Fresh off a successful go-live of Workday Financial Management and Workday Human Capital Management (including Workday Payroll) for the city of Port Orange, Fla., ERP project manager Jane Davis shares her deployment tips and explains how “digital transformation” is really “people transformation.”
Her presentation at Workday Rising last October about the deployment was so well received, other government ERP project managers sought her out for additional advice. We asked Davis to share the questions she’s most frequently asked, and added a few of our own for good measure.
How do you start a digital transformation at a governmental agency?
Even though we often say “digital transformation,” it’s really about getting people over the hurdle—it’s a people transformation. You need to convince people that yes, they can get rid of the servers. Yes, they will be able to use mobile without sacrificing security. And, people have worries about job security, and the concern that there won’t be anything left for them to do. But there are so many ways to leverage a cloud-based tool that it’s not a matter of losing work, but people will have to change what they work on and how they do it. In fact, here at Port Orange people who were apprehensive realize how much there is to do, and they’ve learned a whole new skill set, plus can work on more strategic items now that they have more automation with Workday.
How did Port Orange decide it needed to switch to the cloud?
First, I should describe Port Orange. It’s south of Daytona Beach, has 60,000 residents, and the city employees 460 people. The IT organization is a team of 13. I was brought on two and a half years ago as project manager for the implementation. The old system was 30 years old—there were tiny computer windows you’d have to open and then get back out of, and the whole experience was poor. We needed many paper processes to make things happen, and nothing was automated.
Bottom line, the legacy system wasn’t going to last much longer, so it was clear we needed to make a change. What’s more, employees who came from other places with much more modern systems were surprised that we were still using this archaic system.
For example, if there was a slowdown in the procurement process, because of the long paper trail, it was difficult and time-consuming to diagnose and address the holdup. There wasn’t good reporting or data transparency. And there was concern that we weren’t being transparent with citizens and the city council, but it was really a tools problem. We could not provide good, clear answers in a timely way, even though we wanted to.
How did the city decide to go with Workday?
It was helpful that Workday and its partner had a very streamlined way of submitting their proposal—it made it clear what problems they could address and what we needed to clean up and address on our side.
The leadership at Port Orange definitely wanted a best-of-breed approach. The selection committee ultimately approved Workday because of its ease of use, power, and intuitive user experience that’s closer to a consumer experience than an enterprise one. I think they felt it would take us into the future, whereas if we went with on-premise software, we’d be starting off five years behind and it would only get worse from there.
If your solution doesn’t have the equivalent of what Workday calls the Power of One, you may run the risk of not staying up to date on versions. Workday pushes two major version updates to you twice a year, and we can choose if we want to turn on certain new features that come with these updates.
What benefits are you hoping to achieve with Workday?
Employees will be able to get their information via self-service and won’t need to contact HR to update their information. Instead, HR can do more robust employee development programs vs. drowning in paperwork. That’s a huge efficiency.