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Five Top Tips for a Rapid Workday Financials Deployment

Offering a robust foundation, Workday Launch has proven itself the optimal choice for companies that want to get up and running with Workday quickly. Here, our Workday Financials experts Darryl Bannan and Jamie O'Reilly share their top five tips for when time is of the essence for organisations reacting to ever-changing economic demands.

At Kainos we’ve been involved in a number of Workday ‘Launch’ Financials projects where customers look to implement Workday between 18-26 weeks after contract signing. A Launch implementation is a great way to quickly leverage benefits from Workday, whilst giving organisations a great starting point/launchpad to further develop their Workday system.

There are several ways organisations can ensure they can meet those 18-26 week timelines. Here are the five most important considerations for a rapid Workday Launch Financials deployment:

1. Planning

With an 18-26 week deployment, every week counts and early planning is critical to ensure each week is as productive as possible. At the same time, Finance teams will have busy workloads around period or year ends when the management accounts are being prepared and it’s not always possible to backfill key Finance roles. However, if your implementation partner is aware of those key dates, they can plan around them and schedule workshops, testing, and other key activities around those busier periods. The implementation team can then work on completing design, build activities, or testing whilst the Finance team are in ‘Month End Lockdown’.

2. Customer SME

In a fast-paced deployment approach, a high level of engagement from the customer project team is of critical importance to the success of the implementation. It is vital to have people who can make configurations decisions in the workshops and test the solution during the testing phases of the project. Without timely decision making you risk your project losing momentum and timelines slipping. Get the people who can dedicate the time to the project to drive the project forwards. Where possible, it’s ideal to backfill Customer SME’s, but a good partner knows this isn’t always possible and will always work with you to ensure their time is utilised productively.

3. Focused Testing

Testing is always critical on any Deployment, but with a Launch project, you have to use the limited time wisely and focus the higher volume testing on the more complex areas. There’s no merit in planning to spend equal time testing Bank Reconciliation and Supplier Invoices where you’ve got a single Bank Account with minimal transactions and complex Supplier Invoice approval requirements! Equally, there’s little benefit in testing an area of functionality which comes pre-defined versus an area which has been highly configured to meet your specific requirements. For the more Transactional testing, you may be able to leverage an Automated Testing Tool which can process high volumes of tests in rapid time. At Kainos, we help customers understand and prioritise their testing needs at the onset of the deployment, which brings us onto the next top tip…

4. Discovery Sessions

If time allows ahead of the project kicking off, discovery sessions are of great benefit to get early insight at the current Finance Operations, understand the pain points and get a feel for how Workday can optimise the finance function for the future. Often, it also unearths complexities that can be addressed proactively at this early stage rather than reactively later in the project. This can also then be used to feed back into the initial point around Planning, ensuring the right time is planned around designing and testing those complexities.

5. Change Management

Deploying Workday Launch Financials is likely to be a significant change for your Finance team and the wider organisation. A number of processes are likely to become automated, controls will be implemented, self-service reporting will become more widely available and the period end close will reduce in time. Depending on the culture of the organisation, there will be differing approaches to Change Management, but all will have one thing in common. Early and consistent communications to colleagues throughout the deployment will be critical. Where Procurement and Expenses are in scope, this becomes even more important as the deployment will impact any individual who claims Expenses or is required to Purchase Goods or Services on behalf of the organisation. As the saying goes, you only get one shot at a first impression and it’s important users can use (and enjoy using) Workday from Day 1.

Bonus tip: Trust in Consultant Advice

From time to time a customer will want to take what they consider to be the low risk approach by lifting and shifting processes from the legacy system. What we recommend is for a customer to really consider the advice of our consultants which may unlock opportunities to streamline processes and find efficiencies. We’ve worked across public, private and 3rd sector; in industries such as Energy, Banking & Financial Services, Insurance, and Telecoms to name a few. We have a wealth of experience in using technology to drive business performance. Take that opportunity to let us help you optimise your performance when implementing Workday Financials. We all want to avoid moving inefficient and ineffective processes and ways of working from one system to another.

In summary

Planning: Early planning and highlighting key dependencies with non-project activities will ensure minimal issues with time conflicts later in the project.
Customer SME Involvement: Getting the right people involved, at the right time through design and testing.
Focused Testing: Understand with the help of your consulting team where the complexities lie in your requirements and define which tests are important, critical and high risk and focus effort on those.
Discovery Sessions: At the project onset, have some discovery calls with your implementation partner to flag the pain points and issues you’re hoping to resolve with Workday.
Change Management: Give early consideration to how you want to manage the change across your organisation and how this will be handled, do you need a 3rd Party to support you?
Bonus tip — Consulting Advice: Use your implementation partner to get advice around good practice and the types of processes they see working well in other organisations.

If you’d like to talk with our experts about a Workday Launch Financials project, get in touch today by emailing

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