer to the Administrator Guide on Community
This may seem obvious, but after their first few weeks in Workday, many people forget about the documentation that exists on Community. Every task, business process, module (and so much more) is at least referenced in the Administrator Guide, and often provides context that can lead to “aha” moments.
In addition to Step-by-Step guides for configuration, the guide also has the required security groups to access those tasks, considerations when configuring, FAQ sections on certain topics, reference material on confusing topics, and conceptual articles that place a module or process in the larger context of the system. These tools can lead you to some hidden piece of configuration or security you may never have found otherwise.
Search for the module, process, or topic you are interested in and start at the top of the section. Read the surrounding sections and “Next Steps” for full context.
2.) Test It Out!
As you read through Workday documentation, follow along with the steps or sections in a test tenant. The documentation might omit a field or only briefly mention a portion that is causing you trouble. Seeing the screens for yourself in a tenant can lead to clues of other things to search for. If you find something strange or a blocker when you test the configuration, that can be an ideal search on community, which we discuss in method 3!
3.) Search Questions, Articles, Contributed Solutions or Next Level Videos
Aside from the Administrator guide, Workday Community has many other wonderful resources. Unfortunately, community is not Google, it can be challenging to find what you’re looking for.
Utilize the filters on the left-hand side of the search page to look at topics independently. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations of words in the search bar. Start by looking at submitted questions with the same key words – a lot of times the answer, or very helpful information, can be found in comments or replies.
Next, Articles, Contributed Solutions, and Rising Conference Sessions hold a gold mine- from just what you are looking for to something similar enough that gets your mind going in the right direction.
Finally, Next Level Video series can be very helpful if you are learning a new module for the first time. Next Level Videos focus on different topics across FINS and HCM and include demos and how-to guides. Just search “Next Level” on community.
4.) Check the Security
Sometimes you may be hitting a wall on a piece of configuration, when it is really a security issue. They can turn up in strange places.
Key indicators of security problems are:
- A field appears, but there are no values in the dropdown
- You can access a report, but some of the fields are blank, or columns are missing altogether.
- You can access a matrix report, but the rollups show “0” (you are likely missing access to a base field referenced in the report)
- The documentation says you should see something, but when you follow the instructions, you do not.
One of the most helpful tools to identify which domain you need access to is the “View Security for Securable Items” report. If you type in the name of a task, report, or field – which you are not able to see – this report will show you the domain that controls access to that object. *Sometimes this report lies and says, “Tenant Non-Configurable”. In that case you may have to search domains by the functional area and try to identify which domain is controlling the access through the “Secured Item” list.
Another handy tool is “Compare Security of Two Workers”. If one user can do or see a certain thing and you need a second user to have the same access, you can use this report to compare the differences in their assigned roles and UBSGs to narrow the list of potential gaps in security.
You can then use the report “Compare Permissions of two security groups” to find the difference between groups that are assigned to the user. Fixing security is 80% skill and 20% intuition, so you may have to try a few things before you get it right. Just make sure to document as you go and backtrack unnecessary changes. Always try to assign an existing role or UBSG where possible rather than changing the domains on a security group.
Remember: make sure the domains you need are Enabled, and you have activated your security policy changes.
5.) Reports Fields and Values
This report is invaluable when trying to write or fix complex calc fields or reports. Most objects and instances in a tenant will have a related action “Reporting” and a task called “Reports Fields and Values”. This report will show you every field on that business object, and the value populated for the instance you are looking at. This is super helpful when trying to identify which of the 12 Address fields holds the data you are looking for (for example). If you have a long chain of calc fields that don’t seem to be working, this is a great way to find the break in the chain. Run the report and the filter for the fields you have built to see which one’s are populated and if there are any empty values.
At Ibza Consulting, we aim to empower businesses with the tools they need to support their Workday environment. We pride ourselves on thorough documentation of configuration and solutions. We would be thrilled to walk your internal team through our problem-solving process. The more involvement we have in your environment, the more your team learns and grows!
If you are interested in learning more about Ibza Consulting and how we can maximize your Workday investment, please visit our website or reach out to our sales leader Angela Hahn at 919.740.5645 or firstname.lastname@example.org