Wednesday, November 11, 2020

FST Update


Want to listen to this update instead of reading it?  Check out the latest WFST Broadcast!

Configuration and Prototype is here!

As of November 1, we’re officially into the Configuration and Prototype phase of the project.  You may hear folks refer to this as “Config and Prototype” or C&P.  Config and Prototype is the first part of Phase 3 Implementation.  This is the phase where we move from theoretical design to concrete application. 

During this phase, the project team is finalizing the first tenant build and testing it.  They're also planning Customer Confirmation Sessions that will enable key stakeholders to see how UVA business processes work in the system with our data. 

The first tenant build will have a subset of data and some processes available.  Later tenant builds will be more comprehensive.  Stakeholders invited to customer confirmation sessions will help confirm that the overall approach is on the right track. The people involved in these first Customer Confirmation Sessions will mostly be the same individuals who were involved in the architect sessions earlier this year. As we head into 2021, we’ll open it up more and more for other stakeholders to take a look.

Config and Prototype is really critical to ensure that we can get feedback from UVA stakeholders on the system design before rigorous system testing begins.  During the Customer Confirmation sessions, participants will ask questions and suggest potential help text and system notification for future users, and they’ll just generally get to experience the look and feel of Workday Financials. While they’re doing that, the FST team will be listening hard, capturing recommended changes and categorizing them so we can take action on them.  For more context on Config and Prototype, we recommend you take a look at a post from Nicole Ferretti in the onlineCommunity.

Reminder: Check out the Info Station!

The Info Station on the FST website is a great resource if you find yourself wanting to get caught up on a particular transformation topic.  The Info station walks you through all the way you can get and stay up to speed.

In Other News

The Reporting and Analytics workstream has been drafting initial report design documents for customer accounts, grants management, and business assets.

The Technical Team is working on setting up conversion mapping sessions, and scheduling additional sessions to address questions around data scope and source systems.  They’ve also completed loading gifts data into the first tenant build.

Besides configuration and prototype and all the work the FST team will be doing between now and go-live in July of 2022, there’s also a team in UVAFinance working on the Future Service Model. Read more about that effort here on the blog!

Change & Continuous Improvement: Looking for Opportunities to Transform

From Angela Knobloch, FST Change Management & Continuous Improvement Workstream Lead

In transforming processes, it’s often easy to overlook the simple things that, if changed, could add up to a huge impact. When looking at our processes, we should look through the lens of what adds “value”...and value is ultimately determined by the eyes of the end user. While not all activities can be eliminated, consider how you can minimize things that don’t bring value to the ultimate output of your process.

Here are some examples of non-value-added tasks to consider:

  • Counting the amount of work
  • Inspecting and checking
  • Sorting work
  • Logging information
  • Checking calculations
  • Moving and set-up
  • Monitoring work
  • Reworking of any type
  • Reviewing and approving

Value-enhancing items promote efficiency and clarity for those who benefit from/need the output of your process. Challenge the status quo and ask: “Do we really need to do this? What value is it adding to the process?”

Let’s transform our work by enhancing value!


See more Change and Continuous Improvement content from Angela in the online Community in the Continuous Improvement section, including her recent posts about The Importance of Trust and Elevating Success

From Melody's Desk: Core Values and Behaviors

Dear Team,

As I reported in July, UVAFinance has taken a new look at the five core values that we’ve had in place since 2016. Over the past several months, the extended leadership team has done extensive work to develop clear definitions of the values so that we all have a consistent understanding of what is meant by the values. Your 2020 UVAFinance values defined:

In addition to working on the definitions, the extended leadership team worked to identify behaviors – observable actions of how one conducts themselves – that UVAFinance team members could demonstrate to show their actions are related to these core values. As we have talked about the behaviors in several team meetings, we’ve continued to refine and shape these.


Click the image for a larger view

There are over 100 behaviors, so I will not list them here and will instead link to them here.  But a few examples:

Diverse and Inclusive Teams:

        Engages in learning opportunities on diversity, equity, and inclusion

        Intentionally seeks out diverse members when recruiting new talent

        Promote and model an environment that encourages effective bystander intervention

Collaborative Partner:

        Encourages debate to create a better outcome, and supports final decision

        Practices being fully present in all meetings

        Asks “how might this affect someone else” when making decisions

Strategic Continuous Improvement:

        Sees a problem and proposes a solution

        Uses Lean tools to discover opportunities to improve processes

        Asks “Why do I do this? Is this valued by the people I support?”

