Email to the Community: Workday Updates


Enterprise Transformation

Dear Colleagues,

It has been several months since we launched Workday for HR and Finance functions, and we wanted to provide an update on how things are going, and how we’re using your feedback to change things; the timing and thoroughness of your responses is especially meaningful, as we have officially begun WPI’s Workday Student deployment.

First and foremost, a most enthusiastic THANK YOU to the 620 people who filled out the three-month survey for Workday—almost half of those respondents also provided comments.  Our work on this project isn’t yet done, and we are using your feedback to continue to try and make Workday better. If you would like to see the survey results, please click here for both the raw results from the multiple-choice questions and the aggregated results from the comments.

And even if you didn’t respond, we are still sincerely grateful to the entire community for the time and energy put into making Workday work. We asked this community to keep an open mind and give the model a try, and you’ve risen to the challenge.  We know that it hasn’t always been easy, and we truly appreciate your effort, support, patience, good humor, understanding, and dedication to moving this project forward, even when challenged and/or frustrated. 

We are now fully evaluating the feedback, and will make appropriate adjustments.  However, there were some overall comments that we’d specifically like to address:

  • Workday has shifted work between roles.
  • The tool feels difficult to use, involves too much clicking, takes too long to use, and has too many approvals.
  • The project felt too rushed. 
  • The timing of the launch was unfortunate.  
  • Training was sub-optimal because a test system with WPI data was not available until two months before the launch.  Changes were made up until launch.

 We heard you, and because of your input we are able to make adjustments to address these concerns within the Workday Student project.  Specifically, we are already working on the following:

  • With Workday Student, we performed a six-week business process review of core student functions in the fall. We are leveraging this data to help make better decisions in a more timely fashion with the student project.
  • The Workday HCM and Finance project used the prescribed Workday LDP methodology, which required WPI to convert all HR and Finance functions at one time during a 12-month period. Workday student will have 7 waves that launch over an 18-month period, allowing the gradual deployment of new features vs. deploying everything at once.
  • With Workday Student, we are changing our communication model. We have formed a Liaison Group with faculty governance appointees, Deans and key staff members to review and discuss changes that may impact faculty. We are also forming a Workday Outreach Group, which will consist of monthly meetings, open to faculty, staff and students. To participate, please email Veronica Brandstrader (
  • We also heard your concerns about having additional approvers to review both grants and expense reports before PI and manager sign-off. We added new roles called Grant Buyer and Expense Reviewer to address these concerns. To request a Grant Buyer or Expense Reviewer access, please submit this form
  • Based on survey feedback, we will also be changing the process for Expense Report submission. We are currently evaluating options for allowing delegates to create Expense Reports on behalf of others. As soon as we have more details on the functionality and revised process, we will share them with the community.

More information will be coming over the next few months. In the meantime, if you have any difficulty with Workday, please email or Veronica Brandstrader (  for help.

Thank you.

Jeff Solomon, EVP & CFO, ETP Co-Sponsor

Kristin Tichenor, SVP, ETP Co-Sponsor

Patty Patria, VP for IT and CIO