Wednesday, 28 March 2018


We have restarted our European PeopleSoft to Workday implementation which was stopped back in 2013. My goodness I am tired.

One of the selling features of SaaS like Workday is, 'they're so easy to implement!' We did a first prototype with a limited population back in late December. Starting the first week of January I've worked every single weekend except for two. When I say I 'worked the weekend,' that means that I worked 10 hours per day instead of the usual 12-14 hour days that I do during the week.

I love implementation! I don't mind extra hours as I like the mental challenge of figuring out conversion topic. I worked for PeopleSoft as an implementation consultant. I've been implementing HR systems for 20+ years. This is honestly the worst implementation that I've ever known.

A few 'data things' that suck when you're implementing Workday:

1. The need to produce lots of load files.

Our Workday consulting partner has given us a list of files to produce from PeopleSoft. We're pretty basic, implementing the absolute minimum, but we still have 40 employee data files to produce. Setup is handled separately. I'm not sure about you other bright and shiny SaaS providers but 40 files is a lot to produce.

2. The need to populate data...or failure

I get that one of the advantages of SaaS is the built-in data checks and functionality. Over here in Europe and Asia we have a minimum set of data. We don't provide benefits to dependents so the dependent birthday is not required. 'State' is often not a required data element in Europe or Asia but it is required in WD and in the US.

I have physically cringed when I had to send data reports out to our shared service centers that they need to figure out 'required States' and 'require postal codes' for employee addresses when none currently exist in PSoft today (and it obviously isn't a concern for downstream systems, integrations, etc.).

The employees in our shared service centers work hard to add and update data and I just gave them 20k rows of data where they need to contact the employee or somehow get on google maps to figure out an employee's post code.

3. The amount of setup data stuff has just floored me

I mentioned marital status earlier. But it seems that I am setting up prefixes like Mr./Mrs., citizenship status like France native. I expected to have to set up things like our Contract types but I'm setting up lots more. 


  1. But Workday says they have the same level of localization as SAP. This doesn't seem to be true?

    1. I don't know SAP so I can't comment on that one. It would be interesting to get a proper comparison going though...

    2. I can tell you that WD in no way can match the localization benefits of SAP SuccessFactors. They crowd source and require the customer to localize compliance on their own or contract it out. SAP has 40 years experience and literally hundreds of trained developers, lawyers and in-country product managers who provide localization at no additional cost.