UW staff test-drive Workday at UXT Preview

Despite frigid temps and recent heavy snowfall, nearly 100 staff members from across the UW brought their enthusiasm to Madison January 16-18 to check out a test environment of Workday. Representing the Universities of Wisconsin, UW-Shared Services, and UW System, they came for the User Experience Testing Preview event to get hands-on experience with the administrative system UW will use after July 2025.

Collaboration with all UW institutions is a core part of ATP’s approach to the Workday implementation, and ongoing engagement is focused on preparing staff for the changes ahead. From governance to focus groups to readiness activities, staff have been involved every step of the way, and the UXT Preview was organized in response to requests for an early look at Workday.

“Our approach since ATP started has been to work closely with you all to ensure your campuses are successful. Today is a real-life embodiment of that collaborative spirit,” said Steven Hopper, Chief Information Officer, Universities of Wisconsin, in his opening remarks.

Photograph of large room filled with UW staff typing on computers, reviewing user manuals, or directing their attention to a speaker as part of ATP's UXT Preview event.
Administrative staff from across the UW system take a test drive of Workday as part of ATP’s User Experience Testing (UXT) Preview held at UW-Madison’s Gordon Dining and Event Center in January 2024.

Hopper reminded attendees that go-live is 18 months away and asked for their patience and feedback during the preview. Configuration and development work is still happening, and eight months of testing lie ahead. There will be changes to the system before User Experience Testing (UXT), which will involve many more participants, is expected to begin in late summer 2024.

If the January response is any indication, UXT will be an exciting milestone.

“It’s great to be in the same room with our UW colleagues and the ATP team,” said Lauren Howard, Associate HR Director at UW–Superior, about the preview event. “It was worth the trip!”

Miranda Sve, Interim Human Resources Director for UW–Madison Facilities, Planning & Management, agreed. As participants in ATP focus groups and Workday Walkthroughs and governance meeting attendees, Howard and Sve said they appreciated the opportunity to log in and see Workday in action.

“The interface is pretty, modern, and user-friendly,” Sve said. “It’s a good system. Despite the uncertainty about the work still in progress, I like what I’ve seen so far.”

Photograph of the Workday login screen with hands typing on a laptop keyboard.
A member of the UXT Preview event tries logging in to Workday.

After getting acquainted with self-service functionality on day one, ATP Design Team members presented to and worked with smaller groups for the finance, human resources, and research administration workstreams. Attendees practiced in the system, completing business process scenarios such as creating and processing expense reports, recruitment and candidate management, and grants management award setup. Their feedback will guide fine-tuning of the Workday setup.

Attendees also provided feedback about how information was presented for the preview and the early versions of Workday job aids. Their observations will be used by ATP’s Training Team to inform the curriculum and develop training. End-user training will begin March 2025.

Learn more about the ATP Workday implementation timeline.