Workday Project Timeline

Workday for WSU launched in December 2020. Please see below for the timeline and a detailed list of project activities.

A visual timeline of the Workday project that lists the stages and milestones. Detailed information is in text below.

Detailed Project Timeline

Summer 2016

  • Listening sessions university-wide
  • Software Assessment and Requirements Review Group (SARRG) formed

Winter 2016-2017

  • December 2016: Released Request for Information (RFI) for software
  • Initial software demonstrations

Fall 2017

  • Request for Proposal (RFP) for software
  • Software demonstrations

Winter 2017

  • Independent readiness assessment

Spring 2018

  • Request for Proposal for implementation partner

Plan stage: August 2018 – January 2019

Summer 2018

Fall-Winter 2018

  • August 2018: Foundation Data Model (FDM) workshops to gather feedback and data about WSU’s Chart of Accounts.
  • October 2018: Created FDM Blueprint 1.0
  • Designed and updated a robust website with information about impacted systems, major changes, and project updates, along with shareable resources.


Plan Stage (continued)

January 2019

Architect Stage: February – June 2019

February 2019

March 2019

  • Started building the first prototype of Workday for WSU, which contained approximately 1 million WSU records.
  • Began publishing the monthly Modernization newsletter.

April 2019

  • Modernization Team members visited campuses and Research & Extension centers to share project updates and hear feedback.
  • The entire University community received a survey to help Modernization develop a Current State Snapshot for the project.
  • Launched the Change Toolkit with change management resources.

May 2019

June 2019

  • Started designing and building integrations between current systems and Workday.
  • Modernization Team members visited campuses and Research & Extension centers to share project updates and answer questions.
  • Released Foundation Data Model Blueprint 2.0.

Configure & Prototype stage: July – November 2019

July 2019

August 2019

  • Continued cleaning up data and converting it from old systems into Workday.
  • Continued building the Foundation Data Model.

September 2019

  • Launched the Change Network of nearly 400 ambassadors from across WSU to help share information and support the entire University through the Workday transition.
  • Modernization Team members continued quarterly visits to campuses and Research & Extension centers.

October 2019

  • Hosted another community preview of the second prototype of Workday for WSU.

November 2019

  • Used data from multiple surveys to shape communications and engagement materials and activities.

Test stage: December 2019 – September 2020

December 2019

  • Began gathering data and mapping roles to positions with the help of area leadership.
  • Modernization analysts and more than 100 representatives from every campus began testing the draft system during End-to-End testing, which involved running through nearly 3,000 scenarios.
  • Began coordinating courses and building more than 200 guides and reference materials for training.


Test stage (continued)

January 2020

  • Ran comprehensive tests comparing data between current systems and Workday, with special focus on payroll data to ensure employees will continue to receive accurate paychecks.
  • Continued End-to-End testing.
  • Created and distributed flyers, handouts, and videos for specific concepts and audiences, including faculty.
  • Updated Modernization website content and navigation based on visitor feedback.
  • Continued role-to-position mapping.
  • Launched a 7-part Train-the-Trainer program with Workday trainers.

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

  • Completed End-to-End testing to make sure business processes run as expected.
  • Tested security to ensure people have the right access to see and process information in the system so that they can successfully do their jobs.
  • Completed testing integrations.
  • Sought feedback from Workday trainers about draft testing materials.
  • Released new resources about Service Centers and the Workday Knowledge Base.

June 2020

  • Converted legacy data to Workday and configured scenarios to prepare for User Acceptance Testing.
  • Completed building and holistically reviewed the Foundation Data Model.
  • Mapped the supervisory organization, which is similar to a giant organizational chart for the entire University. It shows the relationships between employees and supervisors, and helps route tasks to the right people to keep business processes moving.
  • Used role-to-position mapping data to understand how many employees have each Workday security role and make sure training courses are the right size and frequency.
  • Completed the fourth round of role-to-position mapping so that every employee has the security roles they need to take the right training and complete tasks in Workday.

July 2020

  • Ran payroll comparison testing to make sure numbers are consistent in both Workday and legacy systems.
  • Began User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  • Continued meeting with the Change Network monthly and providing resources for the community.
  • Validated mapping of grants to legacy accounts.

August 2020

  • Conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT) to evaluate the system and test training materials. UAT involves nearly 350 members of the University community testing 300 scenarios across HR and finance.
  • Complete building critical Workday reports and dashboards.
  • Host a Workday trainer orientation event to prepare them for fall training.
  • Develop the plan for cutover, aka the transition from current systems into Workday in careful steps, by setting clear dates for final activities in old systems and start dates for activities in Workday.
  • Develop the plan for support after launch.
  • Upload training courses to the University’s online learning management system (Skillsoft).
  • Launch an interactive training catalog on the Modernization website, where employees can get recommendations for training based on the roles they’ll have in Workday.

September 2020

  • Completed User Acceptance Testing. Began resolving defects found during UAT.
  • Ran payroll comparison testing again.
  • Collected employee leave accrual balances to upload into Workday.
  • Updated training materials based on feedback from User Acceptance Testing.
  • Completed step-by-step training Reference Guides for Workday business processes and finished uploading them to the Workday Knowledge Base, where they are available digitally and as downloadable Word documents.
  • Ran payroll comparison testing again.

Deploy Stage: October – December 2020

October 2020

  • Completed building medium-priority Workday reports.
  • Continued resolving defects found in UAT to complete the Test stage.
  • Completed the final round of role-to-position mapping to ensure the most up-to-date data before launch.
  • Finalized the cutover plan and communicated key dates with stakeholders.
  • Trained the entire University to use the new system using a combination of instructor-led and self-directed courses and guides.

November 2020

  • Began the Deploy stage of the project.
  • Finalized the supervisory organization and Foundation Data Model.
  • Continued University-wide Workday training.
  • Began cutover.

December 2020

  • Launched the Workday Service Desk to help answer questions and troubleshoot issues.
  • On December 16, Workday began to handle payroll processing and human resources activities.


Support stage: January 2021 – January 2022 and beyond


  • January 1: All of Workday available for use University-wide.
  • Completed cutover.
  • Completed transferring all financial data into Workday.
  • Launched the “issue tracker” to make it easy for people to follow updates about known issues in Workday.
  • Began stabilizing the system.


  • Continued stabilizing Workday. As we entered the “Valley of Despair,” productivity dropped and frustrations rose. This is normal, and temporary, while we adjusted to the new ways of working.
  • Launched the Workday Tips & Tricks series: Weekly posts with helpful guidance for common questions.


  • Began hosting Open Office Hours: drop-in sessions for people to come and ask questions about Budget, General Finance, Procurement and Expenses, and Post-Award Grant Management.
  • Bi-annual Workday Feature Release: Workday makes regular improvements to the system, and more robust updates twice a year during their “Feature Releases.” Check out details at the Feature Release Hub web page.
  • Launched the Workday Digest: A weekly summary of critical updates and known issues for those who regularly use Workday for business tasks.
  • Continued answering questions through the Workday Service Desk.


  • Extended Open Office Hours through April and added sessions for Time, Leave, Absence, and Payroll.
  • Completed the period known as “hypercare”: The first 3 months after Workday for WSU’s launch, and part of the stabilization process.