Twice a year, in March and September, Workday® releases software updates. These are major updates—introducing new features, improving functionality and user experience, enhancing security, and finding and fixing any bugs.

Because Workday®’s software releases are done on a regular, bi-annual schedule, users are able to plan and prepare for them. So, how can you ensure you are getting the most out of the next Workday® release? Here are some concrete steps you can take to unlock all of the potential Workday® has to offer.

Make a plan…

…a software update plan, that is. Because there will be new features and enhancements involved with the update, additional training will be required. Coordinating the implementation of features and getting your employees and management up to speed with the new software changes will include allocating additional resources and will take time, so having a plan in place is crucial for streamlining the process. This is even more essential if the update happens to fall within a busy period for your company, when there are already stressors in place.

Luckily, Workday® has readily available tools to help with planning, including:

  • A What’s New In Workday® Report that delineates the upcoming features and benefits contained in the new software release.
  • The Workday® Release Center, a one-stop-shop for Workday® software release communications and information.
  • A new software release checklist provided by Workday® with every new release, as a handy way to ensure you’re not missing any steps in preparing for the coming changes.

Additionally, you can engage in discussions, forums, and user groups to learn from others’ experiences, share best practices, and gain insight into the potential of Workday®’s features. 

Communication is key

Effective communication is essential to ensure your employees are prepared for changes resulting from Workday® software releases. Develop a communication plan that includes clear messaging about the upcoming changes, their benefits, and any necessary training requirements. Provide training sessions, workshops, or online resources to equip your employees with the knowledge and skills needed to utilize the new features effectively. Encourage feedback and address any concerns promptly to build confidence and enthusiasm around the changes.

Be sure everyone affected is on board and involved—management, IT, human resources, other employees—basically every end user. Communication works best when it’s a two way street. 

Test every step of the way

Even small changes can affect your data in unexpected ways. Before deploying new features to your live environment, you must conduct comprehensive testing in a controlled sandbox or test environment. This is particularly important because the downstream impacts of some changes are not immediately apparent. A new release feature may seem like one thing on paper, but could have an unexpected impact all the way down to payroll. Don’t be surprised.

Engage end-users to gather feedback and incorporate it into the testing process. This step is critical to identifying and resolving any issues before the features go live, minimizing disruptions to your HR operations.

Monitor performance

Once the new features are live, actively monitor their performance and impact on your HR processes. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the effectiveness of the changes. Collect feedback from end-users and managers, and regularly review your HR processes and workflows to identify any areas for improvement or further optimization. 

Sound like a lot? It is!
Don’t be afraid to get help

Preparing for and implementing Workday’s bi-annual software updates on your own may not be the best use of your resources. An expert, such as IJA Strategies, can take the heavy lifting off your plate. The team at IJA has the experience, knowledge, and resources to study and understand changes and determine exactly how they affect your operations. Our 8-week program ensures you have everything you need – from preparation to implementation and beyond.

Workday® software releases provide organizations with valuable opportunities to enhance HR operations and streamline processes. When you work with IJA, you can be sure you’re getting the very most from this powerful suite of software tools. Learn more about our Release Management support.