Ufirst: Human Resource Solutions for You

Phase 2

Here's what the Ufirst Project team is working on this month. Check back regularly for updates.


Where are we in the implementation? We are currently in the Design & Architect phase of the implementation (Feb – June 2017). During this time period, the Ufirst Technology team is focused on hosting Workday Initial Design Sessions. The Workday Initial Design Sessions are a week-long opportunity for Ufirst team members, the system implementer (Sierra Cedar) and select University SMRs to discuss the tactical transition from current state processes to future state. The Technology team will document future state requirements as an output of these sessions to configure the Workday solution.

Since the fall of 2016, the Ufirst Technology Data team has aggregated University employee data from the three entities in preparation for the first prototype build (see the Solution page for implementation information). The data team held 15+ sessions with key University stakeholders to analyze the current state data files and propose future state data standards to harmonize data from the three entities. This process of “harmonize, load and validate” will repeat throughout the implementation as we further develop and configure the UVA Workday system.

How is Ufirst Technology engaging the community: We've engaged SMRs across the three entities, specifically from the IT, HR, and Finance functions, to participate in the Workday design and data sessions. Additional UVA stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the configurations during the Workday Preview & Feedback Sessions throughout the implementation. (See The Solution for session dates)

What is upcoming for Ufirst Technology? In addition to Workday design sessions, the Ufirst Technology team will host and participate in multiple community events over the next few months. These events will provide University community members the opportunity to learn more about Workday functionality, view demonstrations of the  UVA Workday prototype system, and gain an understanding of what to expect over the course of the implementation. (See the Events calendar under Resources for more information regarding the dates and times for these events)




The Ufirst project is dedicated to working collaboratively with our colleagues and partners across Grounds to gather input and feedback before making critical decisions. We have formed a group of Subject Matter Resources that engages with the project regularly to weigh-in on processes, policies, service delivery, and everything in between.

What is a Subject Matter Resource? A Subject Matter Resource (SMR) is a source of knowledge and skills in a particular area or function. A Ufirst SMR shares experiences, reviews future-state design, and acts as a Ufirst change champion. 

How is Ufirst engaging the community: We've engaged over 150 SMRs across the three entities, specifically from the IT, HR, and Finance functions. We've collected information through SMR input sessions, one-on-one meetings and electronic feedback.
Over the last two months, the Ufirst HR Service Delivery team hosted over 10 SMR input sessions to gather valuable insights for each component of the future-state HR Service Delivery Model, including Talent Management, Talent Recruitment, Employee Relations, the HR Solution Center, and the HR Business Partner.  
Why is this work important? The expertise of our SMRs and the feedback provided will create a future-state that is relevant to all units and divisions. Ufirst will continue to engage the community throughout the project and we appreciate the dedication and time our SMRs contribute to the project.

Talent Management Lead Richard Convington leads a subject matter resource session



The Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) design was conceptualized in phase 1 but design picked up in early December 2016. The objective of the position was to ensure a focus on delivering value added HR services to the customer that provided high touch HR support. We have created a list of duties related to talent planning, risk management, performance advising, and program administration. In mid-January, we held two subject matter resource meetings, one focused on faculty and the other on staff. With over 30 HR professionals in attendance from the eleven schools, UPG, Medical Center, and operational/administration units, we solicited feedback through small group activities on what was captured well, what was missing, and what we should consider moving forward. In addition to the SMR meetings, the BP Project Lead and the Ufirst ER team began holding small meetings with stakeholders across grounds to discuss interaction and handoffs between the future state BPs and ER Consultants.

These sessions identified:

  • the need for a “home” for student wage hiring in the new HR Structure (Talent Flex)
  • the need for manager accountability to ensure success in the new model
  • the desire for HR professionals to have the capacity to be strategic and proactive in their collaboration with schools/units.

In early February, we presented customer scenarios to the Voice of the Customer and S3 to illustrate both the future state Business Partner role and the overall service delivery model. This allows us to further work through the work performed and refine the interaction of the service delivery. Next steps include the roll out of the Human Resources Service Delivery Learning Lab. This will be a miniature version of HR future state to allow us to create and refine our processes and review for any school/unit differences so that we can work through it proactively.

 duties include Program Administrator, HR Community Leader, Performance Advisor, and Risk Manager



A fundamental aspect of the future-state HR service delivery model is providing an opportunity for continuous feedback. As the Ufirst project team designs the future, the first group to put this in to action is our HR IMPACT and Decision Support team.
Last month, the team conducted a customer feedback and engagement survey called, Insights that Matter. Through this survey, the team gained valuable information about what HR professionals and our customers need from this function in the future-state.
Following this survey, the HR IMPACT team used ThinkTank, a real-time, collaborative feedback tool to collect information. The feedback gathered informed the team what HR professionals and customers will need in the future including metrics, data, and reporting capabilities. See the update below for more details.

HR IMPACT insights that matter data and analytics update