Meet CoE Leader Dragana Kangrga
We are excited to introduce you to Dragana Kangrga — Finance Manager and Center of Excellence Leader at Groupon. Dragana joined her organization’s established Center of Excellence as a model builder, and has since transitioned into a solutions architect role where she leads three model builders and oversees governance of the Anaplan environment.
We asked Dragana to share with the Anaplan Community more about the skills she has learned in her career journey, her favorite thing about working with Anaplan, and the opportunities being a CoE Leader has brought her and her organization.
“During my time working with Anaplan, one of my favorite things about working with this tool is being able to collaborate with so many different teams and learning about all the different processes that make the business tick and how they all come together.” – Dragana Kangrga
Tune in to hear more about this CoE Leader’s career path and how she created a Connected Planning environment that benefits everybody. (Transcript also available below.)
If you have a story to share about your Anaplan journey, we would love to connect. Share in the comments below or contact us at [email protected].
Interviewer: Tell us about your Anaplan journey.
Dragana: To share a little bit about my career pathway and the Anaplan ecosystem from first experiences to today… I first started out with Anaplan when joining my current organization three years ago as a model builder — I was joining an established Center of Excellence team of Master Anaplanners. It was a great experience to be able to absorb all that Anaplan expertise so early on in my Anaplan journey. I have since transitioned into a more solutions architect role now where I lead a team of three model builders, where our focus is on governing the Anaplan environment and continuously working on new opportunities for automation leveraging Anaplan.
Interviewer: What is the most valuable skill you learned along that journey?
Dragana: Some of the most valuable skills I've learned along my Anaplan journey are collaboration, educating, and inspiring. During my time working with Anaplan, one of my favorite things about working with this tool is being able to collaborate with so many different teams and learning about all the different processes that make the business tick and how they all come together. Also educating and inspiring end users on Anaplan capabilities. Anaplan is a very versatile tool. It's important to showcase to end users all the different use cases that are possible, which means it doesn't always have to be for financial reasons. This helps foster the relationship between model builders and end users to get people thinking of even more cool and exciting ways we can implement the system.
Interviewer: What are some of the opportunities being a CoE Leader has brought you?
Dragana: Some of the specific opportunities that being a CoE leader brought me — like I mentioned earlier — the ability to collaborate with so many different teams is a huge positive to being a part of the Anaplan Center of Excellence. This gives us the ability to learn new parts of the business we may have never had exposure to prior, as we learn new concepts like inter-company reconciliation or incentive compensation management through new models or reporting builds we’re able to truly begin to make a Connected Planning environment that can benefit everybody.
Interviewer: What are some of the benefits of having a CoE in an organization?
Dragana: Some of the benefits of having a CoE within your organization is ensuring that you have the right foundation for a successful utilization of the Anaplan platform. You can avoid ending up with a platform that is disjointed and siloed by introducing a CoE that provides a central hub for ideas to be shared, future implementations to be discussed, all the while making sure the big picture and goal is being achieved for a truly holistically Connected Planning tool that expands outside of just one use case.
Interviewer: Are there benefits to having a direct connection with Anaplan as a CoE Leader?
Dragana: I think one of the benefits of having the relationship of business partners and customer success really is around staying up-to-date with all of the new product releases. Anaplan is always working on so many great new product releases and coming out with new functionality and additions to the tool. Having a CoE really ensures that somebody is up-to-date on all of the new capabilities and tools that have been rolled out, and seeing how that fits in with the overall current Anaplan environment and structure that is in place in ways that it can benefit and improve the current structure.
My name is Dragana Kangrga. I am currently the manager for the Anaplan Center of Excellence team. We oversee and maintain the current Anaplan environment, making sure that all integrations and models are performing as expected, as well as focusing on continuously expanding and growing our new use cases across different functional areas.