Today's blog post came from the mailbox, a question from S: How do you remain up to date with new Workday functionality?
Some key background facts:
- WD does version updates twice per year
- WD pre-announces upcoming release dates in advance, so you can make your plans. The next version upgrade is known and the one after is tentatively given. So in the case of the upcoming WD 25, the dates are known.
So how do you get up to speed on the next version?
Primarily, the Workday Community is your source for information!
Using the example of the next release (WD 25) for example
- June 2015 (as of the writing of this post)
- August 2015 - WD 25 is released in Sandbox tenants
- September 2015 - WD 25 is released to Production tenants
Prior to Sandbox release (accessible now)
1. Workday produced webinars & videos - there are a variety of recorded webinars from quick previews of specific functionality to a 45 minute overview of HCM updates, for example.
2. Workday Brainstorms targeted for release - this is a webpage where you can filter on various features such as 'mobile' or 'calculated fields' to see the customer requests that are targeted for the upcoming release. Just because something is targeted however, does not mean that it will actually make it to production!
After Sandbox release (accessible in August)
3. Preview tenants - WD releases preview sandbox tenants in advance, so that you can try out new functionality. For example, WD25 will be in preview in early August. In the past customers have noticed when something is not working or breaks current functionality, so this is the chance for Workday to fix it before production.
4. 'What's new' report - Once your sandbox tenant is actually upgraded there is a report you can run from inside your tenant, unsurprisingly secured under the What's New in Workday domain.
After Production release (accessible in September)
5. Documentation updates - Once the new release is available, there is a variety of smaller documents that become available, one of them is 'What's new in Documentation' list. It's a list in Excel that contains the new/changed documentation item, and critically it includes a link to the documentation add/change, saving you the hassle of having to search to find the updates.
6. Retired Functionality Reference - This is an Excel doc that WD provides that provides details about the retirement of features and functions, from both a future and past perspective. I find this one quite helpful as it provides the reason something is being discontinued and its replacement, as well as the impact, e.g. you'll need to update business process X or your training materials that reference the feature. Items on this list range from simple fields or reports to larger items like the retirement of the Headcount Staffing model (Sept 2016). It's usually updated after the Production release of each version.