BYU to replace HR and finance systems with Workday software

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The team at Workday headquarters gather for a group photo. BYU’s Program Granite will launch the new software system Workday in December of 2024. (Workday via YouTube)

BYU’s Program Granite, a team of both professionals and student interns, is working to transition the university’s human resources and financial processes to Workday, a new software system.

BYU began making the software shift from PeopleSoft to Workday in January 2022. Program Granite plans to go live with the new system in December 2024, and is now at the project’s halfway point.

The project is currently in its architect and configuration stage, with the purpose of “ensuring Workday has been designed to successfully transform human resource and finance processes, creating a firm foundation for the future of BYU,” according to the website.

What is Workday? 

Workday is a software program that will replace PeopleSoft and about 85 other programs on campus, primarily replacing the human resources and financial systems. The Program Granite team is working to build a foundation for a series of other tools that may be implemented in the future as well.

“The system we’re replacing was implemented roughly 20 years ago, so we’re updating it,” Brandon Groves, program manager, said.

Brandon Groves joined the program in 2021 as the program manager and oversees the entire implementation process of Workday. He shared that he is in charge of making sure the project gets across the finish line.

Program Granite decided to make the switch to Workday because PeopleSoft is an older software program, maintenance costs are high and it is owned by Oracle, who will not be supporting it in the future. Workday is a more modern interface, and the team will more easily be able to build upon its foundation for other resources in the future. 

Workday, according to Groves, is built with more advanced architecture, where students will be able to use mobile applications to submit their work hours, apply for a job and receive related notifications on their phone. 

This shift will mostly impact both student and non-student employees of the university. Employees will have to adjust to a few changes, but will not see a hugely substantial impact on their day-to-day lives. 

Program Granite’s transitional work 

Program Granite’s vision statement states, “Through interdisciplinary collaboration, implement cost-effective, user-friendly, robust and complementary tools and processes on time and on budget with the least operational and customer frustration possible.”

Carr Krueger is the executive sponsor for the program, working with members of the President’s Council, the program committee and other leadership groups. Krueger explained that the team is working to implement complex systems to simplify processes for the BYU community.

Brad Taylor, Blake Fisher and Mikilani Yamada visit at the Program Granite booth at this year’s Campus Showcase. Program Granite will launch the new software system Workday in December of 2024. (Photo courtesy of Tony Gunn)

“We’ve been given the opportunity to go through and identify, what do we want to accomplish? How do we want to improve the experience for our students? How do we want to create different environments for our employees?” Krueger said. 

The team came up with 1,600 objectives they want to accomplish with their new software system. They examined various vendors to see how they would meet those objectives and decided Workday was the best fit. 

With approximately 30 different teams across campus helping with the project, it is a busy and collaborative endeavor.

“This program is not intended to just be a group that’s working off in the corner of the Crabtree Building alone. We have others from across campus that all have broad and unique input into the success of this program,” Groves said. “I would say it’s a campus-wide event.”

From now until the system goes live, various groups will test the system and receive training on how to use it. Employees who are human resources or finance professionals will receive more extensive training. 

“Our intent there is that we want to allow people to be hands-on and understand the system before we go live so that they feel comfortable with this change,” Groves said. “We want to launch with people on campus, not at them.”

Groves explained that their team plans to communicate with the BYU community about this change when the date of implementation draws closer, so employees are informed and no one is surprised when they return from Christmas break in January 2025.  

“We’re now heading into the phase of this project where we have kind of built this system, now we need to validate and make sure that it’s going to work right,” Groves said.

Where the students come in 

One of the unique aspects of this project is there are 150 “inspiring learning” roles throughout the program, according to Groves and Krueger, that will give BYU students the opportunity to participate in the implementation of this university-wide system.

“They’ve added just huge value in terms of what we’re trying to do,” Krueger said of student participation in the program. “It’s been a marvelous blessing.” 

If students want learning opportunities in their field of interest and exposure to new software and successful business practices, they can reach out to the Program Granite for potential jobs.

“It just offers a truly unique opportunity for students to be engaged with seeing a lot more breadth to a job than they normally would,” Groves said.

Program Granite currently employs around 35-40 students, but they anticipate expansion in the near future.  

“The students who have already joined our program have been able to leave and get wonderful opportunities because of the relevant, modern, current experience they get on this,” Groves said.

Mikelle Lyons is one of these students. She is studying communications and currently works for the public relations side of Program Granite. She expressed her admiration for the team and the opportunities she has had to work with the full-time staff.

“It’s cool as a student to work with professionals and be able to watch them and learn from them,” Lyons said.

Interested students can contact the email to ask about position openings.

“Flagship BYU” sails on

When speaking on the inspiration driving this project, Groves referenced President Spencer W. Kimball’s 1975 devotional titled “The Second Century of Brigham Young University.” In this address, President Kimball outlines some visions for BYU’s future, which are directly applicable to Program Granite. Groves said this program was approved through various levels of the Church because it believes in the next 50 years of BYU. 

“These changes do not happen free of pain, challenge and adjustment. Again, harking back, I expressed the hope that the BYU vessel would be kept seaworthy by taking ‘out all old planks as they decay and put(ting) in new and stronger timber in their place,’ because the Flagship BYU ‘must sail on and on and on,’” President Kimball said in the devotional.

Groves emphasized the prominence of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the program. He shared that he is grateful to work among so many talented individuals who are committed to both BYU’s mission and to the gospel. Team members share spiritual thoughts and sing hymns before meetings to invite the Spirit.

Tony Gunn, change communications manager for Program Granite, agreed that the team’s dedication is what makes this program special.

“They’re deeply, deeply devoted to making sure that the project’s working because they care so much about the people,” Gunn said of the team members.

Groves shared that their intent is to help BYU fulfill its mission by leveraging technology and helping the university operate more efficiently than it has in the past.

“We feel a deep gratitude and a heavy responsibility to make sure that we are positioning the university appropriately to function well for the next 50 years,” Groves said.

More information can be found at Program Granite’s website, accessible to those with BYU accounts.

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