Phase 1: Finance, Payroll and Human Resources

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

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.


RISD is currently in this stage. The testing stage ensures that the configured Workday system sufficiently meets RISD’s needs. Each test scenario has a specific set of conditions and is 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 will be responsible for conducting testing with guidance and structure provided by Alchemy. The agreed-upon exit criteria for each test effort must be met to move forward toward the go-live. Community events, training sessions and other opportunities for learning will be provided by the OC&T Team at this time.


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

Phase 2: Student information and management

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

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