The Oracle

Getting Workday working

Hamline’s three-year transition to Workday begins with hiccups.

Lydia Hansen, Reporter

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Workday, the new campus-wide system for managing student paychecks, is not yet fully operational as Hamline moves forward on a three-year migration of internal processes from old software to brand-new systems.

Previously, Hamline managed core internal processes like finances, human resources, student accounts, billing and class registration through a business process management software called Banner. By 2021, Banner and the child interface Piperline will be phased out as those processes are transferred to a new management software: Workday.

Over four months into the transition, however, the first systems shifted to Workday are still not operating smoothly, and students are noticing.

Junior Jordan Hansen said she was underpaid for hours worked in October at her on-campus job. She had to contact Payroll to be issued a check for the missing amount but said she never got an explanation for the error.

“I prefer the old system,” Hansen said, noting that logging hours was easier when student workers would input their hours manually through Piperline instead of electronically clocking in and out on Workday.

Junior Skyler Kane has also run into problems with Workday which she said have added stress to her semester. As a leader of two campus organizations, Her Campus Hamline and the Fulcrum Journal, Kane has struggled to find instructions on how to use Workday to pay her student contributors, purchase supplies for events and manage budgets.

“It’s just a very complicated process and there weren’t a lot of instructions given,” Kane said. “I had nowhere to even start.”

Kane said she spent nearly two months hunting down answers by pursuing a rabbit trail of emails to Payroll, Accounting and the Dean of Students’ office, often waiting weeks for a response.

“I feel like I shouldn’t have to email someone at every hurdle,” Kane said. “But every time I have to do anything, I have to figure out a new system.”

Figuring out the new system is an obstacle people all over campus have been encountering since the migration started in July. To help facilitate that process, a network of 21 staff members have been serving as Workday Change Ambassadors, acting as touchpoints between Workday users and the people putting it together behind the scenes by fielding questions and passing along concerns.

Terry Metz, a university librarian and Change Ambassador, said snags like those Hansen and Kane have run into are part of the growing pains of the change to Workday, which is incredibly complex due to the integral role core systems like Banner and Workday play in day-to-day operations.

“They’re sort of like the central nervous system for how this institution gets anything done,” Metz said.

Mark Kondrak, Hamline’s chief information officer, has been overseeing the transition process since committees first started looking for a replacement for Banner in 2013 when it failed to meet modern technology needs. He said the benefits of Workday in the streamlining of processes and overall efficiency will outweigh the short-term inconveniences of the transition.

“Banner was literally older than almost all of our students,” Kondrak said. “It really wasn’t serving the needs of the institution in terms of mobile experience, data-driven decision making or being cloud-based.”

If students have questions about timesheets and paychecks, refer to the workstudy supervisor. For help with general technology issues, contact the Central Service Desk. Visit the desk on Bush Library’s first floor, call 651-523-222 or email its-service@hamline.edu.

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Getting Workday working