The Way Forward: Re Baseline Progress

The Way Forward (TWF) is a special short-term project established by the One Washington program to assess and recommend changes to the One Washington financials baseline implementation. The changes are to ensure that appropriate processes, resources, and plans are in place to support the journey of the One Washington program."

It was determined that October 2022 was not an attainable date for go-live to implement Workday and ensure a successful business transformation for Washington State. Key state program leaders and stakeholders met to evaluate Phase 1A timeline status and developed updated options for implementation. The assessment included a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and provided a recommendation to discuss with governing and oversight bodies.  After further discussions with an independent quality assurance partner and OCIO oversight, it was agreed upon that more analysis and planning were needed. The Way Forward special project was established to meet the identified need.

There are four key areas of TWF to re baseline the program: program goals for financial transformation, scope, deployment, and schedule. Surveys for all four areas were conducted to seek agency feedback through the agency support team (AST) network. The planning team reviewed each agency’s response and made relevant changes based on the feedback received.


The program goals for financial transformation were approved by the executive steering committee (ESC) based on some great feedback from agencies through the first survey. Feedback included: Use more plain talk; Link effectiveness and reduction of technical debt with the replacement of financial systems; clarify what is meant by core systems and where future phases may be; agency needs must be met in data, reporting, use of technologies, etc.; and create a strong sustainment model that emphasizes standardization.

Below is the high-level list of approved goals. The OneWA First Financial Phase Transformation Goals document contains the complete list detailing sub-goals.

  • Goal #1: Improve the effectiveness of State Government through the replacement of Washington’s core financial system, AFRS.
  • Goal #2: Transform financial business processes through both innovation and improvements supported by technology. 
  • Goal #3: Continue to provide the tools and resources for agencies to develop or train and invest in the financial workforce of today and tomorrow.

The focus of the One Washington program scope has been on finance and procurement since 2013 and remains so today. When the program was broken into distinct phases, Phase 1A –Core Financial scope addressed core finance. Since the arrival of the system integrator in January 2021, the One Washington program and agencies learned much about what it will take to replace Agency Financial Reporting System (AFRS) and create a statewide business transformation in finance. The challenge to determine scope has centered on the detailed scope functions between “core finance” versus “expanded finance.” Each additional function of scope beyond what is currently in the scope of Phase 1A –Core Financials will bring value to the state but will also require time and effort to implement. As part of TWF, the program re-evaluated the scope with detailed considerations from the advisory team and detailed input from agencies. This reevaluation of scope led to an approval by the ESC to carry forward the original scope with an added component of limited purchase-order to pay.

Question: How did the program use the feedback agencies provided as part of the scope survey?

Response: All agencies were surveyed on if we should bring in additional functionalities to scope of the first financial implementation. After reviewing each response, we concluded that the only additional functionality necessary for inclusion at this time would be a functionality of purchase order to pay. Originally classified as a component of procurement (included in Phase 1B), the evaluation as part of TWF allowed the program to learn that the ability to manage encumbrances and capture purchasing details would not only add value to the scope of Phase 1A, but that NOT including it in the AFRS replacement phase would require a significant work-around for agencies. 


The third important step for TWF plan was to determine how this scope will be rolled out to the enterprise—the deployment strategy.  The discussions around deployment strategy had two components: 

  1. Deployment of Workday – Should the first implementation of Workday be implemented to all agencies[1] at the same time, in waves— to different groups of agencies over a longer period, or some other approach? 
  2. Agency Remediation (LSR) strategy — To what degree should agency legacy system remediation be completed before the first financial implementation of Workday is implemented? 

On June 7, 2022, the ESC approved the first part of the deployment strategy recommendation – a single deployment of Workday.  After discussion, the ESC asked for additional information on crosswalks and agency system remediation before making a final decision on the second part of strategy deployment. 

On July 13, 2022, after receiving additional information on crosswalks and agency LSR, the ESC voted to approve the program’s recommendation of an incremental approach to system remediation. LSR is a significant set of work, but this work does not all need to be completed before Workday is implemented. Additionally, there are some agency systems that cannot be remediated before Phase 1A goes live, as they are tied to financial functionality that will be deployed in Phase 1B. The approved approach will only require remediation to be completed before implementation is necessary: for the agency to implement Workday, or to decommission AFRS.

The program will support agencies with a strong desire to remediate because the effort to develop and utilize a crosswalk would be untenable or require more effort and funds than remediation. Other remediation could be completed as agencies are ready. Crosswalks can be used until remediation is complete.

There are two key benefits for this decision of a single deployment with increments of LSR. One benefit is it better supports the One Washington transformation goals. The second key benefit is that the decreased complexity and risk from operating one financial system is less difficult and less costly to mitigate. Compared to a waved deployment, the increased complexity and risk from operating two financial systems is more difficult and more costly to mitigate.

[1] In this discussion “all agencies” means all agencies except WSDOT. This plan is to implement all agencies that use AFRS (which doesn’t include WSDOT, who uses TRAINS not AFRS) in one implementation.


Schedule is the fourth and final building block of The Way Forward with a goal of setting a new attainable date to go live with Workday. 

A re-baselined project schedule for Phase 1A is in development, based upon scope and deployment decisions, and is the final building-block of TWF reassessment work. Schedule revision efforts are underway using a methodical approach to include lessons learned, diverse stakeholder inputs, momentum methodology and Workday implementation lifecycle stages.  

Revision of the Phase 1A work plan included the following: 

  1. Updated schedule management plan
  2. Build from the existing Phase 1A work plan baseline to ensure continual alignment with momentum methodology phases and Workday lifecycle stages
    • Included agency remediation schedule
  3. Build in resourcing via a breakdown of work tasks and milestones using a bottom-up estimation technique
    • Project managers and schedulers are designating resources per line in the schedule, and dependencies (predecessors/successors) have been fully linked, creating full logic to drive the critical path
  4. Conduct a schedule risk assessment and incorporate risk mitigation plans
    • The schedule team continues to work through a risk analysis to build a recommendation for where contingency should be added to the schedule
  5. Seek feedback from all program staff, business transformation board, quality assurance vendor, WaTech’ s OCIO and state agencies 
    • Feedback was received from both a focused feedback group (schedule advisory team, program staff, Business Transportation Board (BTB), and select agency managers) and agency support team (AST) leads within the agencies. Of 113 agencies surveyed, 55 responded.  
  6. Incorporate feedback where applicable 
    • Over 150 lines of feedback have been incorporated into the schedule based on these efforts 
  7. Document assumptions to build context

The One Washington program is committed to delivering a schedule with no invisible work. Mapping those details into the integrated program schedule (IPS) takes time and staffing capacity. While staffing vacancy remains high, forward progress is being made to deliver a re-baselined schedule and communicate that to our partners.