The Ufirst Project

Change – It’s a Good Thing!

Change – It’s a Good Thing!

The launch of Workday signals an important milestone in upgrading the HR function at the University, simplifying a wide range of existing processes. But, it’s important to realize that we’ll all be using this new system, not just the HR team. 

Click the image below to see some of the key changes that are coming.


Workday changes (click to enlarge)

Click image to enlarge


Additional details and important dates will be announced soon, including the launch of an all-new training website, dedicated to teaching you all you need to know about Workday! Please check the Ufirst website frequently for updates.

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Workday Words – Business Processes

Workday Words

To understand and work effectively in Workday, you have to speak the language.

There are a number of terms used in Workday that have particular meanings – or meanings that matter in the context of the platform. In this post – the first in a series – we’ll review terms related to how work gets done in Workday.

Be sure to check back for more vital vocabulary!

Business Process 

All transactions in Workday will be executed through the completion of business processes. A business process is a collection of tasks that are completed in a specific order using predefined routing to accomplish a desired business objective. Routing of a business process is conditional on attributes (e.g., employee type, supervisory organization, and job family). Some examples of business processes are hire, change job, add additional job, and terminate.


The role that is responsible for starting a business process. Each business process can have multiple possible initiators.


A business process step that must be completed in order for workflow to proceed to the next step.


The role responsible for approving business processes in Workday.


Steps in a business process that act as reminders to the user to complete or update data in a section of Workday that is outside the business process.


A message within Workday that indicates a business process has been completed.

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[Video] Getting Ready for Workday: An Overview

Ufirst project timeline
Basic timeline of the Ufirst Project


For the past several weeks, we’ve been taking our show on the road – meeting with various groups across Grounds, providing an overview of the Ufirst project, where we’ve been, and where we’re heading as we progress toward the much-anticipated launch of Workday.

If you haven’t been among the hundreds that have attended these informative presentations, we’ve created a video that covers the information so you can also benefit from the insights provided.

The video covers the following topics:

  • What is Ufirst?
  • What is the Workday rollout timeline?
  • When will you begin using Workday?
  • What training will be available?
  • How do you get help after go-live?
  • Next steps
  • Workday special topics

After you’ve watched the video, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at – and make sure to check the website frequently for updates!

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Performance Management – Lead@ Deadlines for CY2018 Are Fast Approaching

Lead@ >> Workday

While everyone at the University will soon be using Workday, there are some critical Performance Management deadlines approaching, specifically for Lead@ users.  

Completing Calendar Year 2018 Goals

Calendar year 2018 goals should be entered and approved by managers in Lead@ by October 31st. For assistance writing meaningful goals, consider using this SMART goal-setting resource.

New employees are expected to enter their goals in Lead@ for manager approval within 30 days of hire; however, employees hired after October 1 should wait to enter goals using Workday in January, 2019, following Workday go-live.

Workday Migration Deadlines 

All goals for calendar year 2018 that are manager-approved by October 31 will be migrated to Workday. If goals are not approved by then, employees will have to manually enter goals in Workday in January. Evaluations for calendar year 2018 will be completed in Workday following go-live.

Due to the migration process, no attached documents, comments, or additional detail will transfer to Workday. Employees and managers who completed interim or mid-year evaluations in Lead@ are encouraged to save a PDF copy for upload into Workday, post-launch. Request the job aid for detailed instructions.

Advancement and School of Medicine employees will enter fiscal year 2019 goals directly in Workday after go-live.

Regarding Historic Evaluations 

Two years of ratings will migrate from Lead@ to Workday: 2016 and 2017. If you would like to keep copies of past performance evaluations, we encourage you to download pdfs for your reference. Please see this reference guide to export and download past evaluations.

Note for Those Participating in the Darden Pilot 

Individuals who are participating in the Darden pilot are not affected by this cutover and should continue to use their current process.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact

Additional deadlines and critical dates will follow. Please check the Ufirst website frequently for updates!

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Top 3 FAQs – Onboarding

Top 3 FAQs - Onboarding

Here are three of the most frequently asked questions about the onboarding process in Workday. Want to see more? Browse the complete FAQ. You’ll find more Onboarding FAQs under “Recruiting, Hiring, & Onboarding.”

You can also check out a short video on the overall recruiting process in Workday, hosted by Sue Simpkins, in our recent blog post.

1Q: Is there an onboarding checklist customized for new hires?

A: Yes. New hires will receive automated notifications (checklist items) via Workday. There will also be a hard copy checklist version available for reference.

2Q: Can some aspects of onboarding be customized?

A: Onboarding is customized based on entity (Academic Division, Medical Center and UPG) and on large employee types that span multiple departments (i.e., variations are provided for faculty, students, temps, contingent workers, transfers, etc.).

3Q: Does a new hire have the ability to log in before their start date?

A: Yes, new hires will first log in to Workday as applicants. Once hired, they will gain access to the employee sections of Workday. For security purposes, there will be a limit on how far ahead of their start date they will be able to gain that access.

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Virtual Scavenger Hunt - Week Four Prize Winners

Virtual Scavenger Hunt Prizes
Travel blankets, thermal tote bags, and travel tumblers!

Congratulations to our prize winners!

