Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Operations Issue Resolution Team Tackles the Tough Problems

Since a few months after Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) went live at UVA, a cross-functional team has been working together behind the scenes to solve the most challenging problems experienced by stakeholders.

The Operations Issue Resolution (OIR) Team was assembled by EVP-COO J.J. Davis, VP of Finance Melody Bianchetto, Chief Information Office Virginia Evans, and Chief Human Resource Officer Kelley Stuck and initially charged with resolving lingering cases after Workday HCM go-live.

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The team was tapped with getting into the Salesforce queue used by the Solution Center to manage its cases and identifying those that were unresolved for over 90 days. The team’s membership includes experts from ITS, UVA HR, and UVAFinance --the right membership to take on these cases and resolve them quickly and thoroughly.

The OIR Team was also asked to develop standard work focused on 1) identify potential issues early and prevent future problems; and 2) effectively coordinate and resolve issues unforeseen issues.

With the help of the dedicated team at the HR Solution Center, most hiccups, questions, and issues post-go-live could be addressed quickly and efficiently, but not all issues were straightforward. The thorny, complex cases that involve more than one working area, and are the kind that usually cause stakeholders in the field the biggest headaches are the ones assigned to the OIR Team.
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As OIR Team member Kelly Hochstetler of UVAFinance says, the team serves an important role of optimizing across the “white space” between the three groups. Hochstetler says the OIR Team has worked closely together to resolve the complex problems and provide final, permanent fixes.

Even though the right experts are at the table working on the issues, fixes to these issues can be hindered by system limitations. Often, helping to resolve this type of complex problem involves building a manual, time-intensive short-term solution until a system or process change can be put in place to keep the problem from recurring. Even when the team is able to “solve” the problem from the stakeholder’s viewpoint, it can take an Oracle or Workday patch, or even a new integration or process that is still to come from Finance Strategic Transformation before the case can be considered truly closed.

"This has been a valuable experience to address complex issues across functions. It has increased the rapport and made it easier for awareness, as well as relationship building between HR, IT, and Finance," says Gabriela Garcia Largen, Director of the HR Solution Center.

"The number of issues resolved by the team demonstrates that the collaboration across functions makes a difference," she adds.

To date, the OIR Team has addressed 75 complex, cross-functional cases. One thing that the team is particularly proud of is that there has not been a recurrence of any of the problems it has addressed and officially closed.

Because of the team’s success, and the ongoing need for such cross-functional collaboration, the OIR Team is becoming a permanent, operationalized team, whose members will adapt to changing needs but continue to provide monthly and quarterly reports of activities and accomplishments to UVA leadership.

Hochstetler says the team functions kind of like a rapid response team: “We’re not delivering anything new or fancy,” she says, “we’re just trying to keep the trains moving.”

For many UVA stakeholders, those running trains will mean expedited resolution to problems, prevention of new issues, and even educational opportunities to help future issues from occurring.

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