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  • Cherie - Workday Project/Program Manager

Delaying a Workday® Go-Live or Major Project - What to Think About

We are in a state of unknown; What does this mean when the world goes back to normal?

How do I manage if my project’s go live date was missed or pushed?

With everyone scattered, how do I keep the momentum moving and my team informed?

What happens if resource priorities are shifted once this is all over?

Here are a few tips to keep moving forward and how to manage.

Engage the Team:

  • Set up a daily team call(s). There may not be any new information but having a standing meeting will grant some normalcy.

  • Engage the project team and bounce around ideas on how to keep the task list moving

  • Review open tasks, who is assigned and how they should proceed.

  • Think about the sequence of work and know what needs to happen by when - be flexible

  • Can people access systems from home? With SaaS technology, it should be as easy as connecting to the internet.

  • Share screens and have a designated partner

  • Create a team synergy so no one feels left out

  • Focus on what can be completed – for example:

  • Requirement Documents

  • Configuration

  • Test planning

  • System Testing

  • Training Materials

  • Assess what work has been completed and what remains

  • Reminder do no send PII data thru email or keep on local computers

Daily Work Schedule…How to Be Productive:

Many people have been working from home for years for others this is brand new – ask questions such as:

  • How do you stay focused – having a dedicated routine – I walk the dogs around the block once in the morning, that is like my drive to the office.

  • How do you stay motivated - I have my own office where I can close the door and not be disrupted by others that may be home?

  • Be the change agent, reach out to peers and colleagues even just to talk and see how the person is fairing

  • Set up a lunch and learn where you all join a meeting via a conference line

  • Discuss how to keep your department and projects moving

  • Set hard deadlines and discuss openly what is realistic

Manage Change:

  • Review the current timeline, if you miss a Go Live when is the next possible time you can go live?

  • Revamp the project milestone and deliverable dates

  • Discuss the current schedule, budget and scope

  • Can any area scale back?

  • What is the bandwidth of resources to help with the potential new timeline?

  • Discuss Pros & Cons of potentially moving a go live date:

  • Pro’s

  • Revamp clear scope and goals

  • Extra time to test and weed out defects

  • Extra time for Knowledge Transfer

  • Extra time for system documentation

  • Con’s

  • Cost – how much will this delay cost?

  • Vendor management – were we stopping services because we thought the new system would be live?

  • Work within the project team to make sure core ERP process doesn’t stop

  • Extending contracts and team members to support legacy systems

  • Once equipped with a comprehensive impact of the proposed change, present findings as the team recommendation for change.

  • Stand by the proposed solution and be ready to explain details

Document Requirements:

Use this time to really dig into your requirements. Some things to consider:

  • Evaluate your current processes. For instance, if you’ll be deploying Workday® Benefits, collect and document all of your plan requirements including eligibility, costs and integration requirements. Make sure you’ve taken into account carrier requirements for data – especially outside of the US. Will they accept enrollment data electronically from Workday®? Does an electronic signature in Workday satisfy their regulatory requirements?

  • Depending on the project type, you’ll likely be filling out some sort of configuration or data gathering workbook. This is typically one of your first steps so use this time to get a head start if you can. Ask your consultant for a copy of the required workbooks if you don’t have them already. You may not be able to complete them in their entirety, but reviewing them in advance will certainly give you an advantage when your project kicks off.

  • Review the Workday Touchpoints Kit ( to understand how introducing new or enhanced functionality may impact other areas of Workday. What are your internal touchpoints? Which systems, processes and people will be impacted by proposed changes? Document these and use this time to identify key decision points and potential gaps. Make a plan for how these will be addressed.

Get to know your team:

  • Have you identified all of your key project team members? Is this the first time the group will be working together? If so, use this time to connect and understand each other’s role within the organization as well as the project. Maybe they have skills and experience that would be useful beyond the current project. Great teams make great projects!

Get to know your stakeholders:

  • Change management is a critical component of a successful project but one that is often overlooked until the last minute or given the least amount of time and resources. Use this time to focus on the who, what and how of your change management strategy.

  • Identify your audience. Who will be impacted by these changes? What is the best way to communicate with them?

  • If your project includes a new self-service component for managers and/or employees, how will you get their buy-in for the change? What factors may affect adoption? For instance, if they will now need to access Workday to submit a time off request, do they have access to a computer to do so? Or will they use mobile? For managers, do they have the information and tools they need to go from “just ask HR” to feeling fully empowered to use Workday?

  • Review your current handbooks, quick reference guides and internal sites. Identify where you will need to make changes.

  • While you’re evaluating your business processes, don’t forget to review custom notifications and review document steps to identify where you may need to make a change. For instance, if you’re adding a “change benefits” step to your Onboarding business process, you won’t need a “review document” or “to do” step to enroll directly with the carrier.

Overall, the core message is to keep yourself and your family safe while you use your resources and the circumstances to advance your company and your work as far as you can.

Contact us for more information or support for release management and testing insights:


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