Anaplan New Year’s resolutions and tips for a successful 2023

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DanielDunleavy
edited March 2023 in Blog

Author: Daniel Dunleavy, Certified Master Anaplanner and Sr Associate, Head of Data Integration at Vuealta.

Boss calls you into their office. After congratulating you for your hard work last year, he/she says for this year, “We need you to do more, with less, and do it better than before.” After thinking about all the tremendous efforts you and your team put in last year, it appears to be a big ask. Not to worry, Anaplan Community — here are five tips to help you succeed this year!

1. Take inventory

Review your Anaplan backlogs, enhancements, and new project pipelines. Once your list is created, enable a scoring system that encompasses both ease of execution and impact on the business. This will help logically prioritize your work for the year. When you consider the impact to the business, reflect on your company’s strategic initiatives and state of technology. One area of focus for a lot of customers is integrations. Managing the same data sets from multiple systems caused by business acquisition integrations and technology upgrades. Whether they are moving data from on-premises to the cloud, moving data from Excel to Anaplan, or combining two businesses on the same system into one, most companies are experiencing transition periods and need to be accounted for when taking inventory of their business.

2. Analyze the process

Take some time to analyze the process from last year about what went well and what did not. How can things be improved this year? What best practices can be implemented this year? How are changes to the business and team going to affect the process? What Anaplan governance should be established for this year? Just like planning, analyzing your process is collaborative and should be done with all team members responsible for the process. One key tip is to eliminate unnecessary reports. Many people label the reports they receive as unnecessary, but only 20% would put the reports they write in that category. As you get higher up in the organization, the more apt people think they both write and receive unnecessary reports. (1) As a manager, take this time to eliminate any unnecessary reports.

3. Appraise your team

At the start of the year, appraise your team from scratch. Like sports, create a depth chart for each role and responsibility your team needs to accomplish. Make sure you have backups and bench players for each position in case you lose a player throughout the year. Once your depth chart is created, re-recruit your starters. Even though there have been recent layoffs in the technology market, it is still very much an employee’s market with unemployment at 3.5%. Keep them engaged and ensure they are going to stay on board for your championship season. One area of focus for many customers is Anaplan user adoption and training. Consider your team’s and organization’s adoption of Anaplan. Is there additional training that can be provided? How are they staying informed of the new Anaplan releases and features? Is there time and goals focused on Anaplan certifications (and re-certifications!)?

4. Create a plan

Use your scoring system created in step one. Shoot for operational improvements most urgently needed: sales gains, quicker delivery, better yields, shorter product development lifecycles, increased customer satisfaction, increased inventory turns, and/or decreased quality defects. Many customers are currently focused on planning for two external factors: inflation and interest rates. They are making their models inflation ready — incorporating prices, interest rates, and exchange rates into their models. With interest impacts, manufacturing customers are balancing carry costs and inventories as well as high utilization rates to improve margin while ensuring enough inventory to account for any plant or supply issues. With financial services customers, they are needing to incorporate interest rate impacts to business models that were not needed before.

5. Assess your plan

Like hockey — after each period this year (ex. monthly/quarterly) — hold locker room huddle-up meetings to make mid-year adjustments to your strategy and keep your team aligned and motivated.

Wish you a successful 2023 and Happy Anaplanning!

What tips would you add to make 2023 a successful year? Leave a comment!

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(1) Source: Skills for Success – The Experts Show The Way. Edited by the Soundview Editorial Staff.