Impeccable Source of Information:

        Validates accuracy of information before sharing

        Provides information is that is timely, concise, and precise – every time!

                Participates in professional development to build knowledge and skills

Service Excellence:

        Follows-through on commitments and deadlines

        Writes clear communications with end-user in mind 

        Explains rationale when unable to meet specific request and offers alternate solutions

With these values and behaviors clearly articulated, each UVAFinance team member should be able to know exactly what their manager expects from them and how they can live the values each and every day. You should have opportunities to talk about the values and behaviors within your teams. I also know that things change, so this should be considered a living document. I’ll always be open to new ideas or suggestions, so please share your thoughts with me. 

I appreciate all the work and thought that has been put into this effort. You should look out for future opportunities to demonstrate your commitment to these values, including some training and development offerings.

My best to your families. Please continue to practice self-care, as well as good masking and distancing!

It's CVC Time!

From an announcement by Kevin McDonald, VP for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships

Earlier this fall, we kicked off this year’s Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC), which you can learn more about in this UVA Today story

As the state’s largest annual workplace giving drive, this campaign plays a crucial role in raising funds that are integral to the work of nearly 1,000 nonprofits and charities in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and across the state of Virginia.

For more than twenty years, UVA has led statewide participation in the CVC, collectively raising more than $18 million from the generosity of thousands of University faculty and staff. While we are proud of this effort, our community needs our support now more than ever. 

This year’s campaign began in the midst of our ongoing fight against COVID-19, which has impacted so many. Giving through the CVC is one of the most effective ways you can help make a difference for organizations that support our local community.

How to donate through CVC:

  1. If you want to give to organizations in our region, either through payroll deduction or a one-time gift, please take a look at the list of CVC-affiliated charities and nonprofits in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. If you would like to make a donation to one of these, type the name of the nonprofit or charity into the ePledge Form.
  2. If you already know the name of the charity or nonprofit you would like to support, type the name into the ePledge Form. If the organization is participating, it will be listed in the drop-down.
  3. If you want to learn about other giving opportunities, check out the full list of charities and nonprofits supported by the 2020 CVC.

Here at UVA, we believe in building bridges. From our institutional mission to the ways we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day, we embrace this philosophy in ways big and small; individually and collectively; inside the classroom and out. 

We know that our community – both within the University and Charlottesville at large – is, as President Ryan outlined in the Strategic Plan, “only as strong as the connections within it.” The CVC presents an opportunity to come together and fortify those connections. It presents an opportunity to be bridge builders, giving what we can to our neighbors who serve our community each and every day.

I hope you will join me in giving through the CVC. Together, we can make a profound difference in our community and provide tangible support to those who need it most.

Wanted: Your photographs of nature for a UVAFinance project (a secret one!)

We already know from past projects that UVAFinance is full of people with an eye for beauty.  The photographs that adorn the walls of Carruthers Hall are a testament to that!

The Culture Crew is working on a project in which we'd like to feature some of our UVAFinance team's photographic submissions.  Right now the project is a surprise, but we promise you'll all be let in on the secret in a month or two. 

Our ask is the same as with the interior decorating project:  submit your photos of flora and fauna (preferably from our area of Virginia) to by November 30 (and you can email that address if you have questions or concerns, too!).


The Return of the Shoutout Board, and it's better than ever!

Since we've all been largely absent from Carruthers Hall, the Culture Crew has tried its best to maintain a virtual presence of the UVAFinance Shoutout Board.  

As we've all learned, though, some things are harder to maintain in the virtual world.  

We're pleased to share with you that we've finally landed on the next best thing to our physical Shoutout Board.  Using the online resource Padlet, we've built a shoutout board that has all the features you loved about our physical board and then some. 

Check out our new board here: 

With a double click on the board or by tapping the pink plus sign in the bottom right corner, anyone can add a thank you, congrats, or recognition to the virtual Shoutout Board for all to see and enjoy -- plus, there are some great features for you to play with!

