WorkCyte Update

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Most of the recent information about WorkCyte has been about Improved Service Delivery. However, a lot of work continues on Workday. Both the financial management and human capital management (human resources) functions are currently in a testing phase, with the functionality and flow under evaluation. Project team members are also working on mapping specific roles to tasks within Workday.

Looking for more information? Check out the WorkCyte website for information on all the components of WorkCyte, including:

  • FAQs
  • Terminology that is changing in human capital management and financial management
  • Videos about navigating Workday

Following is the WorkCyte update sent via email by Dean Schmittmann last week:

Dear Colleagues,

This month the university introduced proposed models for Improved Service Delivery, and we continue to get valuable feedback from faculty and staff. We appreciate the ongoing conversation about this transition and I encourage you to provide your input.

Next month President Wintersteen will make a decision on what model the university will utilize for Improved Service Delivery. As decisions are made, updates will become more frequent. It will be important for everyone to read the updates; especially as Workday training becomes available in late Spring 2019.

In the meantime, a team from LAS administration is available to meet with small groups or departments about Improved Service Delivery and WorkCyte. You can request a meeting or send questions to:

Again, thank you for your continued engagement.

Beate Schmittmann
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

ISU Academic Unit Update – October

The biggest WorkCyte development in the last month has been the unveiling and discussion of proposed Improved Service Delivery models for human resources and finance. Feedback on the proposed models, gathered from open forums and comments submitted on the WorkCyte website, will be considered as the university makes a final decision in the coming weeks.

One frequent question we hear is, “Do we really need to do this?” Answer: yes. Improved Service Delivery, as the name implies, will improve HR and finance services across campus. The new structure makes the best use of talented employees to serve Iowa State’s mission by:  

  • Moving from generalists to specialists;
  • Implementing common policies and procedures, which will generate more consistency across units, colleges, and departments;
  • Providing advanced training in Workday to improve the speed and accuracy of our work;
  • And cross-training to better manage workloads at peak times, and provide back-up to employees for vacations, conferences, and other times away from the office. 

The transition to Workday is a big part of the equation. Workday will help us work more efficiently and effectively, in ways that have not been possible before, due to the limitations of our current IT systems. For example, the assignment of “security roles” within Workday integrates well with the goals of Improved Service Delivery – addressing who performs HR and finance actions and streamlining these processes so that fewer touchpoints are needed.

Another question we hear often goes something like this: “Does Improved Service Delivery mean we’re not doing a good job today?” And that answer is a resounding “NO.” Just because we can be more effective in the future doesn’t mean we aren’t effective today. There is always room for improvement in every aspect of Iowa State’s mission. A few examples from Academic Affairs:

Faculty continually review their courses to improve student outcomes. A recent redesign of pre-calculus courses by the Math department cut the DFW rate (the percentage of students who earn a D or F, or who drop the course) from 65% to 17% in five years, a remarkable improvement of student learning.

We also do projects with companies who help us streamline our processes. A recent collaboration between Boeing and the Graduate College reduced the program of study approval process from 82 steps to 18, and from 252 days to only 26.

Boeing is also helping the university redesign the onboarding process for new students, and Vermeer Corporation is working with the Office of the Vice President for Research to streamline the pre-award grant process.

For colleagues who currently have HR and/or finance as part of their job duties, it’s only natural to feel anxious about Improved Service Delivery, and how it might affect your role on campus. Please keep in mind that the approval of a new model is only the first step in the process – there will be much more information to come – including individual conversations with staff impacted by the initiative – and we will keep you up to date as decisions are made.

For more information

Look for more information on WorkCyte each month through this newsletter. You can also read more about the initiative in Inside Iowa State, and on the project website: