9 Golden Rules for Successful Workday implementations

After  years of HRIT implementations we have so manby lessons learned that its time to share! Here are the 9 most important things we learned during implementation. (9 Golden Rules for Successful Workday implementations)

1. Select the right vendor

It all starts with selecting the HR IT vendor that fits your companies’ needs now and in the future. Often Workday is chosen as future HRIT system, but Oracle, SAP SuccessFactors or others might fit your company just fine. You can find a howto select the best supplier here:


2. Standardize your HR processes

Standardizing your HR processes throughout the company is vital for successful implementation. Preferably you already start standardizing prior to your implementation. Believe me, if HR is not led in dictatorship it will take you more time than planned.

Find out what the standard of the HR IT system is and keep it as close to this as possible. Never ever change the system to your processes if you prefer a system which is intuitive and easy to maintain,

3. Start with Design Principles

When implementing an HR system it is also the time to change your HR delivery model. When your company has autonomous regions or factories it is often difficult to get them aligned. And you clearly want as less deviation as possible on your global template . Strong design principles will help you reach your goals (and meet your business case). Some examples of our design principles are:

  • We will keep it Lean, Simple and Standards
  • We will lay responsibility and approval levels as low as possible
  • We will always use a 4 eye principle in our approval flows

Make sure all important stakeholders/HR Executives sign off/ give their buy in on the design principles. If, in a later stage a location of region wants to deviate from global template you can always refer back to the agreed design principles

4. Setup a strong governance for implementation follow up

Of course this counts for every project. Yet, I often see that the governance structure is there but not followed, leading to unclarity, resistance, slow decision making etc.

During our Workday implementation we followed up the projects Triple Constraint via a strong Steering Committee which consists of : COO, CTO, CFO & CHRO. In every region we installed a regional project board for local decision making and local buy in. The regional Project board includes the regional executives such as: Managing Director, Finance, HR, IT

Both Steering Committee and regional Project board have a meeting with me and my team every month to talk them through progress, bottlenecks and financials.

5. Setup SME structure

We standardized all our HR processes during the Workday implementation. Inalfa Roof Systems is a true multinational with presence in 8 countries with different cultures and legislation. Therefore we asked every county to deliver their best Subject Matter Expert. These (mainly HR officers) experts knew everything there is to know about their own countries legislation and current way of working. They were also entitled to make decisions which really helped us building the global template.

6. Do not underestimate training of regional HR and your managers

Although Workday is very intuitive you should spend enough time on training local HR and the managers. Training is not showing them a fancy powerpoint. No, Training should include managers performing actual tasks in Workday. Learning by doing. Doing it properly pays off for adoption, reduces resistance and will make life of your support organisation more easy after go live.

7. Don’t go for big bang

Many implementation partners will push you for big bang go live. I have never understood this. Yes, it is cheaper, but because the risk of failure in a multinational company is huge. We have decided to go live with limited scope (Core, Recruitment, Expenses) and only on one location and I am still happy we have done so. During implementation of this one site we learned so much on our capabilities, our IT interfaces and the companies’ willingness to change, Of course, after this successful go live we will now speed things up.

8. Data, data, data

Garbage in = Garbage out. Most underestimated, but key for successful implementation is having your data accuracy at 100%. The way we did it: In three iterations we went from 0% quality to 100% data availability and accuracy. Before the first delivery we agreed in the project board that P1 had to be a 75% A&Q, P2 at 90% and P3 (Gold) at 100%

After every iteration we checked at how much percentage data was on availability and quality and gave this back to the project board. In our case P1 delivery was delivered at 45%. You can imagine that after this was shown, the way forward we had full focus on data from the local team.

9. Full focus on change management

Configuring the system is the easy part, making sure employees and managers will use it is more difficult. Therefore we fully focused on managing the change. During implementation we hired a full time change, communication & training manager. His main role is making sure people got aware of that new thing: Workday and started using it. We made an awesome animation which created true brand recognition. Secondly we made a movie with our CEO and CHRO and let them explain the added value of Workday. This Executive buy in helped getting over resistance when we started training our managers. And last: We delivered high quality manuals and howto videos which gave true value during the after go live support phase. More information: https://successday.nl/user-adoption/


So here you have it our 9 Golden Rules for Successful Workday implementations

Bas Eggelaar


Originally posted on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/9-golden-rules-successful-workday-implementations-bas-eggelaar-mba/

Neem contact met ons op

Bel ons of kom langs. We geven je binnen 24 uur een reactie!