November WorkCyte update

This month's update was distributed earlier today by Dean Schmittmann:

Dear colleagues,

Over the last month considerable progress has been made in Workday testing and improvements, moving the Improved Service Delivery (ISD) project forward, and the creation of draft job profiles. Thank you to everyone who participated in forums and provided helpful feedback. The ongoing conversation is helping us move forward in the right direction.

If you missed the latest Town Hall about the finance model, you can watch a recording. A recording of the Human Resources Town Hall, draft job profiles and important program updates can be found in the ISD section of the WorkCyte website. Draft job profiles currently available include:

In a 16 November letter to campus, President Wendy Wintersteen asked the Institutional Effectiveness Leadership Team (IELT) Super Group to do the following:


  • Proceed with creating specialist roles to perform Human Resources and certain Finance functions.
  • Proceed with a solid line reporting relationship between HR specialists and the VP for HR, and Finance specialists and the SVP for Finance and University Services.
  • Proceed in incremental phases, including taking the necessary steps to support Workday, and ensure frequent, transparent communication and opportunities for campus feedback through each phase.

Following is your monthly update, written for all of the university’s academic units. If you have any questions about the information below or anything about WorkCyte, remember your comments are always welcome. Also, LAS will host a listening session, focused on ISD, which will take place on November 30, 2018, 9:00-10:30am in 2157 Pearson. All staff and faculty are welcome to attend.

Best regards,
Beate Schmittmann
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences



This month’s edition features a rundown of things we’ll be doing differently in Workday, including things that we’ll stop doing, so we can maintain our focus on Iowa State’s mission.

Business process update

As we mentioned briefly in the September update, the transition to Workday will help improve Iowa State’s business processes. Hundreds of common processes have been analyzed over the last two years to see how they “map,” or fit with Workday. In most cases, Workday allows us to redesign and streamline these processes, saving time and effort for faculty and staff.

A few examples from the Human Capital Management (HCM) module:
  • The time to create a new position will be reduced from four weeks to one day. The recruit-to-hire cycle will also be enhanced with real-time tracking of candidates through the process.
  • Job changes will be completed entirely online, with fewer approvals needed.
  • Lump sum payments for activities such as teaching an extra class will be streamlined, increasing not only greater efficiency, but also greater standardization and transparency.
  • Tracking employee absences through the Family and Medical Leave Act will be significantly easier, and the use of Excel spreadsheets will be eliminated.
  • And a few more from Finance and Research Administration:

    • Funding approval for major purchases will occur before requisitions are released, eliminating the need for multiple approvals, and ensuring allowability and accuracy.
    • Effort reporting (think EASE forms) will be completed in Workday, eliminating paper reports, and dramatically reducing the number of employees who need to certify their effort.
    • Data on externally funded grants and contracts will be available on a Workday dashboard.
    • These may seem like small changes but – added together – they will free up our time to work on projects that more directly impact Iowa State’s mission, whether it’s teaching, advising or supporting students; conducting research that addresses local and global challenges; and sharing our knowledge across Iowa’s 99 counties.

      Improved Service Delivery: How it looks in practice

      In case you missed it, the November 8 edition of Inside Iowa State included a great article on efforts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to create specialists in HR and finance consistent with the principles of Improved Service Delivery.

      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: www.workcyte.iastate.edu.