Five tips for a (mostly) painless model rollover

edited July 2023 in Blog

Author: Clarissa Hassfurder is a Certified Master Anaplanner and CEO at Double10 Consulting.

As Anaplanners, we all hope that when a model is being build the Solution Architect and model builders think about and document all maintenance requirements for the admins. But this isn’t always the case, especially when many hands influence the build of a model or use case. Any time you start a new job or begin working with a new-to-you use case, ask about whether a rollover process has been documented. If not, or if the document has not been updated recently, use this guide to create your model rollover document!

What is a model rollover?

A model rollover occurs when a certain time threshold is hit in the use case timeline that requires admin actions. Most models use Time settings heavily, so model rollover is frequently required, especially when crossing a year threshold. There can be model rollover processes required monthly, quarterly, yearly, or all of the above. The rollover could require locking certain DCA elements to make sure a month/quarter/year can no longer be updated past a certain point. It could also require certain actions to be run to clean out transactional data no longer needed. It could have dependencies on another model being rolled over before being rolled over itself. No matter what type of model or use case you are working on, these five tips will help you create a model rollover process that can be repeated successfully.

Start prepping early

  • Review the model for everything that could be tied to the rollover. A rollover isn’t just about changing the Time settings. It can be as simple or as complicated as the use case itself (or more, or less!). Here are a few questions to get started.
    • Which models require a rollover? For example, do both your commissions model and your sales reporting model need to roll over on a certain day after month close?
    • Does the Data Hub or any main transactional data need to be cleaned up as part of the process?
    • Are there any custom time lists outside of the Time settings being used? Do any time periods need to be added/removed from this list?
    • Are there any Time Ranges that need to be updated in prep for the rollover?
    • Are there multiple properties modules that need to be updated or should be combined?
    • What is the impact of changing any properties items in the model?
    • Will the team create a model copy before completing the rollover? If so, where will this model copy be stored?
  • This is also a great chance to review the model/use case as a whole and see if there are general improvements and simplifications that can be made. For example, if you have two modules serving as model wide settings, combine them and eliminate any duplicate line items. If you have multiple names for your model wide settings modules across models, standardize the naming convention.

Create, review, and re-review your document

  • Make a document in Excel (or an Anaplan UX page with links!) with step-by-step instructions. Include communications to users about down time for the model. Make sure there’s a column called “Assigned To” so that the team can divide and conquer the list together.
  • Note every step with a prerequisite. Find places where multiple activities can take place at once. Can one person complete model rollover for the commissions model while another person completes steps for sales reporting?
  • Think holistically about the environment. Do changes need to take place in one model before steps are taken in another model? Create a column called “Model” and store all steps for all models together in one document. This way, you can ensure you are completing steps with consideration for all prerequisites.
  • Have someone else check your document. The more eyes, the better.
  • Involve business owners if needed, especially if you are new to the model and no rollover document existed before. For example, if you sales forecasting model is quarterly, that doesn’t necessarily mean the business users want the model rolled over on the last day of the quarter. They may have a grace period of a few days to gather actuals regarding closed deals for the quarter.
  • Ensure everyone participating in model rollover steps has access to everything they need. For example, if your team stores all model copies in a specific workspace, make sure everyone owning a step to make a model copy has Workspace Admin access to your model copy workspace.

Give yourself time

  • If you have the opportunity, do a dry run first in a copy of the model. How did it go? Did you find any steps that you could eliminate? Did you find any missed steps? How long did each step take? Note all your findings.
  • If you aren’t able to do a dry run, try to estimate how long each step will take, and note this time on your checklist. Sum all times together to determine how long the rollover will take. Add buffer time, and communicate this timing to the users so they’ll know how long the model will be offline.
  • Timing is also key! Work with your business users to ensure you’re completing the rollover at the correct time. Sometimes models are used heavily during a certain week of the month/quarter. Give yourself as much buffer between heavy use times to minimize downtime.

Involve a super-user in testing

  • Find the most detail-oriented business user for each use case. This person should also be involved in reviewing the document and completing the dry run. Their responsibility is to double-check the model before it’s opened to all users. Require their sign-off before releasing the model.

Do a retro after the process is over

  • Sometimes we miss things. Sometimes we take longer than expected. Sometimes we find things while in the middle of the process that we didn’t originally document. Be sure to document all retro findings in your step-by-step document. If you use Excel rather than an Anaplan UX page, be sure to store your document in your team’s repository when you’re done!

I’ve included as part of this article a sample step-by-step document as you get started organizing your rollover process. Feel free to take it, modify it, or even convert it to an Anaplan UX page. And as always, please feel free to reach out if you have questions!


  • Wonderful, Clarissa! This is one of the most nerve-wracking maintenance tasks we do every year. 😬
    Key takeaway if there ever was one: "If you have the opportunity, do a dry run first…" Please, for everyone's sanity, make time for a dry run. Your future self will thank you.

  • Very insightful and you capture the concerns of model rollover perfectly! I know I will be implementing these tips on all new projects going forward.

  • Thank you so much for sharing @clarissa

  • wpschim

    @clarissa - This is fantastic! The checklist is very helpful as we've attempted our own but have missed a few key pieces that you highlight here. Appreciate you!

  • Thank you @clarissa for sharing these tips!