The Power of Value Management: Unlocking Success in Every Project

Workday Life
8 min readFeb 20, 2024
Two Workmates smiling on a Workday branded graphic. Text reads: The Power of Value Management: Unlocking Success in Every Project

Major transformations in HR and Finance infrastructure as well as integrating large-scale SaaS (Software as a Service) tools are challenging for even the biggest organisations. Internal processes for choosing products, securing budget, change management, and proving ROI are all complex, with multiple stakeholders that require clarity, understanding, and expertise to negotiate. That’s where Value Management steps in. Our Value Management teams work with a wide range of prospects and customers, understanding their business needs, their priorities, and their cultures. They help project teams make the business case for change, and see projects through sale, go-live, and beyond.

If you love to learn, and live to make a difference, then a role in Value Management might be perfect for you. This career suits a wide range of backgrounds and experience, and we embrace that. We see fresh perspectives as a strength and every new viewpoint makes us better.

Meet Some Value Management Workmates

Stefano Caprara is a Senior Value Manager for the South EMEA region and based in Paris. He has a special focus on retail and hospitality, which fits well with his own interests in wine and Italian cooking. Before taking up his current role, he was actually Workday’s first Italian customer, having discovered the solution in 2017 while overseeing the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) strategy at a fashion e-commerce group.

He sees the Value Management role as a form of dynamic consultancy with three main goals:

  • Having a positive impact on the sales process with the creation of a customised value message
  • The infusion of that value message into the sales process
  • The articulation of that value and financial advantage to customers

“First, we leverage our industry and functional expertise to draft a first analysis of the customers needs and ambitions” he explains. “We gradually sharpen that through discoveries and customer interactions, then we work closely with our extended sales team to infuse the value message within the different sale process stages. Last, we facilitate discussions with the customer’s stakeholders and formalise them into a business case for change. We support the customer’s project team in presenting the value messages across the organisation.”

Stefano notes the customer relationship as the key to success: “It’s rare that members of customers’ project teams have experience executing large, transformative projects, and they need support and guidance in everything, including securing the project budget. I believe that a successful value management engagement results from building trust with the customer — with project team members and stakeholders.

“In a recent sale we were helping a customer’s project team demonstrate the business case for Workday so we proposed a comprehensive discovery process to better understand their needs. During one interview, the head of finance gave us insights into a major transformation the group was undergoing. Thanks to this, we were able to pivot the entire business case. Our rapid turnaround left a lasting impression and secured a successful outcome.”

Robin Vogelaar graduated in Finance from MIT and started his career at US-based management consulting firm. Then there was a notable period travelling the world, consulting for non-govermental organisations and organising Dutch pancake events in every city and town he visited. He worked for a time in Singapore and then returned to Amsterdam, holding a series of strategy roles before looking at Value Management. “I had a range of job opportunities,” he says. “But Value Management at Workday stood out for me, mostly because of the connection I felt with all the people I interacted with, the close involvement with prospects and customers, and the growth trajectory of Workday as a company.”

Robin is now a Senior Value Manager. “Value Managers work across sales cycles,” he explains, “Starting with developing and nurturing prospects, all the way to closing deals.”

“When potential customers only see buttons and screens, it is very difficult to compare Workday with other software providers. Value Managers can bridge that understanding gap, by linking companies’ pain points to specific functionality that we provide. The conversation then becomes about achieving customers’ strategic objectives and how to transform their processes. Customers and project teams appreciate that approach.”

Kerstin Stimpfl is based in Zurich, and has been a Workmate for three and a half years. She was a consultant at a Big Four accounting firm, but wanted to make a move to a fast-growing tech company with a promising product she could get behind. “I very much wanted to focus and learn more about the initial part of a sales cycle to get a transformation started,” she says. “So I joined Workday as a Customer Strategy & Value Manager.”

Her three main ingredients for successful value management are strategic engagement, forming a strong business case, and effective, useful, value realisation studies: “It’s important to understand that every prospective customer needs to compete for capital in front of their own executive board. The board wants to make an informed decision about that investment. This is exactly what we help with. We help them identify and prioritise their needs, aligning them with the overall business objectives and ensure that the deployment of Workday will result in tangible benefits.”

