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Implementation of Workday Financials

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July 23, 2020 Updates

View the Project Timeline

As you know,  we’re going live in July of 2022 and the project team has been working to recast the project timeline so that our stakeholders know what to expect at each stage of the newly-extended project timeline. We have a simple version of this timeline available for your viewing pleasure.

The timeline illustrates each basic stage of the project from right now, in the architect phase, through configure and prototype later this fall, and the testing and validation of the system that occurs throughout 2021 and early 2022, until Workday Financials goes live in July of 2022, after which we enter into a period of support and stabilization.

System Remediation

System remediation refers to all the ways we’ll need to adjust the current systems that work with Oracle so that they will work with Workday Financials. Stakeholders may remember a survey last fall that asked for their help identifying these finance systems. You can see the responses we collected in the online community.

The FST team will identify system change impacts resulting from the implementation of Workday Financials, and will then help system owners make the necessary changes to their systems. We’re putting together a Community of Practice for System Remediation using the contacts supplied as a part of that survey.  

FDM Moving Forward 

After over 100 hours invested in 75 meetings, recommendations for the Workday Financials Worktags that UVA will use in the build of our first instance of Workday (our tenant) have been identified. The Foundation Data Model, which is the new word for “Chart of Accounts” will be set up in the first tenant of UVA Workday Financials using that first round of worktags.  During the upcoming configuration and prototype phase later this year, end-users will have the opportunity to interact with the FDM in our tenant and see how it works with UVA data. 


Work is continuing on developing the personas and user stories that the team will employ to make sure that Workday suits the needs of those at UVA who will use it.  The personas the FST team are using will not determine security access. Who has what access to which features will be discussed in greater detail at a later stage in implementation. 

ISP News

The FST Internal Service Providers Team has been hard at work with schools and units, documenting the exchange of goods and services and how Oracle currently handles billing for ISP activity. Based on current data, there are over 100 revenue-generating activities the team will consider in preparation to transition to Workday.  Workday is designed to handle ISP transactions effectively. The ISP team’s goals are to understand current operations fully and to collaborate with schools and units to ensure the ISP functionality and configuration in Workday will meet their needs.

Adaptive Planning Update

UVA schools and units used Adaptive Planning (Workday's planning and budgeting tool) to submit their revised FY 21 budgets as of Monday, July 20, and those budgets are currently being reviewed for any revisions that will need to take place before the BOV meeting this fall.  Revising budgets in adaptive meant that schools and units are now familiar with tool functionality and the greater level of detail it offers for budgeting so that once we begin the FY22 budgeting process later this year, they’ll have some practice in. The AI team will provide ongoing support to schools and units as we move along, as will the training team in FST.

July 9, 2020 Updates

What's happening now and what comes next

Workday Financials is set to go live in June 2022, a yearlong extension from our original timeline.  We are currently in the Architect stage of Phase 3.  The  detailed requirements that came from the architect sessions are being used to build the first instance of UVA’s Workday tenant – our instance of Workday financials.

In the mid to late fall, end-users will begin interactive walkthrough sessions with that the first tenant – this is an opportunity for people who will be using Workday Financials to “kick the tires” of the first system build.  End users will give feedback on any issues they see, and share opportunities to enhance the system.  You’ll hear this referred to often as “user validation.”

There will be at least two rounds of designing the system and validating the system – and maybe three rounds, if the timing works out – throughout late 2020 and all of 2021 as we head toward the June 2021 go-live date.

We’ll be posting updated timelines all over the FST communications channels in the coming days to keep you on track.   


In order to build the best initial version of our tenant of Workday Financials, one of the tasks the FST team is working through is developing personas that allow them to understand how staff in given roles might be impacted by the Workday Financials Implementation.  These personas will help the team anticipate and defuse problems and concerns, and also to identify opportunities for process improvement, as well as technology improvements, and messages that need to be communicated. When we talk about personas, we are NOT talking about security roles, but rather examples of representative users from all across Grounds that will help us see through their eyes as we build the first tenant.

