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Workday Implementation – The Other Side of the Table

Workday Implementation – The Other Side of the Table

I spent the better part of 5 years as a Workday implementation consultant, holding project roles as Data Conversion Lead, HCM Lead, Compensation Lead, Benefits Lead, Absence Lead, and Project Manager. Last year, I moved away from a Workday Partner and to Kognitiv inc, where my angle on implementation took on a new form. I began consulting from the client side – customers in the implementation process with a Workday partner hired me to sit on their side of the table. Throughout the implementation cycle, the advantages of an in-house, client side Workday consultant began to emerge.

Project Management – A Workday implementation requires a specific methodology with concrete milestones and checkpoints. Having an in-house expert who has been through the process will not only help validate the timeline set forth from the partner, but the consultant can offer explanations into stage requirements/timing, provide insight into Workday nuances/tooling, and track progress of design/testing from a PM perspective.

Testing Support – Testing, and a great deal of it, is a necessity for any implementation. A large portion of on-site partner consulting time is spent training users on ‘how to test’ – what to look for, test cases to consider, and what buttons to press. Once the consulting team leaves, the client is left to fend for themselves. A client-side consultant will know what test cases to consider and drive the testing effort from training to execution.

Consulting Resource – Within Workday, there are always options, and it’s about providing the best solution for the client. A consultant on the client team will not let the partner functional lead fall to a default, ‘what they’ve done before’ set up. A client-side consultant can help drive decisions by providing real-time feedback and options for problems or questions that may arise. This individual can act as a solution architect – bringing experience of the upsides and downfalls of decisions across the Workday modules.

The “Little Things” – Reporting. Reporting. Reporting. For such an important facet of a HR system, reporting is often neglected during the implementation process, falling second best (understandably) to getting Workday up and running. A fully dedicated client consultant offers an option for report development during the implementation process, providing prototype and final reports that are ready to be used when the production switch is flipped. From a preparation standpoint, this consultant can provide training to end users on how to handle the system once live—how to execute transactions, troubleshooting techniques, EIBs, Organization maintenance, etc.

A client-side Workday expert is an asset to any Workday implementation, providing expertise on methodology and configuration while contributing to end user readiness. One last advantage is post- go-live – having a dedicated resource through the settling period of the go-live helps stabilize any issues (issues are inherent), while providing an opportunity to train the team using real-life examples. The implementation process is long and intense, but having a client-side consultant will help ease the burden and drive the project to success.


  • Ryan Obolewicz

    Ryan has 8+ years of Workday experience and has held lead project roles in HCM, Compensation, Benefits, Absence, Performance, Data Conversion, and Project Management. Currently, Ryan is a Functional Director overseeing Kognitiv consulting teams.

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