November 2023 Community Q&A Challenge — join the discussion and collect a badge!


Building on the incredible success of our inaugural Community Q&A Challenge in September 2023, we're thrilled to announce our second Q&A Challenge! In the Anaplan Community, we've always believed that the key to success lies in members coming together to connect, share knowledge, and support one another. Your enthusiastic participation, insightful discussions, and the wealth of expertise you shared during our first challenge left us truly inspired. So, get ready, because it's time to embark on another journey of sharing and learning!

Question for the Q&A Challenge: What are some of the common Anaplan-related challenges your users encounter? What is your internal support process for enabling those users and troubleshooting any problems they have? Share with us and explain your problem-solving process!

Please comment in this post with your answer!

How to participate in the November 2023 Community Q&A Challenge:

  • The challenge starts today, November 6, 2023, and will conclude on November 17, 2023.
  • Provide a response to the Q&A Challenge question by commenting below: What are some of the common Anaplan-related challenges your users encounter? What is your internal support process for enabling those users and troubleshooting any problems they have? Share with us and explain your problem-solving process!
  • Community members who participate in the discussion will receive a unique participant badge at the end of the challenge.

We will provide a recap of November 2023 Q&A Challenge in the coming weeks after the Challenge concludes. The recap will also include Anaplan’s Operational Excellence Group's shout-outs and recognition of a few outstanding responses from the completed Challenge!

Are you ready to join the discussion? Participate in the Q&A Challenge by commenting in this post below.

We look forward to seeing your responses!

For a full outline of our challenge rules and restrictions, read our full Terms & Conditions here.


  • Thanks @anirudh. Those are great additional suggestions, and I have also heard the data entry challenge. These are helpful suggestions!

  • Hi all,

    in my practice support line depends on the implementation scale

    In ideal world you have these levels of support for ordinary user

    • superuser
    • business consultant
    • model builder
    • architect or architectural comittee
    • Anaplan support

    Best option of course to have some ticket system to track user requests

    If Anaplan implementation is relarelatively small you have these support lines only

    • superuser
    • model builder being architect
    • Anaplan support

    In any case you resolve a lot of questions in advance if you (or superuser) provide trainings for new comers

    Nobody likes writing manuals (at least mine don't like 😅) and you may say good UX app / dashboard is one that does not need any manual, but practice says it's better to have one, then no one

    And if you ask about user questions… 80% - changing business process, 10% - how to, 9% - new functionality request, 1% - let's go to have a lunch 😉



  • anirudh
    edited November 2023
  • More of a high-level summary here because I think this topic has a lot of documentation, best practices. summary of process that is based on criticality of a defect or enhancement. I have been a part of COEs that rely on email as well as ones that have to adhere to greater standards of PMO, etc. It's okay to be somewhere in the middle! crawl, walk, run and understand that the goal is to provide support efficiently. In the below example there is an inbox for the Anaplan team that usually handles important, in-cycle items. Then below that shows an option of using a submission form. hope that sparks some ideas!

    Set up a cloudworks schedule to run the process of submitting items to the master log and clearing the input for nightly

  • One of the challenge user faced their initial days of Anaplan is (Export action issue):

    If we edit the saved view (to add a new line item or add a new filter) after the export action has been saved then the Export Action does not recognize the change. My suggestion here is create a new Export Action and publish to NUX page/Dashboard again!

  • What are some of the common Anaplan-related challenges your users encounter? What is your internal support process for enabling those users and troubleshooting any problems they have? Share with us and explain your problem-solving process!

    As others have noted…

    1. Just logging in/Being granted access - patience clearly is a virtue here, right @JaredDolich? Explaining to click on the SSO link and have they received the "IT Request Complete" email? Just because Anaplan will let you in doesn't mean the organisation will allow you through the door. And then of course making sure users actually ask for the right access - yes you can have access to a model but what area/division?
    2. Genuine frustrations with platform functionality - anyone for four columns on a non-Polaris model page? Often it's them forgetting that it isn't excel/powerpoint and the exact shading of table design won't be exactly what you want but look at all this other fun stuff that can be done. Thankfully we have pretty good relationships with most of key user groups and we collate those up - some turn into ideas for the idea exchange, others we can say yes that's on the roadmap, others are what about doing the activity like this?
    3. Viewable screen - like @anirudh says "never fine on my computer", whilst we try to ensure that pages look good on a variety of displays (I have a office sized screen just for this) sometimes it doesn't render quite correctly possibly a dropped column for instance. And then you realise they've got a different resolution/browser zoom setting to what's been developed on. So it's explaining where the issue and going from there.
    4. But of course if users don't report issue how are we to know what's not working - so every model has a first contact rather than a generic email which means that issues can be resolved more quickly and then we as a team share these challenges and drop-out "top tips" out to our model owner community who can then share these out accordingly. And thankfully most of the low-level issues tend to get sorted by the specific model user set via a business led model owner which stops a lot of noise getting through.

  • What are some of the common Anaplan-related challenges your users encounter?

    1. “How can I extract the data because I need to calculate/sum/analyze it in a different (my) way" - firstly I usually ask if they really need — maybe they can just use native Anaplan functionalities, but they don't know Anaplan's capabilities? After they tell me what they need:

    • I try to show them how to filter/sort/pivot/find/group data, and it solves ~25% of such cases, builds confidence in the tools and teaches them to try to do it in the future,
    • another ~25% is just pointing them to another page/grid that already does what they want,
    • and anyway I will tell them (even for the first 50%, as they may need it on another time) how to export every grid in Anaplan, add extra properties to the export, hide summaries etc. I also ask if they need to extract this exact table frequently, and maybe I should define a backend export/special view that they can generate quickly, with some additional properties or calculations?

