We won’t sugarcoat it (that’s not our style!), testing is not the most glamorous part of a software implementation. However, it’s easily the most crucial. Thorough testing has been proven to result in a higher-quality product, better user-adoption, and both time and money savings. In this white paper, we examine testing as it relates to large-scale Workday® projects, though most of these practices could be applied to any form of software testing.

What is testing? Why is testing important? And, how can you ensure success?

Whether it was a missed or miscommunicated requirement or something was configured incorrectly, there has never been a project where requirements were translated 100% correctly into the software. The testing phase is the place to catch that.

Bryan Anderson, Manager, Solutions and Delivery

What is Testing?

In the most basic terms, software testing involves checking that a software product meets the expected requirements, is free of bugs* or defects, and functions as intended.

In regards to Workday®, testing occurs as part of an implementation or when major changes, updates, or enhancements are made.

*did you know?

Many say that the term “computer bug” was coined by Grace Hopper in the 1940s when a moth was found stuck inside a malfunctioning computer at Harvard University. They quite literally debugged the machine.


Testing saves time and money

If you go live with a system that doesn’t work the way you’ve intended, you’ll need to fix it. And, the longer problems go undetected, the more costly they will be to fix. Testing is an upfront investment that ultimately saves you time, money, and resources on the backend.


iconAn IT system issue at a major airline resulted in the delay of hundreds of flights and dozens of canceled flights, affecting thousands of passengers.

iconA health insurance provider endured a new system failure resulting in 25,000 participants enrolled in the wrong plan.

iconA nationwide 911 call center hub dropped thousands of calls due to a software malfunction, affecting 11 million people in seven states.

iconA software glitch caused medical pumps to delay patient infusion, causing medicine to be withheld at critical points or accidental over-dosing.

All of these scenarios resulted in huge financial losses, frustrated customers, and a decrease in brand trust. Some were even downright dangerous. Could they have been prevented by thorough and continuous testing? While we can’t say for sure, our gut feeling is YES!

Testing ensures a quality product

Testing is the first chance to actually use the tenant and see how it incorporates the requirements you’ve given. This is important for a couple reasons. First, you can ensure that the software actually meets your needs. Second, it serves as an opportunity to correct anything that isn’t right, ensuring you have a quality product, free of bugs or defects. Workday® is a complex software, and users can get frustrated when it doesn’t function correctly. Testing offers an opportunity to mitigate this before go-live.

Testing gives the “Super User*” a sneak peek into the software

Testing is the first and best opportunity for the HR team (the “Super User team”) to become familiar with the new system before it goes live. This positions them to be a strong resource as more users are brought on.

*what is a Super User?

During a software implementation, the “go to” resources are often referred to as Super Users. Super Users have a deep understanding of the software and can provide support by training, answering questions, or simply motivating other endusers before, during, and after go-live to ensure a successful transition.

If Workday® doesn’t function correctly the first time, people get frustrated and resist the change. It’s extremely hard to recover from that.”

Chaney Jones, Product Lead


3 Phases of Testing

First, it’s important to understand the phases of testing and the value each phase offers.


Each unit (unit = one small part) of the software is tested to ensure the fundamental rules and functions operate as expected. The theory is that if each individual bit works, they should all work together.

Expected timeline:


but can be up to six weeks depending on how much is being implemented
and resource availability


The entire process is tested from start to finish (typically the entire employee lifecycle) to ensure each business process executes successfully. Integrations are tested to ensure they function properly as part of the business process.

Expected timeline:


at least two payroll cycles


Payroll testing occurs parallel to current system processing to verify that payroll calculations match. This ensures that employees are going to be paid correctly when the system goes live.

Expected timeline:

At least


the IJA difference

If time allows, we often recommend that clients go through three payroll cycles during end-to-end testing.

Illustration of team working together


Six Steps To Success

Plain and simple, proper testing results in a better end product.
This six-step process is a roadmap to your success.


Step 1: Choose a trusted partner

You don’t know what you don’t know. By working with a company who specializes in software testing, you can ensure that your unique goals and requirements are kept top of mind, the process goes smoothly, and the right scenarios are tested by the right people.



  • Have a standard way of facilitating testing that includes providing structure where needed, BUT is also nimble and adaptable to your processes.
  • Do what it takes to gather, coordinate, and motivate any number of testers.
  • Have a proven track record of successful testing.


  • Won’t rush you through testing just to get it over with.
  • Force you to follow a testing process that doesn’t align with your existing processes.
  • Ignore the importance of testing.

the IJA difference

We have over 20 years of collective software testing experience.


Step 2: Assemble the Team

End-users: The key to successful testing

While implementors should be heavily involved in testing and provide support and guidance throughout the entire process, substantial client representation is recommended. Said simply, the employees who are going to be using the system each and every day must be the ones testing it.


Reinforces Training

Far too often, users avoid new functionality when they aren’t fully immersed in it during the testing phases of an implementation.

Creates Champions

Post-testing, testers (Super Users) can assist with end user training, reduce the burden on IT by proactively answering questions and solving problems, and mitigate change resistors by behaving as on-hand solution providers.

Ensures Relevancy

When an implementor tests a software, they are testing for what they know works. On the other hand, employees—who know the company’s pain points—will replicate their jobs during testing, ensuring that the system is working in line with what they will require on a day-to-day basis.

the IJA difference

We often have a testing lead, business analyst, project manager, and subject matter expert involved in our clients’ testing processes.


  • Organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • Capable of communicating clearly and often
  • Quick and eager to learn
  • Believers in the importance of testing


STEP 3: Prepare testing scenarios

the IJA difference

IJA customizes testing scenarios for all phases of testing rather than just utilizing standard Workday® testing scenarios.

Clear testing scenarios must be established based on client requirements.

While testing scenarios will vary based on the unique situation, they may include: Who the test is assigned to, functional area, a clear action and expected outcome, pass/fail status, and a notes/results section for tester comments.

Testing scenarios that are too broad, too specific, incomplete, or poorly cataloged can lead to:

  • Lack of understanding around what to troubleshoot
  • False passes or false fails
  • Incomplete or inadequate testing
  • Frustrated or overwhelmed testers
  • Delayed project timelines


STEP 4: Establish the process

Because testers are full-time employees, it’s not as simple as just choosing a day and beginning testing. Day-to-day responsibilities need to be accounted for and offloaded to other team members so testers can be free of distraction while testing is completed.

Other logistics, such as where employees will conduct testing, should also be considered. Will testers be at their desks? Sitting in a war room*? Will consultants be present to answer questions (spoiler: they should be!)?

There are a myriad of tools that can be utilized to manage and track testing. Some companies may have their own preference while others will look to their consultants for recommendations. Testers should be trained on the tools being used so that they feel comfortable when testing begins.

the IJA difference

Have a specific tool you want to use during testing? Great! We’ll become experts and adopt it. If you don’t, no worries. We have plenty of recommendations and will get you up to speed before testing begins.


When it comes to

Icons of tvs, white boards, and snacks
big TVs, white boards, and plenty of snacks never hurt.
Trust us, we know!

*what is a war room approach?

When completing large-scale projects, gathering the most important resources (in this case, testers!) in one room to bounce ideas off each other and work through things together is often referred to as a “war room approach.” This can boost comradery, decrease frustration, and lead to higher productivity.

A Note on Testing Automation
A trusted testing partner may support or encourage automated testing if it’s available and if it makes sense given the unique situation. However, there will always be a manual aspect to testing. Read more about automated vs. manual testing.


STEP 5: Conduct high level training

Some partners incorrectly believe that training should be completed BY testing. In reality, this leads to frustration and poor user adoption. High level training before testing occurs gives testers a feel for the software as well as documentation to reference throughout the process. By ordering the steps this way, you ultimately get better testing and better user adoption.


STEP 6: Keep testers motivated

One of the biggest challenges that companies run into during testing is getting testers excited and keeping them motivated. Because testers are full-time employees with other responsibilities, it’s understandable that they may be overwhelmed. When testers lack or lose motivation, they might take shortcuts or mark a scenario as complete or passed when it isn’t. They might think they are saving time and energy in the short-term, but this mindset can result in an underperforming or poor-performing product.

the IJA difference

Motivated testers are successful testers. Keeping testers excited and focused on the goal is what we do best. We’re with you every step of the way, and at the end of the project, we’ll be there to celebrate with you, too!


Keep testing fun with these

  • Meme of the day
  • A dollar for each bug found (we call this “buck-a-bug!”)
  • Trivia Thursdays
  • Passing out swag bags

Of employees surveyed,


prefer working for a company that PRIORITIZES RECOGNITION rather than taking a job with a higher salary and no recognitions.


said flexible work arrangements make them MORE PRODUCTIVE

Motivation: How to keep it up

By providing the proper training, support, and incentives, it’s possible to keep testers excited throughout the entire process. This may include:

  • Helping testers offload their day-to-day responsibilities
  • Educating testers on why testing is important and why they were hand-selected to be part of the testing team
  • Recognizing those who go above and beyond
  • Providing a comfortable, enjoyable testing environment
  • Hosting competitions or challenges, team-building events, or happy hours
  • Allowing for flexible work hours during testing


Next Level Service With A People-First Focus

As a women-owned, independent firm specializing in Workday® consulting services, IJA Strategies has a SECRET WEAPON when it comes to helping your company implement and fully utilize everything the software has to offer. Yes, we understand every facet of the technology, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. At IJA, we have a people-first focus. We believe that technology should serve people, not the other way around. We consider the needs of our clients and their people first, then configure the technology and form a customized plan that supports those needs.

We do that by asking the right questions and listening carefully to the answers. We do that by being strategic, but also relationship focused. We get to know our clients, to understand not just their motivations and successes, but their fears and frustrations. This focus, this way of doing business, comes from a personal place. In the words of Andrea Chudy, founder of IJA…

More than ten years ago, I found myself in tears before work one day because I was so frustrated with Workday® and didn’t know how to fix it. I felt defeated. I felt inadequate. I felt like a failure at my job. I vowed that day that no person should ever feel the same. For over a decade I have dedicated myself to becoming a Workday® expert, and in 2017, I founded IJA Strategies to help others.

Andrea Chudy, Founder of IJA

This commitment extends to the entire IJA family. We are tenacious problem solvers working together as a team to help your people embrace change and unleash the full potential of Workday®.

View Our Testing Case Study

View this White Paper as a PDF


Additional Resources