On a busy Tuesday, Design Team members gather in the ATP Kegonsa (named for one of the Madison-area lakes) conference room. Teammates join them virtually, from their homes in Wisconsin or, for the Huron implementation partners, in states across the country. Regardless of their location, everyone on the Design Team is committed to one purpose: rethinking current business processes.
Since the Architect Stage kicked off May 3, ATP Design Teams have held dozens of meetings to discuss the redesign of finance, human resources, and research administration workflows. The Future State Process Design (FSPD) sessions aim to standardize business processes by rethinking the steps to complete a business process and identifying who completes each task and how.
Every day, in every meeting, over many hours each week, Design Team members discuss administrative tasks in detail, focusing on questions such as:
- What are we doing now?
- Where and when is that task completed? By whom?
- How do we communicate? Who communicates? When?
- Is there unique campus-specific information that needs to be captured?
- How can we work more efficiently and effectively using Workday?
- Who will complete this work in the future, and how do we create the best user experience?
- How can we complete crucial tasks in a way that provides better reporting—and leaves more time for decision-making?
“We review all the steps required to complete a business process,” explained Yvette Alicea-Reed, a Talent Acquisition Design Team member who worked for UW-Milwaukee for 10 years. “We see them mapped out on Visio charts. We look at how each task can be handled in Workday to see if it makes sense and covers the necessary steps. And we revise the language in Workday, so it is relatable when we present what we’ve learned to our Focus Group.”
Putting People First With Focus Groups
Hundreds of people, representing all UW System institutions, are taking part in the ATP Focus Groups, each of which is made up of about 20 people who do the work today, for each process discussed.
The Design Team sends questions to their relevant Focus Group ahead of the FSPD session to set the stage for thinking differently about how to complete a specific task. The goal is to use Workday to achieve everything we do now, and more.
“We want to help facilitate conversations. We need to understand the current state, but we also want staff to understand we aren’t going to just plug that into Workday,” said Alicea-Reed. “There are so many benefits to using Workday and standardizing our processes that we want to help people understand.”
Focus Group members spend 8-10 hours a week participating in design discussions.
“The Design Teams are responsible for steering these conversations,” explained Allison Niles, ATP HR Strategy Lead. “They help the Focus Group see the possibilities of what Workday’s technology can do and how we can transform the way we do our work, rather than remaining stuck in the limitations and complexities of our current processes.”
Representation is crucial because feedback provided by the Focus Group leads to changes in our Workday setup, which will evolve over the next year, until ATP reaches the Test & Train Stage.
Standardization and Simplification
Posting a new position is just one process that will benefit from redesign. The Talent Acquisition Design Team learned through a survey that campuses require anywhere from four to eight approvals before HR can post a position and open applications. Streamlining and standardizing that process for everyone means positions will get posted faster and, ultimately, filled more quickly.
“That’s what is exciting to me,” said Liz Hanson, also a Talent Acquisition Design Team member. “Seeing where the pain points and challenges are and getting to be a part of the solution.”
When ATP Design Team members are not dissecting processes in meetings, you may find them preparing for the next discussion by watching recordings of other FSPD sessions because, in many cases, the workflows overlap. The more they learn and understand, the better decisions they can make about how faculty and staff at all UW System campuses will use Workday.
“There is a lot of time and energy dedicated to ATP. It’s an investment in staff, students, and faculty,” said Hanson. “It’s going to be a real transformation that will improve morale, efficiency, and let people do work that is meaningful and valued.”
Other business processes being transformed by ATP Design Teams include:
- Finance: Accounting Adjustment, Capital Projects, Endowments, Cash/Banking
- Human Resources: Job Requisition and Create Position, Recruit to Hire
- Research Administration: Grants Budgets, Cost Share and Program Income
“Involvement and support of staff at all of our institutions is critical to our success,” said Niles. “This is a people-first project, and we couldn’t do it without them. We are grateful to the Focus Group members, as well as the leaders who support their participation.”
What’s the Biggest Benefit?
“Everything! That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this. I have done all of these activities, I know the tasks, I know the difficulties,” said Alicea-Reed. “This is truly going to transform the way we work. I’m not at UW-Milwaukee now, but the work I’m doing is going to make it better for everyone there.”
Hanson agreed: “Ultimately, it’s about making people’s lives easier. This is new to all of us, and it’s definitely a big undertaking to do this for the entire UW System, but we are all on the same journey, in the same boat.”