Workday Student Academic Foundations

Introducing Workday business processes  

As part of the Student Sunrise project, the university aims to both improve the student experience and make academic and other student-focused operations more consistent, efficient and effective. Workday’s business process functionality is one of the tools we’ll use to accomplish that goal.   

In Workday, a business process, or “BP,” is an automated workflow that routes tasks to designated users. Common tasks include to-dos, reviews and approvals. For example, a simple business process may have two steps: a student requests a change to their program of study, and their advisor approves or denies it. A more complex business process may be configured for the creation of a new course, which may involve multiple to-dos, reviews and approvals.  

 Automatic routing of tasks to the party responsible and proceeding to the next step upon completion can improve efficiencies compared to our current operations, which can involve a lot of back-and-forth emails for students, faculty and staff, as well as manual data entry in multiple systems, including SIS.  

Workday Student 101

Get more detailed information about Workday business processes as part of our Workday Student 101 educational series.

 “It’s easy to conflate providing individualized attention for our students with needing to have individualized processes,” said Student Sunrise operational enablement lead Ashby Tyler, who previously served as Brown School IT director.   

 “However, having rote transactions, like approving teaching assistantships, configured in Workday Student should actually free up time so advisors, faculty and administrative staff have the capacity, time and attention to attend to the needs of students when unique situations arise.” 

Having rote transactions … configured in Workday Student should actually free up time … to attend to the needs of students when unique situations arise.

Ashby Tyler, Student Sunrise operational enablement lead

During Workset B of the Workday Student implementation, which kicks off in May 2022, the project team will begin architecting (designing), configuring (setting up), and prototyping (preparing to test) processes in Workday Student.   

 For each process, the team must determine which steps need to occur in which order and to whom each task should be assigned. The project team gathered many of those details in earlier phases of the project through interviews and documentation provided by schools and student support units. In total, they inventoried approximately 800 processes broken into about 2,600 sub-processes and 700 reports. Additional details will be determined during Workset B through engagement with campus team members, process owners, and steering committee members.  

Workday processes vs. full processes    

While some of our student-related processes may occur completely in Workday, others may continue to occur partially outside of the system. 

For example, the project team can configure a process for new course creation in Workday Student to route new courses for approval before they’re published and visible to students. However, the beginning of the full process would likely begin outside of Workday, as it does today, when a faculty member imagines a new course and proposes it to a curriculum committee for approval. 

As part of the Student Sunrise project, the team will collaborate with schools, primarily through their campus representatives, not only to configure Workday Student but also to:  

  • Design processes to enhance the student experience  
  • Design processes that address as many inefficiencies as possible.
  • Align across schools, as possible, to reduce the number of process variations 
  • Optimize the use of Workday to reduce manual effort and redundancy  

Learn more about Workday business processes in our Workday 101 educational series.