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From the Desk of Sean Jackson: Welcome to the Blog!
Sean updating the Ufirst Project kanban board
Welcome to the blog! During the next few months we will be exploring topics regarding Workday and our HR Transformation. I hope to share with you things that we have learned during the last several months that will be helpful in navigating successfully the upcoming changes. As we complete the launch of our new UVA HR and Payroll organizations in parallel with the deployment of the Workday system, we will be bringing to culmination nearly three years of work that has touched every area of the University.
Perhaps the most important lesson that we have learned through this time is that we are more alike than we are different. While there is comfort and solace in the recognition of our similarities, the real treasure is to be found through the respectful exploration of those areas where we differ. This type of exploration can be difficult to establish and maintain, however, especially when there are risks, constraints and uncertainty in play. Trust is critical to overcoming these obstacles and this is why we have worked hard to establish and build trust during our journey with you. Have we always been successful? Not always. Trust can be hard to come by in our culture here at UVA. Please know that we remain committed to building trust because it is so vital to our collective success—both in terms of the Ufirst program but also, and more importantly, beyond it.
I would suggest that any meaningful journey of change proceeds by means of reasoned trust, not blind faith. In fact, I have been reminded by several colleagues on different occasions of the old Russian proverb, “Trust but verify.” Next month, we will consider how a commitment to continuous improvement will enable us to bring life to this proverb.
The Ufirst HR Transformation Project began with a hypothesis in the summer of 2015 – we could improve the delivery of administrative services across the University.
What began as the Hackett benchmarking study across multiple functions soon proved that we needed to explore this hypothesis. While there were many options, UVA intentionally chose to focus on Human Resources (HR). The rationale came down to this:
The faculty, staff, and team member experience was essential to the UVA mission
The current HR experience left much to be desired
Ufirst Community Kickoff January 2016
We understood that data alone wouldn’t mean anything if we did not genuinely engage the University community in “co-building” a shared vision for UVA HR. From this understanding came a small project known as the HR Strategic Design Initiative, which evolved over the course of the next 18 months into the large-scale Ufirst Project. The need for change was clear:
Getting basic HR work done was harder than it should be
There were sometimes more than 15 ways to do the same HR task and all were complicated
Many HR teams struggled to keep pace with the volume of work in their schools and units
The HR technology was painful to maintain and the user experience was worse
The quality of HR data was very poor and answering basic HR questions took weeks
There was growing distrust between “central HR” and the schools and units
There was minimal sharing of good HR practices across Grounds
Finger pointing and unhelpful behaviors heightened the pain/frustration felt around HR services
The cost of HR was growing rapidly while the perceived value of HR was falling faster
As the reasons “why” were compelling, the attention of the University then shifted to answering the question of “what” – what would great HR look like? The answer to that question, we needed to work across Grounds in uncommon ways:
The Academic Division, Medical Center, and University Physicians Group worked across entities and degrees of codified autonomy on a shared vision for HR
The voice of Deans, Administrative Associate Deans, faculty members, and Health System executives were as important to the design as the perspective of HR
Equal respect was paid to both how you get to the answer (inclusive approach essential in the Academic Division) and the quality of the answer (outcome focus in the Health System)
HR leaders from central units (UHR, MC HR, and UPG HR) worked hand-in-hand with HR leaders embedded in the schools and units
Subject Matter Resource Session, December 2016
After multiple design sessions and countless hours of spirited debate (yes, even CavMan was in on the action), design principles and agreement on the service delivery components became the building blocks for the future:
A single HR leadership team that serves the Academic and Health System divisions
An HR solution center that is the transactional engine and quality & innovation hub
A set of centers of expertise to provide specialized HR services to the University
The introduction of HR service partners who will solve the most complex people issues across Grounds
The investment in contemporary, cloud-based HR technology to enhance the delivery of HR services
The Ufirst team thanks all faculty, staff, and team members at the University for their hard work and dedication over the past 3 years. While no one thought it would be easy, the belief that it would be worth it kept everyone going. It is remarkable to think that the original vision for great HR at UVA will be a reality in a few short months!
The Ufirst project recently partnered with the ITS User Experience & Engagement team to conduct usability testing to learn more about UVA staff and team members’ experience with Workday.
Why is usability important?
Usability means that a tool is quick and easy to learn, efficient to use, allows rapid recovery from errors, and is easy to remember. When software is successfully designed with these characteristics users will be satisfied (and not frustrated), will enjoy interacting with the tool, will achieve their goals efficiently, and will cultivate confidence and trust in the tool.
Workday Usability Testing at UVA
The Workday usability testing focused specifically on the employee self-service experience across the University. We asked seven staff and team members from the Academic Division, the Medical Center, and the University Physicians Group (UPG) to complete 10 tasks – tasks included changing a phone number, updating direct deposit info, viewing current health benefits, requesting time off, submitting a time card, and finding a co-workers phone number.
Testers completed these tasks with no training or direction while "thinking aloud" as the team listened, observed, and learned. The testers were able to complete 83% of the tasks successfully. They reported that Viewing their Profile was the easiest thing to do and Updating Direct Deposit information was the hardest – providing excellent guidance on where to focus improvements and training.
What the Testers said
“The new technology is amazing. Having everything in one place makes it very comprehensive and I really like being able to use a directory to find my coworkers.” – Associate General Counsel, UPG
“Workday offers some incredibly good ideas and I think the ability to provide common information to multiple sources is fantastic. I also love the org chart and time off entry.” - Physician and Faculty Member
Opportunities for Improvement
A snapshot of the feedback includes:
Add the word “Home” to the top navigation
Change the “Payment Elections” button label to “Direct Deposit”
Make the Performance Management functionality easier to find
Preload Emergency Contact information or reduce the number of required fields
Make it clear that timesheet data is being saved
As we continue on the Ufirst HR Transformation journey there will be many changes and much to learn about the new HR processes, Service Delivery model, and HR team members supporting you in addition to the new technology. We are pleased that Workday receives high scores in usability, making the benefits of the new HR that much easier to attain.
Members of the HR Community are busy attending Workday demonstration sessions that allow them to actually experience the new technology. Each one hour session provides a brief overview of Workday, an activity showcasing how intuitive Workday is, and a quick debrief.
So, what are people saying after attending?
“Overall, I am excited for the new system. This session and the other preview session I went to were more self-service/manager self-service items so I'm looking forward to seeing how other actions (creating a new position, posting a faculty position, hiring students) will work.”
“Breath of fresh air compared to Oracle. WOW!”
“Very user friendly! Love that there are multiple ways to do things”
“The "scavenger hunt" at the end was definitely useful for showing how easy it is to navigate and use the search functionality in Workday.”
How did participants rate satisfaction after using Workday?
99% Agree or Strongly Agree
The next opportunity to learn more about Workday is at the February Preview and Feedback sessions(add link). Join us there to see Workday in action.