6 Commonly Faced Workday Implementation Challenges

Category: Workday HCM Posted:Sep 01, 2020 By: Serena Josh


A lot of Human Resources Managers battle at multiple points in the process of making HCM ROI evasive. 92% of companies have seen their HCM solution underperform time and again, according to a survey run by Deloitte that included in HR Publication( May 2014).

As a front runner in the HCM market, challenges with implementing Workday is a common issue for the majority of large enterprises. Hence in this article, I have listed 6 Workday implementation difficulties that I have observed to be commonly encountered by a majority of the companies, along with a few suggestions to tackle each of them.

  • Finding the Right Application Partner
  • Existing Human Resources Practices/ Procedures
  • Absence of Proper Documentation
  • Difficulties During the testing phase
  • Major Updates Throughout Implementation
  • Data Migration

1)Discovering the Right Application Partner

As compared to any other ERP, Workday rollouts are anticipated to be quicker and a lot more iterative. Since Workday is an application that influences substantial employee processes in the organization, you should certainly be partnering with the ideal application company. Selecting the right one ends up being an obstacle challenge that costs companies a lot of money and time. The alternative to this i.e carrying it out in-house is not a choice either. The configurability element with Workday can pose to be difficult for the majority of organizations. Not to mention the multiple updates that are rolled by the Workday, which makes the process a lot more difficult. Speaking with firms and/or business partners carry out 75% of all Workday deployments.

While partner companies possess strong functional and technical knowledge of the software, they do not have the experience to understand HR procedures and space in general. What establishes is inequality between your existing Human Resources practices and the default arrangement in Workday.

So, What do you need to search for while selecting a Workday partner?

Enterprises either try to find an end-to-end implementation partner or a support partner to help them in a certain stage of the process, claim, specifically for integration.

While looking for any of the above 2, below are a few significant criteria to follow while selecting the excellent Workday implementation partner:

  • First of all, your partner has to have extensive expertise of the complete software along with the knowledge in the HR/HCM domain
  • A proven track record of completing numerous implementations for business customers where the setup, security elements, and requirements are even more complex
  • As I discussed above, Workday rolls out updates regularly. Your liked partner needs to get on top of these updates starting with the announcement itself. Workday has till date rolled out 32 updates with 2-3 major updates in a year
  • Functioning expertise of different change monitoring methods/models with a plan in position that can be used when required instead of having a simply reactive technique to when points don’t operate as anticipated
  • An easily accessible 24/7 assistance team would be a critical need for the first 16-18 months of launching the application. An onsite Workday cum HR expert would also be an added benefit

2) Existing HR Practices/ Procedures

Every organization would have a different set of practices when it comes to payroll, employee benefits, leave management or any other functions under Human Resources. This is where the problem arises. The default setup in Workday may not match with your existing way of running the vertical, which can call for an unexpected requirement to tailor the software implementation. Unless you have made up this expenditure, your budgets will have to be massively increased to solve this challenge.

Even if you’ve budgeted for such a surge cost, the time to go live gets extended as a result of numerous customizations and constant testing by creating your scripts. In the majority of the cases, the time of extension due to this backup is not included in the plan and hence fail to meet due dates to go live.

A byproduct of this circumstance could be the lack of software proficiency post-implementation in case you choose to change your practices to match the Workday’s default configuration.

3) Absence of Proper Documentation

Workday implementation is fairly a tough process with multiple actions and many feasible personalizations. As a result of the intricacy, comprehensive documentation is essential at every factor in the procedure. This would certainly come inconvenience during testing, future change management, employee onboarding, and training.

A vital component of the documentation is the ‘Standard Operating Procedure‘ which specifies how your company would be successfully using Workday and for what use case.

As a faster way, several businesses and/or implementation partners refer to a common Workday training and execution overview for any kind of future re-configuration.

As I mentioned previously, your firm may have a different way of and a reason to use Workday which highly impacts the implementation & training. For this reason, the absence of proper documentation tailored to your company is frequently overlooked but an expensive difficulty when it pertains comes to Workday.

A way around to this roadblock could be to designate or employ a devoted professional to take care of documentation during the implementation and keep it up to date as and when Workday releases its major updates. They should also ensure the distribution of this document with relevant stakeholders.

