What is One Washington?

The state’s current project, One Washington, is intended to modernize the enterprise administrative functions for finance, procurement, budget, human resources and payroll. These functions will move to a cloud-based tool that the tech industry calls an “enterprise resource planning” (ERP) system. Washington’s modernization effort will touch all state agencies, the three branches of state government, institutions of higher education, businesses that sell goods and services to the state, and many state residents – which makes the project an enormous undertaking. The initial priority for the project is the state’s financial reporting system (AFRS), built on 1960s-era COBOL technology. Interruption of AFRS’ ability to make $4.3 billion in monthly payments is a risk and would impact more than 60,000 employees, over 35,000 vendor payments, and the 70,000 individuals who rely on critical support -- and in many cases, this would have consequences upon our most needy and vulnerable populations. Recovery could take days, if not weeks to resolve, and be costly.

The state legislature’s first investment on this journey occurred in 2013 with the authorization for a business case. The final report was the foundation for subsequent strategic planning and research in which the Legislature has continued to invest. The program office is now ready to begin multi-biennia implementation activities. The program has selected Workday as the subscription-based solution vendor as well as Deloitte Consulting as the system integrator to lead the effort to connect the SaaS solution to state systems. Implementation activities kicked off in January of 2021 and the new finance system will go live in 2025.

One aspect of the effort includes updating how the state purchases items and streamlining the process into one centralized system. This will allow the state to leverage billions of dollars in annual buying power across the variety of goods and services it buys, and magnify the ability to be even more responsible with taxpayer resources.

What is an ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a set of common business practices and a software system that implements core business practices across an organization.  A complete ERP system combines business functions (finance, procurement, budget, payroll and HR) across an organization’s main resources – its people, money, information and assets – and provides decision makers with real-time enterprise information.

By implementing an ERP solution and transforming the processes that support the state’s business, One Washington will help ensure decision makers have access to data that is accurate and timely, standardize common business processes across agencies and improve service delivery. Our ERP 101 guide will provide you with additional details and information.

Why is the state doing this now?

The state is modernizing its core administrative systems to address the inefficiencies of old technology, the inherent and compounding risks of aging systems, and to improve its ability to deliver services in an on-demand world. The state and its agencies can expect thorough research into individual agency needs and support and transparency throughout this change. The change will take place in a phased, 6-year implementation starting with the state's outdated financial systems.

Washington state’s financial accounting systems (such as AFRS and TRAINS) are obsolete, expensive to maintain, are supported by a shrinking pool of resources, and expose the state to risks. Procurement systems are fragmented and not integrated, causing extra work and hindering the state’s ability to take advantage of best practices and negotiate best possible pricing. Likewise, budgeting systems are not well integrated, compromising the ability to analyze data and information. The HR/payroll system (HRMS) will soon be 15 years old.

For more information about why the state has chosen to pursue this change now, please see our AFRS case for change one-pager.

Is the One Washington program supported by Governor Inslee and Legislature?

Yes. The governor first requested funding in 2013 for a business case. A final report to the Legislature was delivered in early 2014. Then came funding for research and planning. In 2019, attention turned to implementation funding. The Legislature has been investing in One Washington since the initial request. 

More recently, Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order that directs Washington state agencies to update many of the state’s technology systems via the One Washington program. These systems help the state continue uninterrupted services to Washingtonians and are overdue for important and more current technology updates. The order comes in support of the One Washington program to modernize the enterprise administrative functions for finance, procurement, budget, human resources and payroll.

Can you tell me about oversight of the modernization effort – what is in place to make sure this is a success?

An executive steering committee provides strategic oversight and direction for the state's modernization efforts. Because the modernization includes aspects of information technology the legislature designated the project as part of the Office of the Chief Information Officer's responsibility to ensure the success and transparency of business-driven major IT investments, which maintains a dashboard for One Washington activities here. Additionally, One Washington benefits from the services of an independent quality assurance contractor, Bluecrane, which produces monthly reports that are also available on the OCIO's One Washington dashboard.

