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August 01, 2016
Deploying Workday? Here are five things you can do to get a head start in managing change
By: Betsy Bhatia

Change can be good, right? Without it, we may never have experienced a world where people drive cars, can participate in a meeting from thousands of miles apart or pay for coffee using a phone.

Companies that are deploying Workday are embracing change and want their businesses to evolve. They are understandably excited by the opportunities that can lie ahead and are eager to have their employees take advantage of the user-friendly technologies and processes that Workday can offer, such as on-the-go mobile access and informative reporting dashboards.

In my role at Accenture as the Organization Change Management Lead for Workday, I have received a lot of questions about managing change and achieving user adoption for Workday—mostly about initial deployments, but also about long-term management during optimization or ongoing updates. Here are some of the best pieces of advice that I’ve accumulated from my clients and colleagues. Specifically, this list focuses on things you can do from the very beginning of your project.

  1. Assess the readiness of your organization: While the ease of use and intuitive nature of Workday are key enablers of adoption, ensuring that your organizational norms and your people are prepared to pivot during times of change is also an important component. You can improve your chances of a successful deployment when you have a change-capable organization that has a desire and capacity to accept the changes that you are looking to introduce. You can help drive readiness through many vehicles—common ones include surveys, focus groups and Change Tracking.

  2. Choose a leader/sponsor to be the “face” of change: People like to follow people. It’s human nature to follow those that we like, trust and admire. And most people are willing to accept change if they have a leader that is facilitating the change. Once you determine who that leader/sponsor can be, involve him/her in the project early so the communication can be cascaded organically throughout everyday leadership. This person should ideally be in the part of the organization driving and/or being impacted by the change.

  3. Be proactive and organized: Appoint someone early to own and manage the Change Management activities for your project. It may be a different, more day-to-day person than your “face” of change mentioned above. Embed this person and their team into the project so that he/she has context around the changes and can start proactively planning how to address them. Reactive planning only addresses things once they’ve become a problem. Proactive planning lets you shape the positive user experience you want, and can lead to greater adoption of the change.

  4. Expand your change team in local offices/countries: If you have large, global operations, reaching all audiences is going to be challenging. It’s not impossible to overcome, but your best bet is to start assembling regional or country leads who can be involved in the project early and who can own and help lead the change in their location(s).

  5. Determine what things you can do internally and where you want help: One of my clients, a Chief Human Resources Officer, has advised others who are deploying Workday that they don’t need to do this alone. She went on to say that there are lots of people who have deployed Workday before; use their lessons learned to make your life easier. A deployment partner can be the advisor you’re looking for and also give you extra arms and legs to get the work done. Some people also network with others in their industry who have deployed Workday and regularly check in with one another about their lessons learned.

Workday can offer an exciting opportunity for your organization. Getting a head start on your plans for managing change and driving adoption can enable your project to be a positive experience.

Want to learn more about how Accenture can help? Accenture currently offers methods, accelerators and experience to help you plan and enable change during your deployment or optimization of Workday. Whether a dedicated focus on the system or planning for a broader, transformational change such as a move to shared services, Accenture skilled practitioners can help you bring innovative ideas and a business alliance that can help you drive predictability as well as maximize your desired adoption outcomes.

Learn more about how to achieve user adoption.

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