Over the next six years, Bowdoin will build on our current use of Workday to transition from discrete uses of various administrative systems to one single enterprise system. Establishing this foundation of a sustainable, secure, unified source of administrative data will further enable and foster a culture of integrated and collaborative working, learning, and advising. A transition of this magnitude will require engagement and input from the entire campus community.
Undertaking structural change of this breadth will be invigorating and, it must be said, difficult. Such fundamental change requires a deep commitment to balancing individual autonomy with the needs of the community, as well as an acknowledgement that tensions can and will arise when we must make choices between the two. The Workday Steering Committee has approved the following Guiding Principles to support prudent and fair decision-making for what must be an equitable and unified technology platform at Bowdoin. These Principles will serve as the foundation for the many decisions our Workday implementation teams will need to make as they lay the foundations of our enterprise system.
The Guiding Principles are based on core values that members of the Bowdoin community articulated as being of primary importance in the undertaking of the Workday Program. These values include: Communication, Clarity, Collaboration, and Best Practices.
- We will utilize Workday functionality as delivered whenever reasonable.
We will use Workday functionality whenever reasonable, standardizing business processes and relying on configuration rather than customization. We will focus on the institutional value of the function being delivered over individual preferences for the form of delivery. Workday will be Bowdoin’s primary system of record and we will look to Workday first, considering outside solutions only as needed and approved through project governance structures.
We will make decisions for the greatest good, designing for the needs of the 80%, not the 20%, remaining mindful that the design must focus on the core activities, not the exceptions.
- We will follow an inclusive and timely decision-making process that emphasizes self-service, diversity, and equity.
The Workday Project is a Bowdoin project. It will touch on all areas of the community, and it will require us to intentionally foster a culture of collaborative working. Although not every suggestion will be adopted or acted upon, all members of the Bowdoin community are invited to share their ideas and suggestions throughout the project by emailing email@example.com.
All members of this project have a shared goal in mind – to implement Workday successfully and collaboratively at Bowdoin. However, we come to the project with varied backgrounds and priorities, and team members will have varying opinions. Functional administrators across campus, with input from stakeholder groups, will be empowered to make the overwhelming majority (roughly 70%) of decisions in this project based on their professional expertise and knowledge of best practices. Even in times of disagreement, we will show respect to each other and demonstrate a willingness to compromise.
We additionally recognize that the work of adopting an Enterprise System is time-consuming. To demonstrate respect for our colleagues, we will make thoughtful, deliberate, timely decisions that move the project forward responsibly and prudently. These decisions should, when practical, move processes toward a “self-service” model that empowers students, staff, and faculty to complete tasks seamlessly and independently. These decisions should similarly make processes widely accessible to users of all abilities and backgrounds, working to eliminate unwanted disparities.
- We will keep an open mind to growth and change.
Workday is more than just new technology. As a fully integrated enterprise system, it will transform the way we manage our data and our processes across the community, and may require changes not only to technology, but also to mindsets and behaviors. This is a moment of growth for Bowdoin, and it is important to acknowledge that the process of growing is often painful and uncomfortable in the moments that lead to breakthroughs.
We will keep an open mind to growth and to change, seeking excellence but not perfection, with an appetite for improvement. We are open to changes that help us create equitable, contemporary, sustainable, secure, and user-friendly tools.
- We will provide frequent, clear communication.
We are committed to keeping the Bowdoin community updated about all aspects of the Workday Project throughout the project website and other community updates. We will use these opportunities to present information along with clarifying any previously communicated information.
We will provide updates in a predictable and systematic way, so that the community will always know when and where to find the information. Throughout the project, events and trainings will be held to gather feedback from the community and assist faculty, staff, and students in the transition to Workday.