Sunday, 2 March 2014

Workday in a global phased approach

Part of our company has gone live on Workday, the rest is still to come.  I've been involved with multiple HRMS implementations in the past, both big bang and a waved approach.  A few thoughts in this moment on Workday in a phased approach.
  • The setup of org structures really challenges a waved approach.  Back in the good old days, with a software such as PeopleSoft, you would simply put the minimum in for a group, and leave other fields blank, such as department supervisor.  Workday wraps a lot more into the orgs, and more data is required.  So either you are dumping people into large bucket orgs just to get the people in (to be corrected later), or you're having to define the org structure completely.
  • If you have a large cross-country management population, Workday in a phased approach will be challenging.  For example, many of our US folks have non-US managers.  We've had to *hire* these non-US people into Workday, as it was the only way to show the 'real' manager of the emp.  (The other options considered were to give them all one bucket supervisor and hire that person, or to give them US managers or to hire the non-US managers as non-employees).  It was deemed insufficient by the business to give them 'fake' information, especially as the data flows downstream to places like expense management.  Therefore, our Workday certified consultants recommended that our best option was to *hire* the non-US people.  As you can imagine, this will be quite a jigsaw puzzle to put together once we get to those countries, to make sure we don't load that non-US manager twice.  (sigh)
  • We had considered to roll in the countries as we have a country done, via Workday's delivered EIB functionality.  Then, a group could submit the completed Excel and the current operational support team would load the files.  Our consultants have instructed us, however, that this is not an option, as Workday requires you to take down the system to implement new groups.  I'm not sure on this one, but we regularly acquire new companies and large groups, and like many other large companies, we have people around the globe in the system at all times.  We have other SaaS HR applications, and the do require you to take the system down for major configuration changes.  However, I'm struggling to understand why a new employee load requires system downtime.
  • We are cross-challenged by other variables outside of the US, such as the timing for payroll implementations.  Country X can only go live in January and country Y prefers to go with their tax year that start in April.  Therefore this org thing and the lack of flexibility there puts us between a rock and a hard place but payroll tends to trump.
  • I've been chatting with other WD customers in London, most of them are small firms and everyone has gone big bang.
Watch this space, it's bound to get interesting.

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