How to Prepare for Workday’s Upcoming Semiannual Release
How to Prepare for Workday’s Upcoming Semiannual Release
January 2019

It’s a new year and Workday’s Semiannual Release is fast upon us. As always we recommend thoroughly reviewing the Announcing and Feature Consideration documentation and review the notes in the Release Center prior to the release date, March 9th, 2019. With new features available in Preview Tenants starting on February 2nd, your team can get a jump start on reviewing and testing the new release features to ensure there are no major impacts to your tenant. Here are a few tips that have served us well with past clients:


  1. Prioritize the features. The first action we recommend customers take is to review all the release features and prioritize which items are High or Low impact. It’s important to identify which updates may directly impact your tenant or indirectly impact other systems. Use the tools Workday provides, they offer a spreadsheet that categories each new release feature. It’s a quick and easy way to understand all the release features. In this semiannual release the Workday Inbox worklet is being retired and there  are new updates for Payroll integrations. We’d label the Workday Inbox worklet as Low Impact since the Inbox now is featured directly on the Home screen. For those clients with a third party payroll system, the Payroll integration updates could be a High Impact so it’s important to review the release notes and thoroughly test.


  1. Adjust your project plan. In a previous post we wrote about the importance of creating an annual Workday project plan. Once you’ve identified how the release will impact your tenant, make sure to adjust your project plan so that it accounts for the time you’ll spend testing the new features. Ideally, you factored the Release into your Workday project plan but make sure you adjust appropriately if other initiatives need to take a backseat while you prepare for the semiannual release.


  1. Enlist help. Enlist the help of your team and other users to make sure that you’ve adequately tested the functionality. It’s okay to have one person lead the Semiannual release preparation but we recommend spreading the testing among your Workday team and other employees at the firm. You’ll want to make sure you test every scenario and examine all the details, which is doable with the help of others.


  1. Communicate to your Super Users. If you’ve identified items that will impact your tenant or new features your team could leverage we recommend getting the word out as soon as possible. In past releases we’ve seen updates to functionality that seem minor, like modifying the way a phone number is entered into Workday, create a lot of noise for your other infrastructure teams.


FinServ has experience advising clients on Workday’s semiannual release, including assessing which features will impact the client’s tenant, recommending new features to adopt, and testing existing functionality and integrations. We also work with clients to plan their annual Workday initiatives, build new functionality, and maintain their system security.  To learn more about FinServ Consulting’s services, please contact us at or (646) 603-3799.

About FinServ Consulting

FinServ Consulting is an independent experienced provider of business consulting, systems development, and integration services to alternative asset managers, global banks and their service providers. Founded in 2005, FinServ delivers customized world-class business and IT consulting services for the front, middle and back office, providing managers with optimal and first-class operating environments to support all investment styles and future asset growth. The FinServ team brings a wealth of experience from working with the largest and most complex asset management firms and global banks in the world.