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Best Practices For Deploying Workday Remotely

In times of change, upheaval and uncertainty, the ability to mobilize remote project plans and build team resilience is key to delivering successful Workday deployments. Four HR and Finance leaders from Match Group, UDG Healthcare, Interac Corp and KION share their practical advice and lessons so you too can become a champion of remote Workday success.

The new normal isn’t so new

While remote deployments may be seen as something that presents a current challenge to organisations, the reality is that Workday and its partners have helped many clients deliver successful, on-time and on-budget projects in remote environments since the very beginning. Whether you’re deploying Workday for the first time or extending your footprint by adding new modules; Workday’s first-class design and deployment methodology is built for remote delivery, ensuring any project can stay on track for a successful launch.


Lay the foundation

One of the most important factors for any successful project, is building an effective team from the outset.

Match Group were required to shift to remote working, something they had tried to avoid. However, during the process they found that although their remote teams were physically isolated, they were still productive. Surprised by the results, they learned a valuable lesson—that success is imminent regardless of remote working, if you have the right team.

“If you have the right people and create the right culture, the team is going to function well, regardless if it is remote or not.” Trey Henderson, Financial Controller.

In addition to an all-important internal team build, UDG Healthcare recognised the value of a partnership for achieving true success.

“The right partner will be an extension of your team, especially in remote working environments so you can operate effectively as one big team, something that did not work well for with a previous implementation partner,” says Sandra Carroll, Global HR Technology Lead.


Tech you may already use, but can optimise  

For many organisations, working remotely is a new experience. However, it turns out the new normal is really a more intense version of the old normal––Instant Messaging, email, video and phone calls were all tools that organisations used before, but now they occupy a large presence in our professional lives.

It’s good to remember that you optimise good old-fashioned technology to effectively build personal relationships during projects.

  • Ping your colleagues for regular check-ins such as a quick hello in the morning instead of the traditional in-person greeting,
  • Small talk over a hot cup instead of hanging out over at the coffee machine or making time for a quick chat to beat that 3pm slump!

With so much going on, daily touch points to check in with your team can make a real difference.  Sarah Boynton, Workday Project Manager at Interac Corp recommends ‘end of day’ calls whereby you actively encourage your team to talk about things other than work, something light-hearted such as what T.V show everyone is watching or what people are making for dinner.

As much as the old methods are critical, establish some new. Create a central location for your team to access information. For example, a Workday section on the company Intranet which can act as a hub for everyone to keep up to date with the latest comms and to provide an abundance of information and self-learning materials.

UDG Healthcare also replicated a “walk the floor” concept with ‘drop-in sessions’ to overcome their obstacles for go-live. Opening a dedicated phoneline for HR support teams to drop in and get instant support from both UDG business support executives and Kainos experts.


Some quick-start best practice processes to adopt

Ensuring the ongoing effectiveness of the teams throughout the project is a significant factor to maintaining team resilience. Here are a few initiatives that you can implement to develop your working processes.

Change champions: are an established network of key staff who will filter down communications and learning to their own regional teams. This is particularly useful if you have staff located across several countries.

Scavenger hunts: are an effective way to encourage users to review their data and make important updates such as emergency contact information. Developing a scavenger hunt by providing clues for your team to work out how to navigate the system and sponsor some spot prizes for the first person to complete various tasks that you set out.

Train the trainer: trains subject matter experts to enable them to train other people in their organisation. For smaller scale projects that may follow, this is an ideal approach to consider.


A few more key learnings: 

  1. Get an agreed set of tools from the outset, ensure everyone is bought in and knows how and when to use them
  2. Define your engagement and communication strategy early on- and make sure you stick to it. And not just communicate––over communicate, from top down and from the bottom up.
  3. Build a relationship for future success. Partner really well with whoever you’re implementing with. Make sure you have that close relationship, where you can just give them a call and talk for five minutes. Ensure you have that built between the two sides because it’s going to be important to have that support, especially if you’re implementing Workday for the first time.
  4. Take a one day at a time approach. Once you have that understanding of where your business is going and what your business needs to keep scaling and growing, you’ll have a better understanding of what you need to do. It might not be comfortable at first, but if you take it one day at a time, you’ll get it done.
  5. Don’t delay because of a shift to remote working. The benefits of Workday and achieving longer-term business objectives is often greater than any obstacle you may need to overcome from being remote. There are challenges, but ultimately it won’t impact your time or budget.


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Don’t worry if you missed the live discussion. We’ve kept an on-demand version for you to watch at your own time.


Need a deployment partner? We’re here to help

Kainos has been a certified Workday partner since 2011, rolling out Workday’s full suite to organisations of all sizes around the globe. If you’d like to talk to us about working together on your next project, get in touch today.


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