Internal Service Providers

Another current area of work is focused on our Internal Service Providers, or ISPs.  UVA has internal billing activities for business units across Grounds, most of which are reassigning costs in Oracle.  This billing will have to be brought into Workday Financials.  Workday has dedicated functionality for Internal Service Provider activities with the revenue-generating area processing transactions to be routed through the workflow for approval before an expense posts to the applicable cost center or other FDM values.  

There are over 100 different potential revenue-generating activities that need to be considered as part of transitioning to Workday Financials.  A dedicated ISP team within the project team is beginning to meet with school and unit stakeholders to gather functional requirements for that first tenant build.  Their goal is to understand current state operations and ensure that Workday’s ISP functionality meets school and unit needs. See more in Community Hub.

Adaptive Planning (Adaptive Insights)

Workday’s recent decision to rename the Adaptive Insights budgeting tool “Adaptive Planning” means that you’ll hear our budget tool referred to by both names.  Adaptive is being used by UVA schools and units right now to revise their FY21 budgets. The robust capabilities of Adaptive should provide everyone with improved tools to make informed decisions.

If you’re working in Adaptive, the project team is here to support school and unit partners in this process by providing resources and holding office hours to help with the process.  Check the Adaptive Resources page on this website. 

What's New on this Website?

We’ve pulled together a decision log that documents all project decisions, along with explanations of the decision-making structure and all the hows and whos of decision making.  They’re definitely worth a look so you can understand how things are happening on the project.

We’re also updating our Workday Words dictionary with new terms submitted by the UVA Community for definition.  If you have a term you think needs to be defined, whether it’s a workday term or a term we currently use, please shoot us a line.  If you think it needs defining, odds are good someone else does, too.

We’ve also updated our governance lookup feature on this site since there have been some changes to the governance structure lately.  You can use this feature to easily locate who in your area is representing you in project governance groups. 

Updates are ongoing on the Frequently Asked Questions page.  We have new questions from Fiscal Administrator's Meetings and other stakeholder groups, and we're steadily answering them.  

June 25, 2020 Updates

The Adaptive Insights Team has completed the onboarding sessions in preparation for FY21 budget revision and FY22 budget development.  During those sessions, departments and units were introduced to the basic navigation and functionality of Adaptive Insights and the three budget modules (GA Compensation, GA Non-Compensation, and GL Revenue) that are used for data entry during budget development.  The team also familiarized attendees with eight pre-built reports to view budget and actuals data based on the familiar UFM format. Users will receive further support after their initial onboarding session, including Office Hours with UVA and Deloitte representation that will help answer questions around both Adaptive and the UVA budget process, and additional training sessions and resources.  For more information, check out the AI Resources page.

Phase 3 of FST saw a shift in scope for our governing bodies. The revised governance structure will more effectively operationalize the team and stakeholder's efforts, making sure individuals who are familiar with various levels of the organization are able to advise our leadership and the project team at the right time on matters within their expertise.  The Executive Committee, the Leadership Council, functional owners, and project workstream leads are the decision-making entities in this structure, with the Steering Committee, Advisory Group, and Fiscal Administrators group (along with other stakeholders as needed) providing insight.  

We are deeply appreciative of our governance groups for collaborating with us through the first two phases of this journey, and for sticking with us during a stressful and unexpected situation at the beginning of Phase 3.  You can read about the changes in detail on this website under the Governance tab.

We recently posted a Who's Who in Terms of Team StructureVisit the Team Structure page for a quick explanation of how the team is set up.  

How are FST decisions made?  All FST decisions are made using the RAPID framework, but formal RAPID documentation (as you saw with the recent decision to go with Workday Expenses in place of our current expensing system, Chrome River) is only required with Tier 1 and Tier 2 decisions. You’ll always be able to access that documentation in the Online Community.  You can see more on RAPID and the tiers of decision-making and who’s responsible for what decisions, in this blog piece. In the spirit of transparency, we’ll share decisions in our normal communications channels when they are made, and we’re also working on a user-friendly decision log that will live on this website and be consistently updated.

