UBC launches Workday, new HR and Finance system

People and Places | Strategy 5: Systems Renewal
Theme: Collaboration
The successful launch of Workday allows UBC to improve business processes and accessibility of work for all employees. Photo credit: Paul Joseph / UBC Communications & Marketing

After years of preparation, UBC launched its new HR and Finance system on November 2, 2020. The move to cloud-based software Workday allows UBC to modernize our core business processes and improve accessibility and continuity of work for all employees.  

“My gratitude runs deep for this community for what you have achieved, your commitment to the success of the Integrated Renewal Program and your participation in it through the transition network,” says Peter Smailes, Vice-President, Finance & Operations, and lead executive sponsor of the IRP – HR/Finance system. “To be successful with a go-live of this size, it takes a ‘together approach’, one of which I know you have been a huge part of, including ongoing representation from every unit on campus involved in the transition network.” 

The successful launch and adoption of a multi-year program of this depth does not happen without an incredible amount of hard work, with the majority of it by members of the university community who deserve thanks and gratitude for their behind-the-scenes contributions and dedication. 

The next step for the Integrated Renewal Program is moving forward with the renewal of UBC’s Student Information ecosystem, anchored in the Workday Student platform. This will create an integrated HR, Finance and Student administration environment, opening the door to innovation and ongoing improvements in support of UBC’s academic mission.

The path forward with workday from project to operations

To support the UBC community in working with Workday, UBC created the new Integrated Service Centre (ISC) as a central hub to support questions to do with the new system. The ISC currently has over 60 staff working to answer questions, solve problems, and make improvements for the UBC community in using Workday.  

In March 2021, the ISC successfully completed implementation of the first regularly scheduled Workday release since launch. Over the course of three weeks, teams tested and implemented 437 Workday features. This is an example of the collaboration and partnership between the ISC, UBC IT and the broader community, in seeing a successful release during one of the busiest times of year for the HR and Finance community. 

Workday by the numbers (November 2020 – March 2021) 

  • Number of logins to Workday: 31,439 
  • Tickets resolved: 16,000+ 
  • Views of Workday knowledge base articles (self-help guide): 148,000+ 
  • Completed hire business process: 7,268 
  • Approved expense reports: 46,911 

Through Strategy 5: Systems Renewal, UBC is committed to improving its student information, human resources and financial management systems to improve their effectiveness and integration.