ATP updates: Workday approved, system implementation RFP, revised implementation timeline

To mark the beginning of the Planning Stage, the Administrative Transformation Program (ATP) is pleased to share several key updates, including progress on critical procurement activities and a change to the program timeline.

On July 9, the Board of Regents approved a 10-year contract with Workday, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that will replace the Human Resource System (HRS) and Shared Financial System (SFS) across the UW System. The approval follows a January 2021 notice of intent to select Workday as the winning vendor; the selection was based on two weeks of Systemwide vendor demonstrations held in January 2020.

System Implementation (SI) Partner
On June 30, ATP issued a request for proposal for the system implementation (SI) partner that will assist with deploying Workday across the UW System. An SI partner is critical to the success of large-scale software implementations. Both procurement milestones underscore the commitment to ATP across the UW System.

Revised Implementation Plan
ATP has revised its implementation plan for Workday. The ERP will now be deployed concurrently at all UW System institutions, bringing UW-Milwaukee and the comprehensive institutions into the same implementation stage as UW–Madison and UW System Administration (UWSA Originally, the ATP timeline involved a phased implementation, in which UW–Madison and UWSA deployed Workday in phase 1, followed by UW-Milwaukee and the comprehensives in phase 2.

This unified implementation approach, approved by Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson and UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, maintains a focus on ATP’s Benefits Realization framework and recognizes that the implementation must meet the needs of UW–Madison to be successful, while advancing the implementation Systemwide .

At the July Board of Regents meeting, President Thompson expressed his support for ATP, citing the program’s essential role in advancing the UW. “I’m going to push this very hard in order for this university to be run like a modern institution,” Thompson said.

“We underscore President Thompson’s comments: ATP is crucial to modernizing our administration to better enable the missions of teaching, research, and outreach,” ATP Program Director Nick Tincher says, adding, “So it’s important that, as much as possible, we minimize any barriers to our success. We believe this approach is the best path forward.”

The expected benefits to the revised timeline include:

  • Bringing UW-Milwaukee and the comprehensives into the same implementation stage as UW–Madison will eliminate the need to maintain Workday, Human Resource System (HRS), and Shared Financial System (SFS) across two implementation phases.
  • Moving to one ERP in the same stage will reduce risk to critical administrative functions such as payroll and financial reporting. It will also yield cybersecurity improvements that would have been delayed with a phased implementation.
  • The concurrent implementation will provide better data transparency — one of ATP’s core values.
  • The revised implementation plan reaffirms ATP’s commitment to standardizing business processes across the System and promises to deliver the benefits of these streamlined processes to all institutions sooner.

Moving forward, ATP will build on the work that’s been completed so far, while continuing to collaborate with the UW’s many stakeholders and subject matter experts.

All UW staff are encouraged to share their questions or thoughts on the ATP website or email

About the Administrative Transformation Program
The Administrative Transformation Program is on a mission to rebuild the Finance, Human Resources, and Research Administration operations and services across the UW System. The goal is to reduce the complexity of the current administrative environment and refocus valuable staff time on UW’s mission of education, research, and outreach.

ATP will achieve this by working with UW’s staff to standardize processes, simplify policies, and implement a best-in-class enterprise resource planning system.

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