In the latest Propel LMU Spotlight series, we caught up with two of our LMU colleagues leading the behind-the-scenes change management efforts associated with bringing Workday to LMU next June: Matt Bazar, project manager, and Dustin Reece, lead of the Organizational Change and Training Team.
How did you get involved with the Propel LMU project?
Matt Bazar: Early in 2019, I was assigned project manager to oversee the Request for Proposal process for selecting both the new software and the consulting firm that is assisting in the implementation. Through that process and various conversations with the consulting firms, it became evident that LMU would be most successful by assigning a full-time implementation project manager who is well versed in the organizational structure and culture of LMU. LMU’s CIO Patrick Frontiera asked if I would fill that role, and with much excitement I accepted the challenge.
Dustin Reece: I was approached by senior leadership and invited to join the team as the Organizational Change and Training Team lead at the beginning of Phase II, when the strategy sessions started in February 2020. Prior to my involvement, I was aware that procurement efforts were underway for a new ERP system and was excited for this much-needed change at LMU.
What does “change management” mean, and what are your responsibilities with the project?
MB: In a quick summary, change management is the people side of the project. The goal of change management is to help those impacted by the change to understand, commit to, accept, and ultimately embrace the change. There are a wide variety of communication and training strategies that our Propel Change Team is using to hopefully accomplish that goal. In my role, I attend the change management team meetings and am a bridge between the technical implementation and the change management efforts.
DR: Like Matt said, change management essentially means working with the people side. Change management helps align our university for the change journey and transform our campus with empowered, self-sufficient users. My responsibilities include working with our Organizational Change and Training Team (Janet Lee, Christina Gustafson) to ensure change strategies, communication plans and training deliverables are executed in a timely and effective manner. We work closely with the project manager, program leads and sponsors to ensure our strategic efforts are aligned and moving the project forward.
What Workday feature you are most excited for?
MB: I am most excited about having a more robust budgeting report, that will provide up-to-date budget-to-actuals for all technology projects that I oversee.
DR: Of course, I’m a little biased given my role as director of learning and development in the HR Department, but I’d have to say I’m most excited for the learning functionality of Workday. Having a centralized repository of all learning activities, where employees can browse professional development opportunities, select topics of interest to customize their learning dashboard, enroll in workshops, view learning history, submit suggestions for topics and courses, and much more. Overall, I’m also excited that LMU will have a centralized resource for all of the university’s HR and financial processes.
What do you think the biggest misperception is about Workday? How are you working to change it?
MB: One of the project’s guiding principles is empowerment, and under that principle is a goal to provide more self-service features. A misperception is that Workday is going to “add more work to my plate.” Our Change Team will be addressing that misperception with a robust communication and training strategy. I believe that once the LMU community is informed and gets to see the overall benefits of Workday, an understanding will emerge on why changes in process and workflow were necessary.
DR: This is a tough one, but it may be a preconceived notion that Workday is just another system implementation. What I want colleagues to understand is that this is the most comprehensive, collaborative and concerted effort LMU has ever undertaken to consolidate HR and financial services into one easy-to-use, intuitive and user-friendly platform. We’re replacing several systems with one overarching Workday application, eliminating shadow systems and providing greater transparency in workflow. The Organizational Change and Training Team will help the LMU community understand how Workday will empower them to complete their work efficiently, simplify how work gets done by streamlining processes to reduce time and effort to complete tasks, and provide clarity in decision making off a single, well understood source of truth. This will require extensive communication and training efforts but I’m confident we will do our best to prepare our colleagues for this new and exciting change.
In the spirit of the holidays, you can ask Santa for one Workday wish. What is it?
MB: I would ask Santa to give us more hours in the day for the duration of the project. Many of the Propel LMU project team are working nights and weekends to ensure this project is successful and as we get closer to our launch in June 2021, it’s only going to intensify.
DR: My Santa Workday wish would be that faculty, staff and student workers embrace this change, keep an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a positive attitude towards this opportunity to improve how we work together at LMU.
Our favorite standing question: How will you celebrate once Propel is live?
MB: After Propel is live and a few months have passed for us to settle in, I plan on being in Italy celebrating a milestone birthday of my husband (since we couldn’t celebrate this year due to COVID) in addition to the success of Propel. We both have Italian ancestry, yet never have been to Italy, and are looking forward to good food, good wine and much needed relaxation!
DR: Once we go live in June, they’ll still be plenty of end user training and support to deliver! With that aside, I hope to step away from the computer for a few days, spend time with my family and do a little fishing.