8 Workday Implementation Challenges That Every Organization Faces

Workday is a cloud-based application that serves in human capital management and financial management. The growth of Workday has been phenomenal over the years expanding from a HCM application into an ERP as well. 

It’s one of the most powerful solutions in the market, but not always the easiest to implement. The period for Workday implementation usually varies from 6 months to 14 months and on average it takes  8.2 months  to execute across any organization.

Any delay in your implementation eats away at your ROI on your Workday investment. No one wants to pay for a software they’re not using. Avoiding any delays in your Workday adoption makes it easier to see the value in your application. To avoid any delays, consider careful planning.

Here are Top Workday Implementation Challenges:

  1. Abysmally Defined Project Scope
  2. Lack of Collaboration and Communication 
  3. Vaguely Defined Process Without Any Priority
  4. Inclusion of Right partners 
  5. Not Prioritizing Regular Tests and Quality Checks
  6. Substandard Documentation and Decision Log
  7. Underestimating Budget and Time 
  8. Data Migration and Reporting Issues

Abysmally Defined Project Scope


Sometimes the projects are defined loosely and this creates a lot of chaos during the process and eventually delays the implementation. Here are factors that affect project scope:

  • Software Updates: In a span of every 12 months' Workday application goes through 2 major updates. For most organizations, it takes around 8 months to implement Workday, so plan for at least one Workday update in the middle of your implementation.
  • Unclear Road-map: Implementations are often delayed when companies don’t decide on the primary objectives of the project or create the roadmap without involving all the right stakeholders. 
  • Organizational Changes: Implementations aren’t just about technologies. Often employees' roles and responsibilities change. Be sure to include plans for a reporting structure or job function changes. 

Lack of Collaboration and Communication


Implementations involve many different teams which often leads to these common communication issues: 

  • Many organizations focus on involving its leadership while adopting Workday and in the process forget to involve mid-level managers and end-users.
  • Organizations usually involve people from HR, Finance and IT for Workday implementation but they must also focus on involving other functional groups like supply chain that will use the application. If this is not done then product adoption gets hindered.
  • Organizations often overlook the importance of collaborating effectively with service-partners and consultants. This leads to the communication gap which might eventually result in project failure.
  • Involving stakeholders at different stages of implementation will ensure the smooth execution of tasks. This also ensures the project to be in line with the leadership's expectation but in some cases, it’s overlooked.

Vaguely Defined Process Without Any Priority


Implementing new software requires updating your processes. Here’s what you should be aware of:

  • Not changing the business processes and optimizing it in line with your organization's requirements could lead to confusion.
  • Not creating new processes to support your new Workday workflow could lead to failure. 
  • The non-existence of the process owner at each stage usually creates some inconsistency.
  • Not listing Third-party applications with which Workday has to be integrated will make the job of the project team miserable in the later stage of implementation.

Inclusion of Right Partner


You’ll probably need some help with your implementation. You should consider the following: 

  • Typically, the service partners are not selected based on their expertise in a specific niche which could create problem especially if your domain is new for Workday implementation.
  • Sometimes companies wait to recruit Workday consultants in the execution stage. They must be included from the planning stage to ensure better results.

Not Prioritizing Regular Tests and Quality Checks


If you wait until the end to test, you could delay your implementation. Here’s why:

  • If you wait until the end to run quality checks and find an issue, it will take longer to fix it because you’ll have to make changes to the entire system. 
  • A rigid Waterfall approach to project management can delay implementations because it doesn’t allow enough flexibility. Teams will have better luck using an agile methodology

Substandard Documentation and Imperfect Decision


Documentation is a vital aspect of Workday implementation as it helps to guide the user to go through many complexities while navigating the system.

  • Using general Workday documentation instead of your own, can create issues with adoption. Your organization could have a different set of processes that won’t be mentioned in Workday default documentation. In short, one size doesn't fit all.
  • Another issue that big corporations encounter is not making a decision log during the execution process. A decision log helps to track the individual who made the decision and why they made a decision. This plays an important role in the execution phase and ignoring this usually leads to uncertainty.

Underestimating Budget and Time


Management is often focused on delivering projects as quickly as possible at the lowest cost, but that can create issues if you don’t accurately plan for the resources needed for a large implementation. Reasons for underestimating budgets and timelines include:

  • Leaders feel undue pressure to underestimates the cost and time associated with Workday implementation.
  • Budgets and implementation timelines are sometimes set based on information received during the sales process, but salespeople don’t know the unique processes and needs of your organization. It’s better to discuss the timeline with the project management team and the consultant to have the right expectations set from the beginning.
  • Not having a proper Digital Adoption Platform in place could result in more spending and in most cases, it also has an impact on the adoption speed.

Issues With Migration of Data 


The biggest challenge for any organization is data migration and report management. Though the organization in most cases gives it a very high priority the problem arises while pushing your current data to the new application, as a result, it creates few issues such as: -

  • Data redundancy.
  • Mismatch of data and information.
  • Loss of data points.
  • Issues while uploading data in a certain format.

How to Make Workday Implementation Easy

The challenges associated with Workday could look overwhelming but in reality, if necessary action is taken at each stage these issues could be easily avoided. 

There are many solutions for making your Workday implementation smooth and effective. We will discuss this in detail in our upcoming blog Solution for Workday adoption challenges

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