Some of the fun things you can do on our new Shoutout Board:
  • Upload your own pictures and files to illustrate achievements 
  • Use the built-in features to draw by hand 
  • Choose gifs or stock images and videos to illustrate your kudos
  • Choose the color of your kudos
  • Like and comment on others' shout outs
  • Use your own camera to record your own video messages to your shout-ee
We encourage you to create a quick account with Padlet when you leave your shout outs -- it's very easy and means that your posts appear under your name instead of anonymously (you can also just note in your shoutout who it's from if you prefer).

It's been a long time without our Shoutout Board, so I'm sure you have a long list of folks you've been meaning to recognize.  Head on over and have some fun showing your appreciation!

Inclusive Excellence Update – November 2020

A subgroup of the UVAFinance Inclusive Excellence (IE) Advisory group is meeting to develop recommendations for improving our internal HR practices and will develop recommendations to improve these practices within UVAFinance, paying close attention to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

To start, the group is looking at the selection and hiring practices including job postings, selecting candidates for interview, interviewing, hiring, and internal promotions. This subgroup is meeting early next week to continue developing recommendations that will be submitted to the UVAFinance Senior Leadership team in early December.

We have continued to host biweekly “sprint discussions”. Participation is relatively steady with 20-25 colleagues meeting to discuss important issues of racial equity and inclusivity. The discussions are open to all UVAFinance colleagues and are optional. The next discussion is on Thursday, November 19 at 4:30-5:30.

Another subgroup of the IE Advisory Group is working on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) education and training. In addition to the sprint discussions, this group has selected two online courses from LinkedIn Learning (in Workday) that will be required for all UVAFinance team members. A plan for delivering this training is being developed, including small group meetings to deliver the content and facilitate discussions. The group is also looking into additional training for managers.

A third subgroup is working on a proposal for a mentoring program in UVAFinance.

The work and recommendations of these three subgroups will be included as part of our UVAFinance Inclusive Excellence Plan that is due in March 2021.

The UVAFinance IE Advisory group includes Patty Marbury, Melody Bianchetto, Jen Bari, Jack King, Steve Kimata, ToShun Campbell, Raegan Harouff, Anne Marie Cumiskey, Mohammed AlKaisy, and LaVerne Harris. Please reach out to any member of the group with questions.

UVA and Community Partners help chart the future of SWaM

Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services has pulled the expertise of UVA colleagues and community partners into an Advisory Group that will help define the future vision, scope, and success measures of the UVA Supplier Diversity program.

In sessions held between October and December of 2020, the Advisory Group will work through current state challenges, scope and success measures, and strategies for the future.

The group will identify challenges to address, establish measurements of success, draft a vision for the program, and build strategies that should be incorporated into SWaM's operational practices. Another big priority is identifying the behaviors and practices that will move us toward addressing identified challenges, and ultimately, fulfilling the vision of the program.

The SWaM Advisory Group members are:

  • Mark Cartwright, Director of Supplier Diversity, Hanger Inc.
  • Syd Dorsey, Management Consultant
  • Emily Douglas, Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager, UVA Facilities Management
  • Quinton Harrell, Founder, Heritage United Builders, and Chairman, Charlottesville Minority Business Alliance
  • Yolunda Harrell, CEO and Founder, New Hill Development and Community Leader
  • Augie Maurelli, Associate Vice President for Financial Operations, UVA
  • Kevin McDonald, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Community Partnerships, UVA
  • Ridge Schuyler, Dean of Community Self-Sufficiency Programs, Piedmont Virginia Community College
  • George Southwell, Associate Director for UVA Health Construction
  • Jenn Glassman, Director of Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services, UVA
While the Advisory Group assists SWaM with its vision for the future and the stepping stones it will take to get there, the department is hard at work under the interim leadership of Lorie Strother and Kristin Floyd. 

 SWaM's current priorities outside of the programmatic review include sourcing SWaM suppliers for active construction projects, building a new data model for supplier diversity metrics, and creating a SWaM marketplace for improved access to goods and services.

Watch for more updates on SWaM at UVA soon!

Smooth Operators: The Finance Engagement Team plans for a more streamlined customer experience

Across UVA, FST project team members and our partners in schools and units are diving into the Configuration & Prototype phase of Finance Transformation.  As deeply immersed as we are collectively in the building and refining stage of UVA’s Workday Financials tenant, it may be hard to imagine that time in the not-so-distant future (July 2022 to be exact) when the system goes live.

