How to effectively deploy Workday across your enterprise

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Deploying Workday, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, is an exciting event for a company. Not only does it promise to make everyone’s job easier, it also means the company is about to gain new insights into its operations that will make it smarter, faster and more profitable. So it’s no surprise that a company will be eager to get on board, yet it’s important to take the time to identify what deployment approach works best for the business. Below are two common Workday deployment approaches with tips to keep in mind to make them successful.

A phased rollout approach

The common approach to deployment follows what you might call the “low-hanging fruit” model where Workday is introduced into parts of the enterprise that will reach a large number of people quickly and with minimal issues. This usually means a company’s corporate headquarters and a few major business units will be up and running on the platform before it is fully deployed to the rest of the company. This approach provides a quick win for companies, and the momentum it generates can make the deployment run smoother in the rest of the company.

To support this model, here are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Prioritizing business units. To maximize this phased rollout approach, it’s important you identify business units that’ll be able to hit the ground running and make the most of Workday’s products. From there, you should put a timeline in place and communicate clearly to all business units what to expect and what this rollout will look like over time.
  • Cost. You’ll need to factor in that training and other support tasks completed in the initial rollout will need to be repeated for each rollout phase.

A one-time rollout approach

Depending on the business structure, for some companies it makes more sense to support a simultaneous rollout to the entire enterprise. In this case, the company can consolidate the recurring expenses of repeated phases into a one-time cost, and can eliminate legacy systems that would otherwise need to be accommodated in smaller business units.

To support this model, here are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Cultural matters. You’ll need to account for the different work cultures and potentially different languages in each region. How will you make sure that your message and its meaning is coming across clearly to everyone?
  • Maturity. In a fast-growing company, new branches or recently merged business units may lag in their ability to cope with the deployment. To mitigate this, it’s important to identify upfront the areas of your business that might not be as formally organized as the parent unit, and it’s important to have a solid understanding of the landscape for each of your business units.
  • Logistics. To ensure everyone is on the same page, you’ll need to coordinate meetings that span multiple time zones and communicate clearly. Imagine scheduling a meeting for participants in China, Europe and South America at the same time. One thing is certain—someone will be attending in the middle of the night!

So there you have it: A phased deployment approach can create quick momentum and is easier to execute from a logistical standpoint. A one-time deployment approach can ensure the entire company is on the same page from the start.

Which approach would work better for your company? It’s all a matter of what’s most important to you.

“Register for the DXC Accelerated Implementation for Workday live webcast to discover how you can provide employees with flexible, easy-to-use HCM and payroll services.


Malwina Wojcik is a Workday consultant at DXC.

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