  • Sarah Staton – Psychiatry Practice Supervisor, Medical Center
  • Cynthea Wagner – Occupational Training, Facilities Management
  • Caroline Brennan – Grants and Contracts, School of Medicine

Here are the correct answers to yesterday's questions:

  1. Where does a hiring manager go in Workday to see whether there are active candidates for a job? The Recruiting dashboard.
  2. Name any two types of training offerings that will be available to users across Grounds at the end of October. Instructor-led courses (classroom or web conference), eLearning, open labs, job aids, on-demand videos, concept aids.
  3. What is Sue most excited about when using Workday to apply for a job at UVA? Drag-and-drop functionality to upload a resume and the subsequent auto-fill of data.

As usual, we chose three winners at random from all the correct submissions.

Thanks to everyone who has participated over the past four weeks!

Your enthusiasm was obvious, but we’re also glad to see so many people engaged in learning about Workday in our run-up to launch in January. Training and learning materials will augment the knowledge you’ve already acquired and should assure a smooth transition to the new system. Watch the blog, email, and Twitter for frequent updates as go-live approaches.

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[Video] "Sue Says!" – Applying for a Job at UVA

Sue Says!


Sue explains just how easy applying through Workday can be – Boom!

Applying online through legacy systems like Jobs@ has always been cumbersome, with lots of manual data entry required that duplicates the information contained in your resume. Workday makes this time-consuming step unnecessary. Watch the video to learn more:

Did you miss any of Sue's informative videos this month? Be sure to check our "Getting Ready for Workday" page for an archive of "Sue Says" videos and much more. And don't miss your last chance to win a prize in our Virtual Scavenger Hunt! Questions will be published on Monday, October 1. 

Wondering “Hoo's Sue?” You can learn more about our resident HR guru here

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From the Desk of Sean Jackson – The Peanut Butter Peter Principle, Part II: Effective Countermeasures


In July’s post we looked at how overburden limits one’s effectiveness – an effect I dubbed the “Peanut Butter Peter Principle.” In this post we will look at some effective countermeasures that my team and I put into place.

One day, when I was dropping off some clothes at the dry cleaner, the owner, after making note of my items and instructions asked, “Is next Wednesday okay for you to pick these up?” During the course of my many visits to this dry cleaner over the years, I had always agreed, often mindlessly, with the date proposed. But, this particular morning – with the analysis of the countermeasures to the Peanut Butter Peter Principle problem running around in my head – I said, “Tim, what’s the earliest that you could get these back to me?” “I can get them back to you in 24 hours, if you need them, but I will have to charge you extra.” “And if I need them a day earlier than the day you’ve offered?” “Well, three business days is our standard, but this week, things are light enough that I can do two days, if you need them back sooner, but it would have to be at the very end of the day, Tuesday,” he replied helpfully. It was at that moment that it clicked. I thanked Tim and told him Wednesday was fine. I had what I needed.

The answer to the cultural prohibition against saying “no” is the ability to ask “when?” as in, “I can have this done in three days. Is that okay?” With this small breakthrough, we had the start of a plan.

Sean Jackson at the Kanban Board

Visibility is essential

Making the work visible was the first step in establishing and communicating priority. We did this by creating a simple Kanban board using painter’s tape on the wall directly behind the desks of the team members. As customers came by, they asked questions regarding the Kanban boards. They were somewhat surprised to see the amount of work waiting to be pulled into “production” and one asked about how priority was established. We responded that priority was determined by the order of task arrival. 

We had three columns: “To Do, Doing, and Done.” When a task was completed, the individual performing the task would move the note from the “Doing” column to the “Done” column, freeing up space in the “Doing” column. The individual would then take a note from the top of the “To Do” column and move it into the “Doing” column, “pulling” the work through the Kanban board. At the end of each day, we had each team member track the rate at which they were able to move tasks through their Kanban board and had them use that rate as their estimated throughput for the next day. Over time, they got very good at sizing tasks and estimating their throughput.

The best part was when I heard one of the team members respond to a customer’s request with, “I can have that done in four days. Does that work for you?" The customer replied. “I don’t need it until next Friday (ten days). I see you have a long list of things to do.” The culture of “nice” was working for everyone now. There were some hurdles to overcome as we progressed along the path (“emergencies” and attempts to cut in line), but the basic system was in place and working.

Priorities matter

Countermeasures to the Peanut Butter Peter Principle start with making work visible. If folks can’t see it, they assume it doesn’t exist. Next, be clear regarding priorities. If you lack the authority to set priorities, don’t accept the responsibility for setting priorities. Just commit to doing the work in order of arrival and leave the prioritization to those with the authority (and responsibility) to do so. Finally, limit work in process. Take control of your estimates and your throughput, being as clear with your customers about “when” you will deliver as you are about “what” you will deliver.

Several weeks later, when visiting the dry cleaner, I thanked Tim for his help, explaining how his asking me “when” helped me solve a problem with my team at work. He told me he was happy he could help and then got down to business, pointing out a stain on one of my shirts. “I will pre-spot this for you,” he informed me as he set the shirt aside on the counter. As I mulled potential causes for the stain, I concluded that it was most likely peanut butter.

[Video] Workday Wednesday – Recruiting and Training

Workday Wednesday


Check out the latest videos on Workday essentials!


  • Overview of the new process
  • The recruiting dashboard
  • Reviewing candidates
  • The offer and hiring process



Workday Training

  • Instructor-led courses (classroom and web-based)
  • Open labs
  • Job aids
  • Concept aids
  • Visual aids
  • eLearning/on-demand videos
  • Workday training website



Did you miss any?

Since the beginning of September, we've published videos on a variety of important Workday topics. Visit our "Getting Ready for Workday" page to catch up on any essentials you may have missed.

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