Monday, 1 January 2018

Name formatting in Workday

I am currently looking at Workday's name formatting. When a user logs to look at an employee's data or to enter a new employee they see a country-specific name format, like this one for the US:

Workday defines the name format for you by country. It is one of those 'it's SaaS you'll take what you're given' situations.

For my dear readers in India, the India name format is this:
  • Prefix, Given Name(s), Middle Name, Family Name, Local Given Name(s), Local Middle Name, Local Family Name, Suffix

For our friends in China, you'll see this when you enter a Chinese employee:
  • Title, Chinese Family Name, Chinese Given Name, Given Name - Western Script, Family Name - Western Script 
This structure looks great and you'll be consistent. No matter what company you're working at you'll always see the same fields per country.

Here's the name formatting challenges in Workday:

1. You cannot turn parts of a name on or off.

Some companies consider their payroll systems to be 'king,' especially outside of the US. If your payroll system only contains first and last name but not middle name, you'll need to add the middle name into the first name field instead.

When Workday does not let you hide the middle name field you'll be in a regular audit battle to get your self-service or HR users to put it into the first name field instead of the delivered middle name field.

Or you need to code around it, so that your interface to payroll takes the middle name field and concatenates it into the first name field.

In my perfect world the customer would be able to configure what fields they would like displayed per country.

2. Workday dropdown values are not delivered.

I had thought that one of the advantages of a standardized SaaS would be to deliver standard values such as the name prefixes like 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.' This isn't the case, they are defined locally in each tenant. In theory, you set these up during your initial implementation and never touch them again. It becomes interesting if you do an acquisition or merger of two different systems however...

For the United States company A has 'Mr' set up and so does Company B. Each company has had to set up these values on their own.

It becomes interesting because the references IDs are different.

Company A set them up consistently using the full country names:

Company B used country codes instead, so they look like this:

At one point they started to add a 'w2' and 'w3' which was probably 'wave 2' and 'wave 3', so that we had 'MR_CAN_w2'. In a few cases they missed to add any reference ID so the system generated one for them.

The end result is a patchwork mishmash of inconsistent coding for the reference IDs which are used by integrations.

Company A and B need to go through an exercise to decide which values and reference IDs will be used in the future state and integrations need to be reviewed and revised.

I just don't understand why Workday doesn't deliver some of this stuff right out of the box.

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