Customer Confirmation Sessions

Ohio State has been involving stakeholders from every area of the university throughout the range of Enterprise Project activities. Stakeholders (individuals who will be affected by the project outcomes) have participated in efforts to define current business processes, envision improvements and identify the accompanying technological requirements. As the Configure and Prototype phase unfolds, stakeholders will confirm and refine that work during “customer confirmation sessions.”

Customer confirmation sessions give stakeholders an initial look at business process designs as they will appear in Ohio State’s Workday environment. Invited stakeholders are primarily staff who are less familiar with the newly proposed processes, but also include those who have been previously engaged in design sessions and business transformation workshops. These sessions are one opportunity for stakeholders to begin to understand the new process, ask questions and identify any gaps before testing begins.

“We’re taking decisions that were made during the Architect phase and configuring the system in accordance with those designs,” said Beth McCluskey, a Workday project advisor. “It is really an opportunity for Ohio State stakeholders for the first time to see how Workday looks with real Ohio State data and will operate with university-specific configurations.”

It is critical to recognize that customer confirmation sessions are neither a form of testing nor training. Both testing and training strategies are in development and will begin later in the project. The sessions are intended to validate the work that has been completed thus far to move closer to finalizing the business process. The table below clarifies the purpose of customer confirmation sessions.

customer confirmation sessions do...customer confirmation sessions are not...
Provide a first look at WorkdayA debut of the final system
Demonstrate select transactionsA demonstration of full system functionality
Capture feedback on significant concernsTime to completely redesign a process
Confirm business process designsDetailed overviews of business processes
Discuss process initiators and approversA form of stakeholder testing
Identify additional change management and training needsA training opportunity

Currently, the Finance workstream has started holding customer confirmation sessions. An Ohio State staff member, typically a business analyst in the selected area, demonstrates the process from start to finish using a representative scenario. The staff member walks through the process step-by-step to explain how it will function in Workday. About 80% of the business process design is configured, enabling stakeholders to verify the majority of the process before the final details are configured.

“It’s important to make sure that the overall heart – the essence – of the business process is agreed to before getting to some of the other nitty-gritty items,” said McCluskey.

For core users, customer confirmation sessions are a small step in becoming familiar with how transactions will occur in Workday.

“The ultimate goal is for people to begin to get comfortable with how things are going to work in the new world of Workday,” said McCluskey.