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Washington State University Modernization

Discovery Workshops


Workshop Materials

From February through early April 2019, more than 365 subject matter experts (SMEs) from all areas of the university contributed their expertise and experience to key conversations about the Modernization Initiative. Workshop participants explored and discussed current business processes, procedures, and policies, helping the Modernization Team document mandatory and regulatory requirements, business needs, and goals for future processes. The information captured is critical as we move closer to configuring the first prototype of Workday for WSU.

A photograph of participants of a discovery session.

Discovery Workshop Process & Timeline

  • University leadership & finance & administrative officers determine SMEs (December 2018)
  • Schedule workshops (January 2019)
  • Hold Workshops (February – early April 2019)
  • Develop Workday configuration workbooks which will inform how the Workday system is to be configured at a detailed level
  • Build first Workday prototype (i.e., the first system configuration)

A photograph of participants of a discovery session.

Workshop Q&A

Will long-distance charges be incurred using Zoom?

If you join a Zoom meeting using a phone (e.g., WSU work phone), long-distance charges will apply to all users regardless of your location.
It is recommended that you use either your computer to join audio through Zoom or use a mobile device whenever possible to avoid long-distance charges.

Why is my cell phone needed at times for logging into ThinkTank?

The multi-factor authentication helps protect your information. This is very similar to what many individuals do when logging into personal bank accounts where additional security questions are asked or a code is sent to your cell phone.

What if I don’t want to use my personal phone number for ThinkTank?

We want you to feel comfortable sharing feedback and responses. You aren’t required to provide your personal phone number or to use ThinkTank. Instead, ask your workshop leaders for a simple paper form, and they’ll be happy to collect these and enter your responses on your behalf. You are also welcome to submit responses through the chat window in Zoom. You can always email us at (please include the name of the session and the topic/question to which you’re responding) and we’ll get it to the right analyst.

Do I need a laptop in order to participate?

Laptops are not mandatory in order to participate. If you do not have one, we encourage you to borrow or rent one.  A laptop will enable a high quality experience, with real-time feedback and responses within the online ThinkTank tool.

If you do not have a laptop, here are some suggested options:

Alternatives to a laptop:

  • Smart Devices. ThinkTank is a browser-based online tool and therefore is compatible on electronic smart devices including an Android, iPhone, iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro, and other devices capable of accessing the internet.
  • Pen, Paper & Sticky Notes. If you have an idea, suggestion or important feedback write it down and ask a member of the WSU Modernization Team to input this information into ThinkTank on your behalf.

What is ThinkTank?

Think Tank is a browser-based online tool that encourages collaboration, feedback and ideas from remote and local participants. We’ll use the ThinkTank tool in each discovery workshop as the primary tool for gathering feedback from WSU subject matter experts (SME) on specific Workday concepts, current state processes, and pain points.

Do I need special software on my laptop?

You will only need Internet access and a web browser other than Microsoft Edge to access ThinkTank. Some other browsers you can use include Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Presenters will go through the login process with you at the beginning of the workshop.

How was I selected as a subject matter expert (SME)?

Your leadership identified you as someone with working knowledge of the processes within your area/group.

What is the objective of the sessions?

The objectives are to review Workday concepts; gather information; and document mandatory and regulatory requirements, current business needs, and goals for future processes at a detailed level. The information collected during the discovery sessions will be used to help configure the first prototypes within Workday.

Are the Discovery Workshops open to everyone?

Unfortunately, the Discovery and Design Workshops are not open to the public. These are targeted sessions for business process owners and the project team to further evaluate Workday functionality for WSU. While there will be many future opportunities for engagement in the Modernization project, the Discovery and Design Workshops are limited to individuals identified as subject matter experts (SMEs) in their areas. If you have not been identified as an SME, you can find more ways to engage at our Get Involved page.

Why are the sessions scheduled concurrently?  I really want to go to all of them.

These sessions have been structured to encourage a broad range of participation for each functional work area (travel, benefits, grants administration, etc.) that will be discussed.  Our hope is that each area will send a range of trusted representatives with very specific process knowledge to represent its business needs.  We would like to extend that opportunity throughout your area.  Due to the complicated logistics, including travel arrangements, technology requirements and space, we cannot reschedule sessions.

We have been encouraged to participate, so why can’t more people from my area/department attend the sessions?

We are so thrilled to see so much interest in these sessions and we certainly want to encourage participation, which is why we have asked for representation across all campuses, areas, and the central processing offices. We want to ensure a broad base of input and manageable, productive sessions, so we cannot have every person attend every workshop. There are plenty of other ways to participate: please visit our Get Involved page for opportunities.

Why can’t I forward an invitation to someone else?

Please do not share your invitation, as it is meant specifically for you. We have limited space, and need to keep the groups to sizes that allow full participation from the attendees. Additionally, the technology we are using requires that each user be assigned login credentials and set up prior to the session. If you forward an invitation, that person who receives it will not get their own login credentials and won’t be able to participate.

Why did the invitations come from so many different people?  How are you coordinating this effort?

The Modernization Team is organized around specific functional work areas (travel, benefits, grants administration, etc.) and is staffed by experts in each work area. The invitations you received were from the lead of the functional work area. Our entire team has been a part of the plans for these sessions and are all on the same page. For more information about our team, please see the Meet our Team page.

What other opportunities will I have to participate?

Great question! There are many ways to participate. Check out our Get Involved page, and please share the opportunities with others in your area and across your team.

Can I attend the discovery sessions remotely?

If possible, it’s great for you to attend Discovery sessions in-person so you can connect with other Subject Matter Experts. You’re welcome to participate via Zoom when necessary. Zoom links will be shared with each session invitation.

What if I can’t attend a session?

Since we want to make sure that your area can still be represented at this session, please reach out to your Area Finance Officer (AFO) and let them know you are unable to attend and ask that someone be sent in your place to represent your area.

A photograph of participants of a discovery session