Guiding Principles

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 Brown 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 Brown community via the project website ( 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 on the mainframe HRMS (Integral), Financials (FRS), endowment system, miscellaneous accounts receivable (MAR) and a legacy pension repository.  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 and financial management.  Moreover, Workday continues to add features specific to the needs of higher education based on input from their Higher Education Advisory Board, of which Brown is a member. Brown is also a Workday design partner for faculty information and effort reporting.

We will implement business practices and procedures at Brown 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 Brown’s 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 and financial information.  We know that certain other systems at Brown 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.