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Operational Excellence Finalists

University of Virginia

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What business problem(s) did your organization / project face, and why did you choose a digital adoption strategy to help you solve it?

UVAHR went from a decentralized group serving our individual schools/units (within our three entities of the University: Academic, Medical, Physicians) to a centralized model.

After the centralization, UVA and UVAHR implemented Workday and consolidated over 70 systems into 1; with this transition, managers were given self-service HR capabilities and, as Workday is noted to be very intuitive, the expectation was that the self-service needs would be easily met within the Workday platform.

In part due to the differences (business process differences/business objective differences) between our entities, it soon became clear that UVA Workday would need a bit finer tuning and our resources (therein) would need to be more specifically geared toward different use cases/different business needs.

In 2019, UVA partnered with WalkMe to help increase our digital footprint and improve digital adoption, specifically with the Workday platform. In the two years we have been working/developing with WalkMe, we have seen the tool very well received by the community (supported by our NPS scores) and have seen the tool potentially improve end user Workday experience (supported by our Workday Transactional reporting, e.g., increased ‘success’ rates with processes).

How did you use WalkMe, in conjunction with other strategies and technologies, to address your challenges?

WalkMe seems (we have data to substantiate the claims but not a 1:1 cause and effect type narrative at this time) to have met the needs of our business units in providing the opportunity for them to not have to think about what guidance they need (e.g., Launchers quickly connect with relevant guidance, or SmartTips provide quick context for confusing fields) – or, perhaps more importantly, if the guidance is RELEVANT for them based on our entities’ differences (e.g., made possible by Segmentation and/or Split logic).

These few features alone have made an incredible impact on the usability of our system training resources. Furthermore, we also have found opportunity to support Workday (as a system) when limitations exist; in these use cases, things like invisible launchers are very helpful in preventing problems from ever occurring (especially when we KNOW that it is a problem, but Workday can’t be configured to ‘stop’ the behavior from occurring, e.g., task initiation where error/alert configuration cannot be set up, based on Workday template).

Another huge use of WalkMe to address our challenges is Insights; Insights affords our organization the ability to get more data on how our system is being used and who is using it; our push this year is to create that 1:1 connection I reference above, so that we can more confidently attribute the success in our platform to WalkMe’s engagement and deployment (even though it very likely is the variable that is promoting the success).

How does your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, impact or benefit your end-users?

While the benefits to WalkMe end user are only one of the benefitted groups, we always are building with end users in mind; many of our solutions are helping reduce – or eliminate in some cases – potential frustration or, worse, an impact on wellness (e.g., in the case of a functional area, like Benefits, having health related impacts when/if the end user makes an error in the system w/in a request).

We don’t have many opportunities to impact an end user in this way, but our Benefits application has seen great improvement with the addition of WalkMe for our Open Enrollment events and Qualified Life Events.

One use case is that Workday does not stop users from initiating a task without required documentation until after submission has started; we used WalkMe to help alert users to this required item missing UPFRONT, which reduces end user confusion when they receive the error later and helps improve the accuracy of their submission (byproduct: accelerated completion of the request).

How does your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, impact or benefit your team and/or leadership team?

While an improved/excellent end user experience is one of our primary goals, we also see benefit to our HR team and HR leadership in our ability to better inform HR and leadership of end user behavior and areas of potential interest.

This is afforded to us by the WalkMe platform with Insights and the analytic capabilities of the platform (e.g., CSV integrations, MS Teams Webhooks, Analytic Property identification). The latest inclusion of Custom Reports has afforded us the ability to include fields that we ultimately need (in order to make connections to the Workday platform) when analyzing data.

Essentially, we have been able to use data from Insights and Workday to inform our training strategy, which has been hugely valuable to leadership – and HR in general – and has not been as consistently available/occurring at UVA (to the best of my knowledge) to date.

How has your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, helped your organization better achieve its mission, goals, or values?

UVAHR is still very much defining ourselves but, in that vein, we have established fresh values/pillars to which we are all expected to hold ourselves to.

What I have seen is that WalkMe fits into any category, depending on how we might use the tool. For example:

  • People-Focused: WalkMe lets us be even more people-focused than ever before through segmentation
  • Exceptional-Execution: WalkMe helps us ensure that end user transactions are accurate and without error through error handling/invisible launchers/etc
  • Innovative Practices: WalkMe helps us achieve this because, in reality, the possibilities with WalkMe are limitless and, therefore, innovation has no ‘cap’ with the tool (that I’ve found, to date).

How has the success of your digital adoption strategy helped to change the perceptions or attitudes of your stakeholders?

This is two part for me: the usability of the tool has helped stakeholders see that success in this platform is possible, and maybe not always ‘hard’ to achieve; also, the opportunity with Insights has helped take our organization to a more ‘data driven’ level.

With our push to bring data to the table, we have seen our organization ask for similar metrics from all of our functional teams.

So, not only has WalkMe helped show how an integrated tool can help end users, but it also has helped our organization improve our ability to capture and analyze data to help inform on trends and areas of significant difference (e.g., unique/significant/SPECIFIC opportunities for improvement).

What about your implementation or success makes you most proud? Why?

I am thrilled with the sheer volume of interactions our organization is exhibiting.

It is like the saying from “Field of Dreams”: “If you build it, they will come”… If you build meaningful (based on data/feedback/etc.) solutions, people will use them.

I believe I am most proud of how WalkMe has helped our organization see value not only in the use of the (integrated nature of the) tool – but also in the use of data that a tool, like WalkMe, can also provide… Data isn’t new, but we do seem to have stirred some excitement around data usage, which (as a data nerd) is hugely exciting for me.

I started as a Workday trainer and was intended to take over a set of job aids; I came from a role where I knew that the job aids were not well received by our end users, so I knew that I wanted to do something fresh…

Enter WalkMe. I love technology and latched right on to a shiny new toy and found that there were so many opportunities with how you might use the tool and features (sky’s the limit, as I said in my WalkMe presentation last year).

Flash forward to today: we have deployed to over 18k employees at UVA and are working on enterprising; we even have begun (informally) forming a Digital Adoption team in UVAHR which we knew we wanted, but I am so excited that we are already doing it.

About your company

The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. The University also includes a Health System (comprised of the UVA Medical Center and the University Physicians Group), which has been rated the number 1 hospital in the state for 5 consecutive years (as of last year).