You may be wondering how the project timeline (and how that timeline intersects with your work) has changed since the decision to extend the go-live date by one year.  We’re pulling that information together, and should have solid details to share with you by the next blog digest or before.

 Since the architect sessions are now complete, we are heading into a period beginning this fall called “Configuration & Prototype” where we will be taking the information and decisions from the architect sessions and building our first instance of Workday Financials. The project timeline has room for at least two prototype and validation periods. Because of our recent timeline extension, we may even have time for a third period of refinement and feedback.

June 10, 2020 Updates

The new go-live date of July 1, 2021 has been fixed.  This will allow UVA to focus on the pandemic situation at hand while ensuring ensure quality outcomes and true transformation.  

Architect sessions have wrapped up and we’re moving on to the next step in the process:  the construction of configuration workbooks. A configuration workbook is a blueprint for how we build the Workday Financials Tenant.  The configuration workbooks contain all the specifications identified for how we want Workday to work for us here at UVA.  The team will build the first configuration, then meet with end-users.  Their feedback will be used to build a second version of the tenant, and then we’ll pull end-users together again for more feedback. Read more on the UVAFinance blog.

The Project team announced its first decision made with the RAPID process. The team had been seeking input from governance groups and stakeholder groups regarding the choice between keeping our current expensing system in Chrome River or switching to the expense module within Workday financials.  Project sponsor Melody Bianchetto signed off on the ultimate choice to go with Workday Expenses after weighing the input and advice from our partners.  Read more on the UVAFinance blog.  

Both sides of the Grants Management Team, the functional side and the data side, have been working with their colleagues on the FDM team to move the Grants management module forward.  The team has been very excited about the functionality built into the module, and they’re looking forward to sharing their progress and enthusiasm with the research administration community.  Read more on the UVAFinance blog.

Over in the gifts and endowments area, the team has decided to keep our legacy system, Fundriver, instead of using Workday Financials for endowment management, mainly because UVIMCO’s current processes mean that Workday Financials wouldn’t’ be able to calculate fees properly.   The team is still looking at ways they can integrate the two tools to make jobs easier and data more accessible, however.  Read more on the Online Community.

The Spend Workstream has several key decisions to make within each substream.  Read more on the UVAFinance blog.

On the Adaptive Insights front, we reported last week that the AI team has been very busy, meeting with schools and units.   Very soon they will have familiarized everyone with AI, and by June 16, schools and units will be using AI to validate their FY21 budget, filling in details.  The AI team is working with the FST training team to support schools and units during the transition.  Visit the AI Resource page for more information.

May 21, 2020 Updates

Project Timeline:  As of now, we know we’re not going live on the original July 1, 2021 date, but we aren’t yet sure what the new date will be.  In the meantime, the FST team is continuing its implementation efforts, and planning different go-live scenarios.  The team has been in discussions with our stakeholder groups and governance groups to talk through the benefits and drawbacks of a January 2022 mid-year go live.  If you haven’t yet given your thoughts on that point, we want to hear them in the Community!  You can also feel free to email us at or send your feedback via the anonymous feature in the upper right corner of our FST website.

Future State:  Who's in Charge of FST?  The future functional owners of FST are involved now, guiding the project toward completion.  Read more on the Community!

Adaptive Insights Update:   The AI team is on track to complete a series of individual and group meetings with as many schools and units as possible this summer, with a goal of empowering them to perform their yearly budgeting process in AI and provide feedback on the use of the system and possible future enhancements. Read more from Elissa Morton on the Community.

The Supplemental System Survey is now on the Community:  Check to see if your systems are represented and let us know if not!  View the results here

Do you speak Workday?  Check out our Workday Words resource and let us know what else needs definition!  We'll be continually adding to this dictionary and hope to make it interactive soon.

Who's new on the team?