Tips for a Successful Workday Deployment, Every Time

Whether you’re going live with Workday for the first time or deploying additional products, the process requires thorough preparation. Workday's Emily McEvilly shares these practical tips for successful deployments.

We just had our kitchen remodeled. It looks great now, but the the entire process took a lot of time and patience. There were so many things I had to have an opinion on—light fixtures, drawer handles, appliances, tile. It was tempting to give in to decision fatigue, but fortunately, we had a great contractor who held us accountable. He was meticulous. Every detail was deliberate, and his plan carefully validated every important step—plumbing, wiring, structural integrity—before moving on. That level of organization takes more than time and talent, it takes preparation.

Preparation. Whether it’s to scrutinize remodel designs or to face your next challenge in work or life, how to plan for what’s ahead and assemble the resources to tackle it is critical to your success.

Whether you’re going live with Workday for the first time, or this is the third or even fourth time you’ve deployed additional Workday products, the process requires thorough preparation. And, when you’re a growing organization where people’s time is precious and every decision matters, deploying new enterprise technology can be intimidating. But with the proper planning, the transition can be smooth, efficient, and successful.

We’ve created a practical guide to help our customers think about how to plan for and prepare to deploy new enterprise technology. This isn’t just applicable to our new customers, it’s also an important refresher for those deploying additional Workday products. Here are some highlights:

Plan for Change

Let your company’s guiding principles drive you, and ensure your executive team is aligned to the outcomes you’ve defined. Think about how your operations and business processes will need to evolve, so you don’t replicate your legacy system in your new SaaS solution. Then consider what you want to deploy now, what can wait, and how you’ll measure your progress and success. Start by addressing your top priorities first.

Identify Your Deployment Partner

We can help you decide which partner is best to help you to facilitate the process, whether that’s Workday or one of our certified partners. We require our global network of partners and consultants to take regular training and recertify with every Workday update. Consider your partner selection criteria and business goals, and we’ll help you assemble the external resources to support your solution as your business evolves.

Build Your Internal Teams

A well-organized, empowered, internal team makes it much easier to support new technology. Throughout the process, make sure you keep everyone involved and engaged, from the executive sponsor to the support team. Think through project governance and identify the key decision makers for each function. Next, determine your technical and functional leads to execute the project.

You’ll also want to identify advocates to help champion the change within your company. It’s important to set expectations for the time and training this will require. Also, think about a communications strategy to let everyone know new solutions from Workday are coming and what the features and functionality can do for them.

Prepare Your Data and Processes

Prepare for critical-path items, like reports, integrations, and other systems you are running, to determine the data that is most important to migrate or transfer. This is an opportunity to clean up your data. The more accurate your data, the more trust you’ll build with end users as they begin to use Workday or additional Workday products for the first time. Additionally, this is also a chance to harmonize data sets to help drive consistency in the business and get the most out of reporting and analytics.

Promote the Benefits

Once your deployment is live, your focus will shift to managing day-to-day operations. It’s important to support the change management required so your new Workday solution delivers the value you expect. Our Support, Customer Success, and Customer Enablement teams can help you do that and communicate the Workday capabilities throughout your company.

There’s no substitute for preparation. And there’s always something that comes up that you didn’t anticipate. At Workday, we’ve worked really hard to ensure deployments happen on time and on budget, unlike all of my home renovations. We’ve already done the anticipation part, built the methodology to get you up and running fast, and curated an ecosystem of experts you can rely on.

So, if you’re clear about what your vision is now, and you’ve partnered with us, then your outcome is achievable—just like that perfect kitchen.

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