In celebration of our legacy HR system pioneers

With almost 80 years of public service between them, Jeanette Miley and Donna Lantz are two highly esteemed legacy HR systems pros who work alongside the Workday Project team every day. Not only are they technically savvy, but they are well known amongst their peers – and throughout state government – as the go-to people for all things that have to do with our personnel systems, records and files.

Jeanette, our PPDB Systems Manager, began her career with Oregon state government on April 18, 1977 as part of the Federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). She ultimately chose state government as her employer because of stability and a lot of benefits. Through dedication to her role and her depth of expertise in many of our various systems, she held a variety of clerical, administrative, technical, and system management roles where she was crucial to many systems’ success across state agencies. Jeanette has touched more systems than most of us can even remember (and some that we do) like JAPI, APPI, NEOGOV, PED1, PPDB, and now Workday. Jeanette noted that her great success continues to come from a “love of trying to figure out how to make things happen for the agencies I serve” with every system implementation.

Donna, our PPDB Policy Consultant, started with the state in October 1979 as a seasonal Data Entry Operator where she worked on both the Applicant Certificate System and on data entry into the PED1 system. She started looking for a job because her husband was on strike and she chose state government because Department of Administrative Services was the first organization to give her an offer. She didn’t stop there, though. Donna continued to grow in her career through the roles she held in reporting and mass system updates. She pursued her interest in reporting by initially shadowing other people working with reports, then took a class and has been doing reporting ever since. Donna noted that “It’s easy to get up and come to work because all the people over here are just really great” and that she “never [has] a chance to get bored because [her] job always changes.”

Having always worked on statewide enterprise systems, Donna and Jeanette have seen our Oregon state government go through many changes and have been integral pieces to many successes. They noted that they’ve “always worked with a really great group of people.” They were recognized as setting “the example for teamwork” during the implementation of the PPDB system by administrator Dan Kennedy. And after one of their project completions, Donna and Jeanette fondly remembered getting dressed up for an invitation to have lunch at the Governor’s office in the capitol building. Their team was recognized for Donna and Jeanette’s work manually entering in all the Board and Commission members into the personnel system at the time.

With such successful and impactful careers, we asked both Donna and Jeanette if they could sum up their experiences with state government and maybe even share some advice. Here is what they said:

“It’s been a very interesting journey. Thinking back on needing 30 years to retire, I thought that would take forever, and now that time is gone. It’s been a fun experience the whole way. It’s really been a great adventure. Ending over here with the new system coming in, seeing one system fade and a new one come in is pretty exciting and an upbeat way to end one’s career. Not to mention it’s a great team too.” – Donna Lantz

“My career has been great. The people, the agencies, the support and the challenges have all been great. You always need to have a positive attitude when you face challenges. People should feel good about what they can contribute because no idea is a bad idea. Give change a chance. That’s the biggest part. Whether it’s PPDB, Workday, or something in your life, change deserves a chance. My career has been full of changes and challenges, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Especially with the younger generation I would say to give everything a try, enjoy what you do, and remember that family is important. Do the best you can and be ok with that.” – Jeanette Miley

Psychologists say that if you remain friends for seven years, you’ll remain friends for life. Well, what if you’ve been friends for almost 40? That’s how long Donna and Jeanette have worked together. Donna and Jeanette met on Donna’s first day in October of 1979. Neither of them knew that they would continue to work together for the rest of their careers and become inseparable as friends. When I asked them what was next, Jeanette replied, “Retirement is next, so that I can enjoy my grandbabies.” Once the impact of that sank in, Donna chimed in with a “Me too.”  No two people are more deserving of every happiness, and time with grandbabies, than Jeanette Miley and Donna Lantz.

Agency Directors recently nominated individuals who they believe demonstrate what it means to be an ambassador of public service who “exemplify the values of integrity, accountability, excellence, and equity in their everyday work.” Nominees – including Donna and Jeannette, naturally – will celebrate each other during a reception with Governor Brown at her residence in Salem during the first week of May.

Congratulations, ladies, and thank you for your service.

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Meet Jeff: the Talent, Performance & Learning Management Business Consultant

By Jeff Vidal, Talent, Performance & Learning Management Business Consultant, Workday Project

Fun fact: I’ve owned over 50 classic cars, but my current project is a 1964 Chevy Belair Station Wagon.

The Secretary of State audited Oregon state government and subsequently determined that we need to have comprehensive succession planning for our employees. As it stands now, we don’t have an electronic system to automate or track this kind of process. This is where my role comes in. What we currently call “Performance Management” is actually two separate functional areas in Workday: Talent and Performance. So my role not only covers succession planning but performance reviews, performance development and everything in between, as well.

The best part about Workday has to be how intuitive its product and reporting capabilities are, all the while allowing for transparency across state government. Workday will allow us to succession plan for any position within the statewide organizational charts. It’s clear that the more we use Workday, the better the succession planning will be for all state government employees. Through new reporting and information management capabilities, we’ll be able to gain much more consistency in performance management across the enterprise.

Very few organizations within state government have an automated system to complete performance reviews in, and most still complete them through a pen and paper process. With Workday, we are going to use a boomerang integration to automatically kick-off performance reviews 60 days before the review’s actual due date. These kinds of performance and succession planning tools will empower employees with the ability to control their own career paths like never before.

From my years working on the iLearnOregon system, I appreciate how difficult and rewarding it is to get over 90 agencies – not to mention dozens of other board and commissions – to agree upon standardized business processes and templates. It’s been fun to be a part of the team that is integrating all the various HR components into a single system so we can truly be “one employer.” It is incredible to note just how valuable Workday will be to all our employees, especially as they move around throughout their careers with Oregon state government.

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Meet Brandon: The HR Systems Analyst

By Brandon Dolquist, HR Systems Analyst, Workday Project

Fun fact: I have summited Mt. Rainier.

I am a “PPDB Reporting and System Analyst,” which means I have a deep understanding and knowledge of the current HR system and all of its related data. The current personnel system that we use is a bit antiquated and lacks a lot of functionality relative to today’s business needs – and that’s what we’re working to address. Workday will provide greater functionality, security and accountability. We will better understand our enterprise and be better prepared to positively impact individual organizations’ missions within Oregon state government.

I am definitely excited for go-live! It will be interesting to see how the enterprise evolves moving forward. So much of our reporting will be easier, faster and more dependable with Workday. Once managers learn how to run reports in the new system, agencies will truly be able to spend more time on actual strategy than on processing all the paperwork.

This project has been a great learning experience, and working with the project team has been a delight. Everyone on the team has been able to come together and overcome many challenges every step of the way. I think my biggest takeaway, though, is a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, our business processes and data management.

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