Project scope and timeline

Phase 1 (2018–19): Finance, Payroll and Human Resources


Key processes (Finance and Payroll):

  • Accounting and finance reporting and analytics
  • Financial planning
  • Expenses
  • Procurement
  • Projects
  • Grants management
  • Budgeting, planning and forecasting
  • Payroll

Key processes (Human Resources):

  • Human resource management
  • Recruiting
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Time and absence management


Planning stage (completed)

During the planning stage, the project team confirmed the project scope, initiated activities and established project management processes and controls with Alchemy, the firm contracted by RISD for the deployment of Workday. The project goals, plan, timeline, milestones, deliverables, resources and responsibilities were drafted and reviewed in this stage. Project work streams (Functional, Integration, Data & Reporting) were initiated to align on approach, resources and schedules. The stage ended in a kickoff with Alchemy and the extended RISD project team.

Architect stage (completed)

In the architect stage, RISD and the Alchemy team members developed a common understanding of RISD’s business requirements and analyzed how Workday would be deployed to meet those needs. During this stage, Alchemy delivered a pre-configured version of the Workday application, which was used for review and discussion of Workday concepts and functions during design sessions. Through our partnership with Collaborative Solutions, the Organizational Change & Training (OC&T) Team was created to begin introducing the project to the RISD community and plan communication campaigns for the coming year.

Configure & prototype stage (completed)

All application configurations were completed in Workday (based on the specifications gathered in the architect stage) and then confirmed by RISD during a series of workshops. Data was populated from Colleague and all integrations and report development were completed in this stage.

Testing (completed)

The testing stage ensured that the configured Workday system sufficiently met RISD’s needs. Each test scenario had a specific set of conditions and was intended to mimic the final configuration of processes, tasks and information flow that will be in place for the go-live in April. RISD project team members conducted testing with guidance and structure provided by Alchemy. The agreed-upon exit criteria for each test effort was met to move forward with the go-live. Community events, training sessions and other opportunities for learning were provided by the OC&T Team at this time.

Deployment (completed)

In March the Workday application was promoted into our production environment. Several checkpoints and tasks from the cutover plan were completed during this stage to ensure that Workday was ready for launch. Upon completion of deployment to production, Alchemy assisted RISD with a final data conversion or data catch-up. Training sessions and other opportunities for learning were provided by the OC&T Team to prepare the community for the go-live on April 1.

Phase 2 (2019–21): Student information and management


Key processes:

  • Academic foundation
  • Student records
  • Student recruiting
  • Curriculum management
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid
  • Student financials


We are planning for Workday Student to begin in early 2019 with an anticipated implementation through 2021.

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