    Contracts and procurement

    How did One Washington choose the software vendor and system integrator?

    For selection of the software vendor, OFM used the NASPO ValuePoint program, available through the master contract developed by the Department of Enterprise Services. For selection of the systems integrator, they used a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process that included follow-up questions and oral presentations. A thorough and detailed set of criteria was used in the evaluation process for both the software vendor and system integrator, and members of the evaluation committee scored each vendor based on the criteria.

    What was the due diligence process in selecting vendors?

    To learn more about the due diligence process, please see additional information about the due diligence process.

    What Enterprise Resource Planning solution was selected for One Washington? Are you changing business practices and leveraging technology?

    With the help from our agency partners, Workday was selected as our ERP system vendor. Workday delivers it's ERP solution as a Software as a Service (SaaS) where the software is accessed online via a subscription. Workday employs world-class security and has proven its success in similar implementations among many public sector organizations. Using Workday allows for mobile solutions, ongoing software maintenance, regulatory compliance updates, secure data backups, disaster recovery etc. For more information, please reference the Why Workday resource found on One Washington's agency resources webpage.

    The Workday ERP solution will allow business systems to "talk" to each other and shift to an “enterprise view” of processes (versus an agency-specific view) which will result in greater standardization and efficiencies. During design sessions, agency SMEs will help to define “to-be processes” with the goal of eliminating unnecessary activities and process steps. Informatica will be used as a middleware solution to connect to Workday. New technology will allow workers to access the system from any device anywhere. See our why workday one-pager for a description of why the state selected Workday as our enterprise resource planning system vendor.

    Who is the system integrator for One Washington?

    Deloitte Consulting has been selected as our system integrator partner. Washington is embarking on a once-in-a-generation program to implement Workday Cloud ERP to lay the foundation for a new way of conducting operations across the state. Washington needs a trusted partner with a proven track record of working with states to collaborate with agencies, big and small, to co-create and deliver success.

    Deloitte is a market leader in Workday implementation. Independent research firm Forrester named Deloitte a global leader in Workday implementation services in their report titled - The Forrester New Wave: Workday Implementation Partners, Q3 2019. They have significant work experience with Workday having completed more than 500 Workday implementations globally and have more than 1,900 Workday professionals. Within Washington state itself, Deloitte is implementing, or has implemented, the most complex Workday Cloud ERP implementations for government entities, including Washington State University (finance, HR, payroll) and University of Washington (finance).


    What does One Washington oversight and governance look like? What quality assurance measures are in place to make sure this program is a success?

    Governance exists to increase transparency and align decision making for planning, policy and operations to meet business objectives, ascertain that risks are managed appropriately, and verify that resources are being used responsibly and strategically. The One Washington program touches all aspects of the state's government. Accordingly, the program governance structure includes a diverse set of agency representatives.

    The One Washington program governance includes the Executive Sponsor, the Executive Steering Committee, the Executive Program Director, the Change Control Committee, Project Workstream Leads, and Advisory Committees. Additionally, we have partnered with an independent quality assurance contractor, who is responsible for producing reports that are available on the OCIO's One Washington dashboard.

    Agency support team network

    What happened to the POC network and what is the AST network?

    During the planning phase of One Washington, the POC network played an important role in communicating key messages across agencies. Implementation requires us to create a different support structure - one where the agency needs to complete more activities and also engage with their leaders and staff more often while also coordinating with One Washington. The AST is comprised of staff who understand agency systems and business practices. They will help coordinate and complete readiness activities (people, process, and technology) in conjunction with the One Washington program team and agency leadership so that agencies are ready and prepared for One Washington. The purpose of the AST structure is to strengthen leadership, sponsorship, and engagement for the program while formalizing finance and technical subject matter expertise.

    What are the benefits of an AST network?

