A leading financial institution, headquartered in San Francisco, was looking to roll-out the Workday Financials module. While the bank had already implemented the HCM module, this scope expansion implied that Workday would be the single consolidated system used for financial accounting, asset management, expense processing, supplier management, procurement, and project management. The addition of Workday Financials represented a significant leap in the bank’s ability to effectively manage financial data by reducing the number of manual processes and reliance on spreadsheets in key activities. This in turn, would increase the speed, flexibility, and accuracy of the bank’s financial processes and execution. The bank selected KSI as their Change Management partner to ensure adoption across the organization; a key driver that would enable the firm to reap the benefits of the technology transformation.
Given the broad scope of the project, multiple functions within the bank would be impacted by the implementation. As each of these functions were on different legacy systems, transition efforts had to account for data migration for a multitude of systems. This challenge was further exacerbated by the fact that several upstream systems would continue to be used due to licensing terms. Cutover plans and integration testing were thus key elements of the project plan. With several stakeholders involved in the process, communications for the project team members to ensure alignment were just as critical as communications to impacted end-users for awareness.
To support the transition from multiple legacy systems to the Workday system, the bank also had to redesign its end-to-end processes. The switch also provided the bank the opportunity to clean up their financial data. This meant that users would have to be familiarized not just with the new technology but also the new processes and data dictionaries.
KSI setup two separate workstreams to manage training and communication – the two key drivers to support adoption.
To map out the firm’s training needs for a successful transition, KSI integrated user experience into the system design process. As the implementer walked the client through design sessions to finalize the configuration of the Workday system, KSI assessed the impact of these design decisions on the end-user’s experience with the system interface; potential changes in their roles because of new processes dictated by workflows, and integrations with upstream/downstream systems; and the need for end-users to acquaint themselves with new terminology/data fields. Using the data gathered during the design workshops, KSI was able to create a detailed training plan for each of the functions that focused on all the four learning areas – technology, processes, roles, and data.
To build a comprehensive communication plan, KSI focused on the varying requirements of the two important stakeholder groups:
- Project team members — As is the case for many similar initiatives, this group is often overlooked in communication efforts due to an incorrect assumption that this subset is already aware of upcoming changes by virtue of their involvement in the project. However, formal communications for this group are pivotal to ensure a consistent understanding of current project status, upcoming milestones, and expected participation in project activities. KSI utilized the system implementation plan to draw the communication calendar for the project team, paying special attention to critical milestones such as sign-off on design workbooks, user-acceptance testing, mock period-close etc.
- End-users — This group comprised of all the functional users that were not actively involved in the project and the broader group of non-functional users that had fewer touchpoints with the system but contributed to a large volume of transactions due to headcount. While the communications for the former included periodic updates on project progress and timeline for training/knowledge transfer, communications for the latter were designed to be just-in time; focusing on “What’s in it for me?”.
While the detailed initial plans developed by KSI served as a solid foundation to guide the change efforts, shifts in the implementation timeline - twice over the course of the project, pushed us to quickly rehash our strategy and adapt. As a government-sponsored cooperative, meeting statutory reporting obligations was crucial for the bank. As a result, the bank chose to push out the launch date to provide ample time to test all reporting capabilities rather than risking non-compliance. Since these shifts in the timeline can create negative perceptions of the product-readiness for the broader audience, communications had to be redesigned to ensure end-user confidence and excitement about the new system are retained, despite shifting timelines.
The bank finally launched the Workday financials module after rigorous testing and updates to all impacted existing documents as per SOX requirements.
KSI designed newsletters for project updates, executive briefing presentations, engaging multimedia emails, talking points and FAQ sheets to keep various stakeholders informed.
KSI developed eight different training courses to meet the needs of each of the functional areas and created over 60 reference guides to assist users with step-by-step instructions to complete key tasks across financial accounting, supplier management and invoicing, procurement, project management, expense management and financial reporting. The training repository created by KSI continues to be used to train fresh recruits and for refresher training where needed.