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Modernizing with Workday Student: What You Need to Know

Changing student expectations are driving the need for transformation in higher education, yet the majority of colleges and universities are working with legacy systems that are 20 years old or older. Students today want to be able to register for classes, see their degree progress, pay their bill, accept their financial aid and many other critical student experience tasks using their mobile device.

Traditional student systems that require an on-campus connection slow things down. Transforming with a cloud-based system like Workday Student delivers benefits from improved access to data to serving students in real-time via a unified system that connects HR, finance, and payroll with student data. The result is increased collaboration between departments, automation of processes, and the ability for departments to generate reports to support daily activities and departmental needs.

Considering Workday Student and want to increase project success? Here are best practices learned from our award-winning Workday Student team:

Plan for Phase Zero

Phase zero is an often-missed step in the ERP implementation process and includes the activities between selecting a new system and the implementation activities. Phase zero includes project management and governance, organizational and business process alignment, and change management preparation. Including change management in phase zero and being specific, early, and often, is key to seamless transition. Rumblings of change start as soon as the system selection process begins, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.

Establish Goals

Driving the ERP process forward requires setting measurable, specific, and achievable goals. Timeline, deliverables, expected ROI, and other factors and figures that define success should be part of the implementation plan. When establishing goals, consider communication plans and progress, to ensure the project is on-track to meet your goals.

Eliminate Data Migration Risk

When moving from your legacy solution to Workday Student, how data conversions and integrations are managed is critical. Most of the time, data conversion takes longer than anticipated, and data quality in legacy systems is often worse than business users assume. Data migration is complex, but it is the key to a strong foundation to support the go-forward program. A partner with expertise in data migration that uses tools like Alteryx can alleviate the risk and complexity of moving data from the legacy system to Workday and accelerate the conversion.

Include Change Management at the Project Start

Resistance to change is a characteristic of many higher ed institutions. Learning to adapt to a new student system requires executive sponsorship, strong leadership, and constant communication throughout the transformation to help staff navigate change with minimal disruptive. Effective change management is especially important in student system transformation to manage change at the project and enterprise level.

Delivering training, developing communication plans, measuring impact and working through continuous improvement are key change management activities when deploying a new system. Establishing a plan to engage all stakeholders, including students, can help your institution reach its goals of seamless integration more quickly, and connect students, staff, and faculty through collaboration. Establishing a network of change leaders that includes end-user feedback and considers their perspective of the change along with change leaders that understand the value of the project will help others as they adapt to new ways of working.

After the Go-live

When live on Workday Student, everyone across the institution will have access to information in a single source. Leaders will have improved access to information for faster, data-informed decision-making. Students will have a better experience throughout the student lifecycle, from recruiting and admissions, to understanding their course trajectory and getting insight into financials.

Continued Support

Transformation with Workday doesn’t end at the go-live. Many institutions continue to evolve with adding new functionality or updating configurations to fit growth. Workday’s twice-yearly releases bring enhancements and are an opportunity to make sure your institution is making the most of its Workday investment.

Delaying modernization is not an option for institutions seeking to stay relevant. Connected systems unite departments across the institution and better serve students and leaders. Taking advantage of automation provides more time to focus on student success.

Avaap is a Workday Services partner specializing in higher education. Visit our client page to see higher education institutions that have transformed with Workday and Avaap.