Another possible barrier is the storage or the placement of the documentation. Here you need to identify where your team would certainly browse to, to discover help. 

4) Challenges during the Testing Phase

A common Workday deployment model follows a 5 steps approach: Planning, Architecture and Build,  Configuration& Prototype, Re-configuration (if appropriate), Testing, and Final deployment.

Especially for software application like Workday and Salesforce, the testing stage is long and complex that require an exhaustive plan for that one step. You need high-level planning in place for multiple screening circumstances run by a strong team of people with technical skills and understanding of different use-cases from an end-users POV.

For the smaller business that isn’t heavy on technical resources, this poses a major obstacle. The testing phase also includes the development of testing scripts and demands quality tech folks to sign up with the process. Testing Automation tools are an option for those organizations with deeper pockets. For lots of Medium-sized companies, it can be an expensive approach.

You could hire a testing partner if you are wanting to test for pre-set or basic circumstances. Before the testing stage, a comprehensive requirement listing needs to be developed consisting of both generic and customized scenarios that would be handed over to your team.

I would also recommend that you get your business analyst or HCM specialist involved in the design and test phases. Ideally, they would go to the core of the procedure however in case you are dealing with a Workday admin or a business partner, make sure to involve them in these stages.

5) Significant Updates During Execution

Workday time to production, for large enterprises, can take around 4-6 months which is not bad for organizations of that size. Nonetheless, Workday introduces 2 major updates annually which will now probably increase to three. There is a high chance that you may have to accommodate 1-2 of these updates during or after the launch.

In such a scenario, your initial metrics will certainly experience a considerable dip, especially if you’re integrations are still in process.

The implementation project for Workday doesn’t end with achieving go-live promptly. Nevertheless, for lots of companies, this comes to be the key landmark to attain, causing an imbalance at the same time in the process or when such diversions occur.

This difficulty is very closely linked to the element of documentation. When significant updates are predicted and documented, it eases out this specific problem. It additionally circles back to the planning stage. A well-thought-out change management plan with realistic resource allocation is necessary to be ready for the semi-annual updates.

6) Data Migration

Data migration and conversion is a challenging task with any kind of business software. When it comes to Workday, the problem lies with matching your existing data format with that of the application. In this process, a variety of issues would be recognized that can delay your project:

  • Inaccurate data and/or missing out information
  • Duplicated data that needs to be cleaned up
  • Data points that may not be identified in Workday

Let’s take one circumstance of loading benefits onto Workday from an additional software program, state PeopleSoft.

A common hurdle you will face is with regards to filling the event date, coverage date and the hire day for possibly numerous benefits offered to thousands of employees. This is due to how Workday identifies an employee’s eligibility for a certain benefit and recognizing and loading the closing date for the same.

Workday Application Does Not Need To Be a Headache

As tough as it can be to get Workday up and running, you would be more than happy to know that the system functions wonderful afterward. The solution appears to have garnered numerous positive evaluations. Another benefit is that, as contrasted to other ERPs, you would certainly encounter fewer difficulties that need your tech team to jump in. The crucial bit is the planning stage, where you need to represent the above-mentioned challenges and for several unexpected obstacles. As soon as this is taken care of and the plan is carefully complied with, the implementation is a cinch.

Bear in mind, a successful implementation isn’t determined by going live on time. It’s a continuous process that exists even posts the user onboarding stage. At this stage, the focus is on the effective fostering of Workday. As I pointed out above, Gartner has recently recognized ‘Digital Adoption Solutions’ as a new entrant into the Digital Workspace and CRM Sales Buzz Cycles, indicating a dire need in these markets to enhance the effective use of business applications to take full advantage of the ROI originated from it.

That’s all for today. If you’re interested to read more blogs on this topic, feel free to visit our website.

At ZaranTech, we also offer a wide range of self-paced, online Workday- related courses. Browse through our course pages for further information.

Happy learning! 

These are the related articles that you can check

  1. Comparison between Workday HCM and PeopleSoft HCM
  2. Why can Workday continue its enormous growth? 
  3. All you need to know about Report Types in Workday
  4. Top Four Ways to Enhance Workday HCM Reporting 
  5. What is the Navigation Process in Workday? 

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