Within UVAFinance, the future state is very much on our minds.  Under the leadership of Bill Ashby, AVP for Financial Strategy, the Finance Engagement team is already making strides toward their vision of an exceptional customer service model to complement Workday Financials.  A large piece of the future-state finance service model involves the incorporation of Salesforce to manage customer interactions. 

Team members Scott Adams and Andrew Sallans are taking the lead on the implementation of Salesforce in UVAFinance.   Salesforce was a natural fit for UVAFinance’s complex nature and its desire to provide the best service possible. 

In the past and up to the present, service in finance had been provided via email, and largely by individuals as opposed to teams.  We have learned to rely on the institutional knowledge of long-term employees (which is difficult in a large, complex, constantly-changing organization), and our customers have had to navigate the clunky process of explaining the problem all over again when another department is brought in to help.  All in all, it’s a manual and time-intensive process.

Salesforce alleviates those issues:  when a question or issue is logged, all finance team members have visibility into the problem, and can easily see the whole story at a glance and join in as needed with helpful context.  Within Salesforce, issues are less likely to fall through the cracks, and the team will be able to provide answers more quickly and comprehensively.

The data that can be collected and tracked via Salesforce will also allow UVAFinance to identify opportunities to improve and identify trends that would otherwise be hard to spot.

Adams and Sallans are working with central finance departments to gradually roll out the use of Salesforce; the first department to go live this November will be Travel & Expense.  From the customer perspective, Adams says, the changes will be barely detectable at first, but as we move forward, they should start seeing better and more consistent service, along with faster and more comprehensive answers.

Although Salesforce will enable finance departments to provide the top-level of service they’ve been aiming for, Adams says the technology isn’t the end-all, be-all.

“We aren’t here just to build the technology,” he says.  “The technology allows for tracking, reporting, and automation, but we’re also doing intensive process-building with the departments we’re working with.”

Sallans notes that the T&E team has been an ideal pilot for the implementation of Salesforce in UVAFinance.   

“We’re building interfaces, layouts, and things that make the processes repeatable, and the T&E team is excited to leverage the tool.  They didn’t know anything about Salesforce when we began, but they’ve been inspired to pursue the potential of the tool.  We’re helping them improve their processes and removing manual transactions so that they have more time to provide actual customer service.”

The choice of Salesforce also means that UVAFinance will be able to work more closely with UVAHR, which already utilizes Salesforce, to provide a single view of those we serve at UVA, from all angles.

“It’s an opportunity for us to deliver a superlative vision of service on the Operations side of the house at UVA,” says Adams, adding that the Engagement team will remain a steady presence even after go-live to keep driving change, asking questions, and providing the necessary support. 


Adams, Sallans, and Raegan Harouff (of T&E) will be guests on an upcoming Challenging the Status Quo panel series webinar -- read more on the blog!

Watch your inbox! The Finance Engagement Team will be are surveying stakeholders over the next month to get an understanding of current perceptions of UVAFinance service, to serve as a baseline for comparison as we make improvements.

FST Welcomes Scot Thornton as Systems and Remediation Lead

 For Scot Thornton, the newest addition to the FST project team, the chance to work for UVA was an opportunity he couldn’t ignore. 

UVA is “a wonderful University and Healthcare system,” Thornton explained. “And it has an excellent reputation in central Virginia.”

As the project’s Systems and Remediation Lead, he will work closely with those responsible for the different financial systems across the University.  With these people, Thornton will “coordinate the process of identifying and implementing changes that are required to successfully integrate these systems with Workday Financials.”

A little more than one week into his position at UVA, Thornton is looking forward to what’s ahead of him. 

“It is very interesting and exciting to again be working with a large complex organization and implementation,” he says. 

He previously worked for a large non-profit Catholic healthcare system in the Atlantic region. He was also the program director for the Workday implementation, remediating over 140 systems, at a healthcare system in Ohio.

Outside of remediating and implementing systems, Thornton enjoys spending time with his family and three Golden Retrievers. He also really enjoys golfing, and he has recently taken up a new hobby: owning western saddle horses and everything relating to them.  Thornton says this hobby is often surprising to people who know him, since he “did not grow up on a farm or around horses at all.”