Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Apologies for the radio silence

It's been a busy few weeks here in the UK, and I'm currently working and traveling a lot for our project.

In addition, I haven't been overly pleased with the solutions I've been designing in Workday for our business requirements, so I have not felt compelled to list them out here.  As a little bit of background on that point...

We're heavily in the throes of gathering business requirements for our European countries.  My more HR-oriented colleagues do a great job of gathering the HR folks in the countries and they outline our new global Workday processes and inquire about the local processes that HR do in comparison to our scoped out list of global Workday processes, as well as gathering their field level requirements for those processes.  Then, for anything that does not fit into the global model or is not readily available through existing configuration, e.g. new event reasons, it gets forwarded over to me to provide some solution options and a recommendation.  I look at things holistically, so keeping things in mind like:

  • Ease of use for the person doing data entry.  Will they enter it all on one page or have to go to multiple pages?  Are the labels good, or are we heavily mis-using a page (doing it Saas style, as I'm now calling it), so they'll need to ignore the labels and fill in the data entry boxes. 
  • Can we interface any of the data in?
  • Is this data going somewhere, such as a payroll system?
  • How do all the pieces fit together in the process?  Can we get all of the data in a certain step or is this going to be a back and forth to collect data?
  • Ease of reporting on the data
  • Making is easy for the integration guys, for current as well as future interfaces
  • Etc.
As I've been based in Europe for 10+ years, I often know the business needs/use better than my US-based HR colleagues, so some of the things they just throw over the fence to me to define requirements and solutions.  For other stuff, they're doing a great job of gathering data definition, especially where the business does not use PeopleSoft now to meet a need and the central team thinks that we should start to accumulate this data in Workday.

I was talking to a colleague of mine, he's a general all-arounder, understanding technology plus the business use of systems, although his area of expertise is recruiting systems.  He's been assigned a task to investigate a certain area of data that overlaps between the recruitment system and Workday core HR data, and to get a team together to figure out what data should be captured in the business processes.

I gave him a debrief today of the Workday functionality.  It's a common European set of data, but WD is very light on the ground in this area, as it's not data that is used in the US.  I was giving him an overview of:

  1. Here are the business requirements that I have heard from the core HR calls in Europe.
  2. Here is the data we currently store in our European PeopleSoft instance for this topic.
  3. Here is the Workday functionality in this area.

So now we're counting on him and his team to define the business requirements, and I'll then solution them.

He was asking me questions to confirm that he understood the WD functionality and was a little surprised that the functionality was so light in this area.  In particular, it's basically a page with some dates and free form fields.

For anyone who has worked in an HRIS operational capacity, free form fields are the devil's handiwork:

  1. They're a hassle for the data entry people who can't just do a few characters of predictive text/choose a dropdown value.
  2. They're a hassle for the team responsible for auditing data, as they're always chasing up and having to get corrections to misspellings, etc.
  3. They're a hassle for downstream systems, due to a lack of consistency.

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