About Workday@Penn


Workday@Penn will improve Penn’s human capital management-related processes using Workday technology as a foundation. The goals are to:


  • Harness powerful cloud-based technology to replace aging systems and reduce our security, expense, and compliance risks
  • Enable staff to focus more on value-added work, mission-driven efforts, and strategic support
  • Simplify and integrate processes to improve data accuracy and informed decision-making, and provide a platform for potential future applications

Workday@Penn is expected to mitigate risk, decrease confusion and redundancy, and deliver improved productivity, accountability, and efficiency in both the short and long term. Most important, a common system and standard processes will allow staff more opportunities to grow as these skills may transfer to other positions across the University.

Teams are actively working on technical, functional, and process changes that will ease and enable the transition to Workday@Penn. As well, the Workday@Penn team will engage stakeholders from across the University to prepare for day-to-day changes that arise as we implement Workday. By adopting the Guiding Principles of this initiative, we will transition to our new system as "One Penn."

Project Guiding Principles

Workday@Penn is guided by core principles which will be reinforced continually during key team, PMO and leadership meetings.  These guiding principles  were developed with the Sponsors and Steering Committee during early project phases.
Guiding Principles

  • Think “One Penn” – Do what is best for the University, not just one School or Center. Be transparent, collaborative, and inclusive.
  • Keep It Simple – Minimize the HCM data entry and modifications of the same information and shared data fields in multiple systems. Use one HCM technology to enable efficient, uniform processes University-wide.
  • Adopt, Don’t Adapt – Change the HCM process, not the software.
  • Be Accountable – Every HCM data source, process, procedure, and policy requires an owner.
  • Strive for Clarity – Agree on consistent HCM terms, such as headcount or employee transfers.
  • Innovate and Improve – Consider new approaches and ideas. Monitor and measure HCM services for quality and efficiency, and take corrective action if needed.

Project Design Principles

The project team follows design principles set by the executive sponsors.

Design Principles

Change Management Philosophy

We anticipate exciting innovations from implementing Workday, a cloud-based human capital management system. Workday@Penn will help the University’s human capital management systems perform at an optimal level. It will enable individuals to do their jobs better. Even positive change presents challenges. We will support schools, centers, and departments with communications and training on the new processes and systems.

In addition, the project's change team works closely with schools and centers throughout all phases of implementation. The objective is to anticipate and make the most of process improvements and other changes available with Workday.

Key staff members from all schools and centers participate in the Change Agent Network (CAN) to help ensure ongoing, two-way communication between their groups and the project. These individuals also assist their schools and centers in identifying challenges and capitalizing on opportunities.

What is Workday?

Workday is a human resource, payroll and financials platform. It harnesses powerful, cloud-based technology to replace aging systems and reduce risks associated with security, expense, and compliance.

  • 24/7 access over a secure network from any computer, smart phone, or tablet
  • Continuous innovation and improvements (2 updates per year)
  • Intuitive user experience: fast, accessible, flexible

Security Certificates

​Workday is a state-of-the art cloud-based human capital management solution. It uses a number of approaches to ensure the security of client data. Transactions are encrypted both in transit and at rest, as well with geo-sensing, where certain transactions can only be done locally or in certain jurisdictions. Details on Workday security can be found here.