“I thrive when when we are co-creating a case for change and the prospective customer has fully internalised it, pitched it to the board, and gets it approved because the internal team was able to fully explain the value that Workday brings and how it aligns to their particular business objectives. Another highlight is when you speak to the customer a year after go-live and see the improvements they have achieved. The proof of effective value management is in measurable results.”

Ideal Candidates

The sheer variety of influence and touch points in a Value Management role makes it a prime career option for anybody with a good range of transferable business skills and experience.

London-based Jalil Lahlou recently transitioned from his EMEA-focussed Value Realisation Manager role to a Customer Strategy & Value Manager for UK and Ireland. “To succeed as a Value Manager, you have to be a strong communicator. He says. “You should be able to think analytically, strategically, and critically; you should be collaborative and always willing to learn.”

“You’ve got to understand prospects and customers quickly by asking the right questions,” adds Kerstin. “You should be resilient, and a team player. Every success is always a team effort. Effective communication and negotiation skills are essential for building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, and you have to be able to adapt to change and stay flexible. Of course, a deep understanding of the market and industry trends, as well as the ability to conduct thorough research and analysis are essential too.”

Stefano says that successful Value Managers have great business acumen, lead by trust, and that they thrive on making an impact: “Business acumen and curiosity serve as the fuel for any discovery. The ability to establish trust and lead by influence is crucial, not only with customers, but also with the extended sales team. A sales team can sometimes resemble an ensemble of jazz musicians playing a symphony. Our influence can focus that resource and stems from the trust we build and the expertise we bring.

A Day in the Life

According to Stefano, his ‘typical’ value management days are anything but that. “One day might be spent collaborating with the sales team to craft the best strategy for a prospect,” he explains. “While another day might be me presenting findings to a senior management team, offering insights into their future people strategy.”

Robin’s day often revolves around frequent touchpoints with the sales team to see how he can contribute. “I am someone who enjoys being closely involved in deals,” he says. “Though I still enjoy being involved in strategy and innovation — working on a range of topics to improve the way we sell Workday effectively. The balance between the two is what keeps it exciting for me.”

Jalil says that the variety in his day-to-day is largely thanks to the diverse mix of stakeholders he collaborates with: “I work with Field Value Managers to drive value realisation efforts across EMEA; I collaborate with Customer Success Managers and Account Executives to create connections with the customers; and I work with customers to deliver value realisation studies. This dynamic environment keeps things interesting.”

A Rewarding Role

The variety of challenges that value management brings is one of the main reasons it’s such a fulfilling occupation. Of course, you have to be the kind of person that thrives on multitasking and earning the trust of customers — understanding their business culture and unique selling proposition while translating that into financial and business benefits.

Stefano adds that the role allows him to develop professionally in a way that not many other business roles do: “The unparalleled exposure to an array of industry executives is an amazing privilege and valuable experience. It provides a unique opportunity to understand top management challenges and influence deal outcomes.”

For Kerstin, impact is a big motivator: “The best aspect of my role is seeing the tangible impact that our value management approach has on our customers’ businesses. It’s incredibly rewarding to hear success stories from our customers and know that we played a part in helping them achieve their goals. On the other hand, the most challenging aspect is navigating the complexities of each prospect or customer’s unique needs and finding the best way to tailor our approach to deliver the maximum value for them. It requires constant adaptation and creativity, but it’s a challenge that I thrive on.

“The power of value management is truly unlocking success in every prospective customer, and I’m proud to be a part of that journey.”

Have we inspired you to look at Value Management as a dynamic and rewarding career option? If you thrive on challenge and variety, are inspired by the prospect of being exposed to a number of verticals, and get a kick out of making sense of change and transformation, then a career move could be on the horizon. Come with curiosity and appetite to learn, and we’ll support you with a choice of development and learning pathways. Tackling the unique challenges of each customer requires diverse perspectives - so we welcome applications from a broad mix of experience and expertise. It’s time to discover a brighter future with Workday.

See how your work day can be brighter by visiting our career site:

Branded Workday graphic. Text reads: Meet the EMEA Value Management Team. The Value Management team spans globally but in this blog we have spotlights on a few amazing Workmates in the Europe and Middle East, Africa team. They share their stories, insight into the Value Management process and the key skills to be successful. Stefano is based in Paris, Jalil in London, Robin in Amsterdam and Kerstin in Zurich.

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