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5 Tips for a Successful Workday Deployment

Sep 14, 2016

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Upgrading from your old, clunky, ERP and HRIS to Workday Finance and Talent Management will transform the way you work. If you manage the change well, it will also help you build a more agile workforce, committed to your company’s purpose.

We have been working in enterprise software implementations for almost twenty years. In that time, we have seen a lot of successes, but too many that failed to meet their objectives. None of the failures were due to technology. What made the difference was effective change management.

We want to share with you how to avoid the actions and inactions that limited the success of the few less-than-stellar results.

1. Don’t count on technology to change the culture.

The ability for managers to more easily track their employees’ learning progress and coach them doesn’t mean they will. Capacity to produce better business intelligence won’t make your organization use data to make better decisions.

Some people will jump at the chance to use better tools to improve and will become change agents themselves. Others will join in when they see the benefits of participation Some will need coaxing, while a few will require a firm mandate.

Focus not on the technology, but on what you want your organization to become.

2. Enlist a champion.

An ideal champion is a senior executive who has influence throughout the organization and who is a trusted role model. This person will convey the purpose and strategy to everyone from the board chairperson to the newest employee.

3. Prepare the organization

There will be lots of work to do before you start. You must prepare for data migration, which may include data profiling and cleanup, and you must map and optimize each of your business processes.

You will need to review your technology and data strategies and determine how your new technology will fit into the plans. If you don’t have a data governance function, now might be the time to start the discussion.

Ease of use will speed up adoption of the Workday tools, but does not guarantee users will adopt the purpose or processes or take part in the change. If you are embedding the new technology in cultural transformation, preparation is even more important. Begin your change management program right now by enlisting everyone in the organization in the change effort.

4. Identify a skilled change agent

One of the most common mistakes in our experience has been assigning the role of change agent to a person who views training as equivalent to change management. Learning is essential to organizational change, but change management is much more than that. It includes:

  • inspiration from trusted leaders;
  • alignment to business purpose, culture, and strategy;
  • marketing the purpose, mission, and execution of the change;
  • adopting new ways of thinking, doing, and acting;
  • continuous reinforcement to embed the change in the culture.

If your business is geographically dispersed, you will need change champions and agents in every location and business function.

If you don’t have an experienced change management expert, your implementation partner will provide that service or help you find an expert.

5. Engage the Entire Organization

Keeping only “insiders” in the know is a sure way to encourage resistance to change. Include everyone in the conversation. Surveys and focus groups can help, but it would be better to enlist every manager in the organization in the effort to collect feedback and suggestions.

Establish a social networking site where people can ask questions submit ideas. Responding to them will personalize the transition. Even if your workforce is of the jaded “here we go, again” mindset, you will draw them in when you respond directly to their comments and questions.

Your Workday deployment can be a vehicle to help you develop an agile organization. We encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity.

For more information on preparation for Workday see our blog article 4 Steps in Preparing for Workday Implementation.

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

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