    Benefits of the agency support team network include enhanced knowledge-sharing and collaboration among agencies, improved communications channels between One Washington and agencies, well-defined roles and responsibilities to improve efficiency in completing One Washington tasks, and ability of agency to take ownership of One Washington activities.

    What are the various options for an agency's AST network?

    The AST network's composition is determined by the size of your agency and required support. The most comprehensive option for an AST structure is an AST sponsor, AST lead, and AST supporting members as applicable (various functional/process SMEs, IT and data experts, and organizational change management resources). The AST structure is mainly centered around the AST sponsor and the AST lead. 

    What is the role of an AST sponsor?

    The AST sponsor is a senior-level leader within an agency (i.e. director or deputy director). Sponsors serve as the main advocate for the agency and are responsible for mobilizing agency staff, setting priorities, clearing obstacles and mitigating risks. The sponsor is accountable for the business transformation within the agency and to provide the resources necessary to complete program activities. 

    What is the role of an AST lead?

    The AST lead is responsible for executing agency-specific tasks in support of One Washington​. In collaboration with agency leadership, they work with agency staff to complete One Washington activities​. The AST lead attends monthly AST meetings​, reviews and reports on agency’s progress for One Washington activities on a monthly basis​, facilitates communications between the agency and One Washington​, acts as an early-adopter to learn about One Washington and support activities​, advocates for One Washington and builds support and buy-in among agency staff​.

    The AST lead is responsible for executing agency-specific tasks in support of One Washington​. In collaboration with agency leadership, they work with agency staff to complete One Washington activities​. The AST lead attends monthly AST meetings​, reviews and reports on agency’s progress for One Washington activities on a monthly basis​, facilitates communications between the agency and One Washington​, acts as an early-adopter to learn about One Washington and support activities​, advocates for One Washington and builds support and buy-in among agency staff​. 

    Technical information

    What is a system integrator and why do we need it?

    The One Washington ERP transformation project is an extensive undertaking that requires time, labor, and technical expertise. The state of Washington and the One Washington program do not have the technical capacity to facilitate the synchronization of ERP activities for all state agencies while still maintaining daily operations. By selecting a third-party system integrator with knowledge of the state’s new and existing systems, essential agency functions are maintained while the software integration is managed in the background. The state has selected Deloitte Consulting as the system integration for the duration of the One Washington project.

    What is SaaS?

    SaaS is a software licensing and delivery model in which a service provider hosts applications for customers and makes them available to customers via the internet. Software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted on a cloud server. Many private and public sector organizations are using SaaS solutions to outsource software maintenance and control costs. This type of system delivery model is helpful because it is quick to deploy, requires no infrastructure (accessed via the internet), delivers automatic updates and manages all backups and data recovery. SaaS vendors recognize that there each implementation requires a unique solution and will work with the state to design the best system for its needs.

    What are the benefits of an ERP solution?

    Washington’s core financial system is more than 30 years old and is due for an overhaul. The One Washington program is implementing Workday to modernize the state’s core administrative functions through process improvements supported by technology. Benefits include: improved money management, increased accessibility with the cloud, integrated business processes, and an enhanced user experience.

    Read our One Washington benefits one-pager for more information.

    I am concerned about data security and integrity. What can Workday do to address this?

    Applications designed specifically for the cloud, such as Workday, have been proven to meet the requirements of organizations in the most heavily regulated and risk-averse industries worldwide. You can be confident that Workday’s security model will also meet the needs of your organization. Because all Workday customers are on the same version of the software, any security improvements for one customer, will benefit all customers and is a model for shared success. The cloud offers secure gateways for data access to protect sensitive information and a simple security model mitigates risk in creating an environment where the right people have access to the right data via security role mapping.

    How will I access the new system?

    The new ERP solution will be accessible from any authorized agency device connected to the internet and will be enabled through a secure web browser or via a dedicated application on mobile systems (like tablets or smartphones).