What is Workday?

Workday is an innovative, cloud-based administrative software solution that will replace our legacy application, Colleague, with a more modern and robust platform. Workday is designed for higher education and will allow us to better manage information and the day-to-day business functions of the University.

The mission of the Workday project is to transform, modernize, and simplify administrative processes at Simmons in order to improve workflows, ensure data accuracy and transparency, and strengthen the University’s position in the higher education marketplace to ensure long-term success.

Why Workday?

Simmons chose Workday because it combines the resources we currently need with the flexibility to evolve as our needs change. Workday is committed to providing Simmons with an affordable, effective administrative system.

Are other Higher Edu institutions using Workday?

Yes, Workday has a significant focus on the higher education marketplace, and counts several New England institutions--including Babson, Brown, Champlain College, and Yale--among its customers.

Workday Guiding Principles

Purpose and Operation:

The Guiding Principles outline key criteria for making decisions about the Workday project and are intended to help the project team accomplish its goals in the most timely and cost-effective way while still meeting essential requirements of Simmons and its community.

The Workday Executive Sponsor Group promotes the Guiding Principles and, if necessary, may supplement or modify them. In general, unless there is a significant and compelling reason to deviate from them, these principles take precedence in all project planning and decision-making. Only the Executive Sponsor Group is empowered to determine if a proposed exception meets significant and compelling criteria, and no exception is permitted without their agreement.

Guiding Principles:

Transparency - We are committed to making information about the project available to the Simmons community via the project website, workday.simmons.edu, and through periodic stakeholder updates.

Inclusion and consensus - We invite members of the community to share their ideas and concerns about the project. We take the needs of stakeholders seriously, and we will consider all suggestions and comments. However, we cannot promise—and there should be no expectation—that any given suggestion or comment will be adopted or acted on.

Minimum requirements - Initial Workday functionality will include whatever features are required to replace/decommission the existing systems, for example: HR Colleague, PeopleAdmin, Kronos, ADP, and Sedona. Additional features beyond this baseline will be considered if they can reasonably be accomplished with existing staff resources and within the project budget and schedule.

Business practices and procedures - Workday embodies leading industry practices in human resource. Moreover, Workday continues to add features specific to the needs of higher education based on input from their Higher Education Advisory Board.

We will implement business practices and procedures at Simmons as delivered by Workday, even when it means changing our current business processes, unless there are significant and compelling reasons to do otherwise. This may mean that some people’s jobs may change, that some work may shift from one office to another, or that the method of accomplishing certain actions may be different.

Customization and workarounds - We will use “native” Workday features and functions in all cases unless there are significant and compelling reasons to do otherwise. Workday has substantial configuration capabilities that will allow us to tailor Workday to Simmons’ needs in most cases. We will not customize Workday, and we will avoid using third-party point solutions whenever possible, unless the third party point solution is a Workday preferred partner.

System of record - The Workday system will be the official, authoritative data source for employee. We know that certain other systems at Simmons also contain information about employees and financial information. If there is disagreement between systems, the Workday information shall take precedence. Ideally, procedures should be established so that new and updated employee data and financial information is entered first into Workday and subsequently provided to other systems via download or other data exchange process. Where this is not possible, owners of secondary systems are responsible for ensuring that data in their systems matches the corresponding Workday data.

Workday Higher Education

Sample image of Course & Schedule, and Start Registration on Mobile screens

Simmons Workday Student Implementation

Simmons is excited to be implementing a Student system on Workday. Work is well underway and will unite the institution on one system to better serve both students and employees.

Workday Student supports areas including Academic Advising, Admissions, Curriculum Management, Financial Aid, Student Finance, and Student Records.


How will the Simmons community be engaged with this project?

As additional functional areas are transitioned onto Workday we are engaging the community for collaboration and training.

If you have specific feedback or questions, please email us at workday@simmons.edu.

How will Workday impact employees?

  • All Simmons employees will be given greater control over their personal information via 24/7 self-service.

  • You can access your information from any computer, tablet, or smartphone with an Internet connection.

  • You'll be able to access real-time payroll, time tracking, and benefits information from your Workday homepage.

  • Workday will end our reliance on manually-intensive administrative tools like Kronos, and simplify access to employee information for you, your manager, and the HR and Payroll staff.

How will Workday impact managers?

Managers will have quick and easy access to organizational and employee information in a centralized location. You'll be equipped with the information you need for recruiting and performance evaluation.

What changes will I see on a day-to-day basis?

  • You'll have access to a one-stop source for all HR and Payroll information.

  • Time tracking will be centralized and efficient.

  • Printed forms will be eliminated. You can use Workday to request time off, complete benefits enrollment, make direct deposit and W4 changes, and more.

  • Student employees will be able to enter their time online through Workday.

When will the transition to Workday be complete?

Phase I was completed in April 2015. Phase II went live on July 1, 2017. Phase III started September 2018.


Will my personal information be secure?

Workday provides best-in-class infrastructure, policies, and procedures to ensure that your data is safe from unauthorized access at all times. Workday uses both internal controls and frequent third-party security compliance audits to ensure their infrastructure is effective and safe. For additional information about how Workday protects your information, click here.

What employee information will managers have access to?

Anyone at Simmons who has employees who report to them will be considered a "Manager" within Workday. Managers will have access to all necessary and relevant role and compensation information about their team. Self-service will be provided on the "My Team" landing page, helping managers to access information that will aid in strategic decision making.