In advance of the Workday Student implementation, the Student Sunrise project team completed a Discovery Phase to better position the project for success.

Lessons learned from Workday HCM and Finance implementations – our peers’, as well as our own – stressed a need for better planning and assessment before system implementation begins. Our discovery work, which ran from March 2020 to May 2021, focused on understanding how we do things today in our academic and student support areas and flagging things to consider and address as we implement Workday Student, including:

  • Understanding our current operations (current state)
  • Identifying desired changes and their impacts
  • Preparing for data conversion and integrations
  • Surfacing risks
  • Setting a solid foundation for the project

Discovery Phase Report

View a comprehensive summary of the Discovery Phase scope of work, key findings and artifacts below.

Scope of the Discovery Phase

Our Discovery work focused on several key project areas:

Project Foundations

Determining how to structure and manage the Workday Student implementation and related technical work and supporting projects.

Change Management

Identifying stakeholders, developing and socializing project branding and launching the project website.


Capturing current state processes and assessing how Workday’s capabilities align​.


Inventorying all our academic- and student-related policies to identify gaps and inconsistencies and make recommendations to university leadership for the creation and/or unification of policies.

Scope Refinement

Analyzing and mitigating risks associated with key technical areas, with special emphasis on data conversion and integrations​. Completing an inventory of student support systems.

Financial Aid System

Mitigating the project’s most significant risk by implementing PowerFAIDS to replace our aging financial aid system (STAR).

Key Findings & Artifacts

You can view a comprehensive report of the Discovery Phase work here. Included in the report are artifacts summarizing the outcomes from each project area, which also are linked below.

Project Foundations

Vision: Advancing WashU’s academic mission by using information to understand and support the needs of our community

Business Case

Guiding Principles


Leadership Teams & Structure