Skip to main content Skip to footer

March 13, 2024

How to prepare for a new Workday release

Learn how best to prepare for an upcoming Workday release and ensure organizations are making the most of Workday.

Workday is a constantly evolving software solution, rolling out two major software updates a year. These updates provide a variety of fixes, enhancements and new features, allowing Workday to improve the user experience while also delivering greater value. Since Workday is in the cloud, organizations don’t need to execute these updates on their end, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have a plan in place when these updates do go live.

Users need to know if the tools that they currently use are going to be changed and what those changes will look like. Also, new features will require additional training and, in some cases, additional integrations to make the most of them.

Every Workday release brings with it a variety of unique changes. However, there are some general best practices that your organization can follow to minimize disruption and take full advantage of new features.

Stay informed

Education is key to successfully navigating a new Workday release (or any software update). Fortunately, Workday provides several ways for clients to familiarize themselves with an upcoming release:

The “what’s new” report

Every tenant gets a “What's New in Workday” report that outlines the changes coming with a new release. This serves as a good, high-level overview of the changes and new features that can be expected. You will want to review these features and changes to determine how they will impact your internal processes and determine how they can be used to better support organizational objectives.

The Workday preparation center

Workday has a preparation center designed to help clients stay informed about upcoming and recent releases. The center is a valuable tool before, during and after a new update is rolled out. Before a new update, it’s where you will find new resources to familiarize yourself with what is changing and how. During and after a new update, it is a good idea to monitor the center for any bugs that others have reported as well as any fixes for these issues.

The Workday-provided checklist

With every new release, Workday provides a checklist to customers to help them better prepare for the upcoming update. We strongly recommend running through the checklist to ensure that your organization covers the essential steps needed to prepare for the release.

Once your organization has a good grasp of what new features and changes are coming with a Workday release, host brainstorming sessions with key stakeholders to plan what actions need to be done to prepare. These plans should include creating a strategy for integrating new features into existing workflows, training workers who are impacted by the release, and how to go about testing.

Test what you need to

Once you are able to preview a new Workday release, go ahead and start the testing process. Here are some best practices when it comes to testing:

  • When a new update is rolled out, test your core processes and critical integrations, such as single sign-on, to ensure that everything is working as intended.

  • You will want to test the entire employee lifecycle, from onboarding to the point where they leave your organization, to make sure that all processes work properly.

  • Test critical reports to determine whether data has changed in any unexpected ways.

  • Make sure to test new features before implementing them. While exciting, new features may mean new bugs and opportunities for issues to arise.

  • Perform data validation tests on employee accounts and verify that your employee count hasn’t changed drastically. Some small (small being relative to the size of your organization) changes will naturally occur as part of the day-to-day fluctuations in headcount and your preview tenant not reflecting current data, but large changes could be a sign of an issue.

  • If you have the bandwidth, run tests on mobile devices to verify that everything works as well. However, this should be a lower priority task.

Most organizations should start preparing for a new Workday release at least 2–4 weeks before the preview window opens. We recommend making it a best practice to add the Workday releases to your roadmap so that stakeholders know it’s coming and can plan accordingly.

Given the scope, frequency and complexity of each Workday release, it can be difficult for some organizations to adapt to each new update, especially if their resources are limited or focused on other high-value projects. That is why Cognizant’s Workday practice provides Workday release support—to help our clients navigate each new release successfully and consistently generate even greater value from their Workday tenant.

Cognizant Workday Practice
Author Image

Get the guidance your business needs to move ahead with Workday initiatives and build rigor into your key finance and HR management operations.

Latest posts

Related posts

Subscribe for more and stay relevant

The Modern Business newsletter delivers monthly insights to help your business adapt, evolve, and respond—as if on intuition