Right isn't right if the client isn't ready

KPMG worked in cadence with Allergan plc to seamlessly implement Workday Human Capital Management technology in the midst of several disruptive acquisitions.

Allergan plc
Life sciences - Biopharma
Workday HCM platform harmonization
  • Client challenge
  • Benefits to client
  • Approach
  • KPMG insights

Client challenge

Allergan, a global leader in pharmaceuticals, had completed 26 acquisitions and divestitures within just three years, including three transformative mergers. This created a volatile environment for the organization’s human resources (HR) function.

HR leaders had to integrate people from many different organizations, introduce new technology, optimize HR service delivery, and redesign the organization structure, all while harmonizing business processes across business units in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific.

Benefits to client

Taking into account the needs of many acquisitions, Allergan and KPMG professionals teamed up to transform key elements of the service delivery model using Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) as a key lever for change. The team worked closely together to create a technical landscape that supported future acquisitions that are smooth and quick.

Equally important, the team helped Allergan leaders keep their current systems up and running—providing near-realtime copies of existing Workday production systems to support decision making—even as the Allergan corporate footprint continued to grow. 

"KPMG presented a nimble playbook. We knew we were working with the right advisors when we witnessed the KPMG team’s adaptability and innovation. We valued their patience and flexibility because oftentimes the solutions we said we wanted were not necessarily what we needed at the time." —Rick Diesinger, Associate Vice President, HR Technology Strategy & Governance, Allergan plc



The Allergan and KPMG team developed an innovative approach to integration and harmonization based on what it called “closed production.” Allergan was growing rapidly, sometimes with several acquisitions under way simultaneously. The team wanted a way to give decision makers the data they needed to more rapidly integrate each newly acquired platform.

Folding these HR systems into the Allergan footprint had to be accomplished in a seamless manner. A simple “lift and shift” of data from a new acquisition might disrupt operations and impede the development of new business processes, procedures, and organizational structures.

In response, the team supported a “closed production,” approach using a snapshot of Workday production on a regular cadence. Using the snapshot, the team uploaded the new acquisitions and then modified the organization as instructed by leadership—while operations continued as usual. Leaders had an advanced look at the future-state organization to help them make business decisions they were comfortable making. Multiple tenants enabled different functions, such as IT, payroll, and sales, to test varying initiatives for the future-state business in parallel.

In addition, leaders could explore more creative and inventive approaches before the actual integration and harmonization of data went into production. As a result, the team was able to launch solutions that supported the right balance of flexibility and structure to solve business problems in a meaningful way.

KPMG insights

Wear the client hat

KPMG professionals looked at issues, strategies, and objectives from Allergan’s point of view. They worked closely with in-house resources and measured their success by Allergan’s success.

Be flexible to manage change

With every new acquisition, requirements changed. KPMG was quick to adjust the scope of work and project plan to align with the new requirements. In short, they put the client’s needs ahead of their needs.

Rally the troops

KPMG assembled the right team with experience in Workday, data and analytics, digital labor, and cyber security from other KPMG divisions throughout the

We knew we were working with the right advisors when we witnessed the KPMG team’s adaptability and innovation.
Rick Diesinger, Associate Vice President, HR Technology Strategy & Governance, Allergan plc