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Calendar sensitive due dates: a welcome Business Process enhancement in Workday 27

As all Workday customers know, there are now two major updates every year. Each update brings some long-overdue enhancements and changes, but also some unexpected improvements that make you wonder how you coped without them. This post is about one of those improvements introduced in Workday 27.

Each step in a Workday Business Process Definition (BPD) can have a due date associated with it. This is effectively a target response time for the person to whom the business process step is routed, to deal with their inbox item. It’s a very effective mechanism, and in the hands of a determined (possibly obsessional) Business Process Administrator, it can result in significantly reduced lead times for important processes like hire approvals, promotions etc.

Reports that highlight managers not actioning their steps on time are powerful tools that are meant to focus the mind and drive better behaviours. However, the due date calculation, until now, has been a pure and simple mathematical calculation—a three-day target response meant a step triggered on a Monday becomes due on a Thursday, and equally a step triggered on a Thursday became due on a Sunday.

This mechanism had the potential to cause upset, especially in international organisations where the nuances of weekly calendars and local public holiday schedules were not taken into account. A classic example would be the difference in weekly working days between countries who work typically work Monday to Friday, and the significant number of countries in the Arab world who typically work Sunday to Thursday.

With Workday 27, this issue has been addressed. While Workday has long been able to store weekly work schedules and public holidays in all countries in which a company has a presence, previously a business process step (such as an approval) had a simple time-based window (e.g. three days, working or not) that did not account for assigned schedules. With Workday 27, business processes can take account of these calendars. Thus an approval step triggered on a Thursday with a 2-day target for action would previously have triggered a manager in the UAE to either log in on her day off or end up on the “naughty step” report. Now the step can be configured to be completed in 2 working days according to the local work schedule so now she will have until Monday.

It’s another important step to a truly international HCM system, and bound to be welcomed by customers who have staff in multiple countries and want to be sensitive to local practice.

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