When you move to a new system, it is not as if you cut over and you are done! Far from it… As I wrote earlier, we had a successful registration in November and immediately started planning some of the next steps. Our transition plan had us using Banner for certain continued functionality for mostly back end integrations. We were essentially duplicating some of the things in both systems, most of them automated. But as we approached December, it became apparent that we needed a bit more time to completely remove Banner dependence.
Since we continue to use Banner for advancement it was not the end of the world. We will be moving to Affinaquest during the next few days and Banner will be made read only at that time. This is a huge step and you can imagine the anxiety that comes with it. We have been aggressively moving various applications and integrations to use Workday as the source, but as everyone knows, with so many systems and dependencies, we are likely to find out we missed some. We have the staff waiting to monitor and take action as this happens.
One of the activities we planned for was grade entry in Workday by our faculty in December and January. It went remarkably well thanks to great communication and good documentation. The number of questions/tickets that came to the Registrar’s office was pretty low.
The next big thing for us was shifting the production of transcripts to Workday. Workday does not have direct integration yet with Parchment, who manages our transcript requests and fulfillment. So, we needed to strategize on how best to do this. With the excellent WebServices that are available in Workday, we were able to pull all the necessary data. The next challenge was to format the data exactly the way our previous transcripts were produced from Banner because we were not interested in making changes to it.
Thanks to HTML/CSS and some open source tools to overlay it in the official document to produce the transcript as a PDF, we are in business. We began producing transcripts from Workday starting from first week in January and it is going well. Did I say we were not going to make any changes to the transcript format? Well, I lied – we made it much easier to read than before!
We continue to use some of the web applications for a variety of things such as waitlist, major declaration etc. but all of these connect to Workday through integration and work well. We will be looking to move some of these to Workday over the next few months.
We have a list of priorities moving several functionalities from external apps directly to Workday. One of the most exciting project that we are looking forward to is taking advantage of the Academic Planning, Academic Requirements and Academic Progress Report features in Workday. These require very careful thought and planning in order for them to be successful, so we have a group that is configuring and testing, testing and testing!
I should say that our continued collaboration with Workday and Alchemy (our implementation partner) has been critical for the success of the project so far and hope it continues…