    2. “Why is this like that?” — typically it's about the number that is different than they expect. We try to investigate it together, with the user sharing the screen so that they navigate through Anaplan and build muscle-memory where to click to find extra details, like:

    • Is it a formula or aggregation? Let's try to drill down, see what's the calculation (users often can understand basic formulas), why it is like that, from which items it's aggregating, maybe we can see the previous step in the grid above/previous page.
    • Is it an input? Well, let's check history, perhaps someone else imported new data or edited your number?

    What is your internal support process for enabling those users and troubleshooting any problems they have?

    Most of these questions come from users that were not able to join the training when the project went live, or from the ones that don't use the tool frequently enough. That's why it's important to not only do the proper training sessions, but to also record them and put some knowledge base, like Confluence. There they can read more about the business process, watch some GIFs that show simple actions, we can put links to relevant Anaplan platform documentation/training videos etc. It's also essential to update these resources (and descriptions/instructions on the dashboards!) after such questions — potentially someone else will have a similar question, and they can find the answer on their own, without even reaching to anyone?

    It's also a good idea to send a “starter pack” email to any new user that is added to the platform — with things like custom instruction about SSO, knowledge base link, key point of contacts. Depending on the size, type, users, and phase of the project, we either establish a ticketing system (like JIRA or ClickUp), tell them to message us via email/MS Teams/Slack, or even tag us in the Anaplan comment.

  • Based on my experience working on multiple Anaplan projects in both consulting and end user roles, I would like to address the common challenges related to Anaplan and provide recommendations for an effective internal support process.

    Question 1) Common Anaplan-related challenges that users encounter include:

    a) Login issues

    Sometimes, user access is managed through a complex provisioning process, leading to difficulties in logging in and accessing relevant functionality. This can be caused by incomplete setup processes or users contacting Anaplan directly instead of following the proper access request process. Additionally, users may be disabled due to inactivity, resulting in access issues. To mitigate these challenges, I recommend implementing a solid and well-documented user access management process.

    b) Basic Anaplan training

    Many users have all the necessary tools to achieve their goals but lack knowledge on how to utilize them effectively. This can be addressed by identifying and training "super users" within the organization who can provide detailed Anaplan and process training to new users, reducing costs and maximizing user adoption.

    c) Further ad-hoc data analysis

    Users often resort to exporting data and working in external tools like Excel, unaware that the answers they seek are already available within the Anaplan system. Encouraging users to explore the system and providing guidance on performing ad-hoc data analysis can save time and reduce the risk of manual errors.

    d) Process and end user errors

    Users not following the correct processes can lead to technical debts and delays. This may require ad-hoc data fixes, which can be minimized or prevented by leveraging the expertise of "super users" who can guide users in following the right processes.

    e) Deep dive into results and reconciliation

    Understanding and reconciling results can be challenging due to design decisions or project complexities. Assessing the frequency and importance of these queries can help determine if improvements can be made to facilitate the process. "Super users" can also assist in reducing the number of queries by providing guidance and support.

    Question 2) Support process

    To establish an effective support process, I recommend implementing the following key areas:

    a) Project roles and responsibilities

    Clearly define roles and responsibilities, including contact details, to ensure efficient communication and accountability. Appointing one or more "super users" as the first point of contact for user queries/issues can streamline the support process.

    b) User access management documentation

    Develop a comprehensive document outlining the user access management process, ensuring that it aligns with auditing requirements for audited systems.

    c) Internal ticketing system with SLAs

    Utilize an internal ticketing system, such as Assyst or Jira, to log and track user issues. Implement documented service level agreements (SLAs) to ensure timely resolution of problems.

    d) Regular review of common issues

    Conduct periodic reviews of logged tickets to identify common issues and trends. This information can inform the project roadmap and help prioritize improvements.

    e) User feedback surveys

    Conduct annual or bi-annual user feedback surveys to gather insights on common issues, needs, and trends. This feedback can be invaluable in shaping the project roadmap and addressing user concerns.

    Based on my experience, implementing these recommendations will enhance user support, improve user adoption, and optimize the utilization of Anaplan within your organization.

  • I think most of the issues that I have seen so far are already captured by most but I would like to share something for which there was no possible solution or alternative. Some of the these challenges that users have encountered in my experience is to

    1. Input the data directly into Anaplan dashboards, it could be single entry or bulk loads like @anirudh mentioned. One of the reasons that I discovered was that users had to calculate the numbers or in other words they had to arrive at the input numbers before start feeding Anaplan. If there was any option for users to perform calculations within Anaplan it would have allowed users to stay in the platform and not export the data out. Now this might call for a new Product feature in Anaplan which allows people to do their calculations without leaving Anaplan. I have recently seen that there is a similar feature in competitor's platform (Pigment) which allow users to open calculation field within the platform itself without having them to leave the platform or export the data out. Simple yet darn effective. Another reason for it is Less adoption of My Pages or Personal Dashboards: "My Pages" is supposed to take care of the need of each user to handle/see the data/KPIs the way they want to but due to not so great adoption of My Pages this has been another challenge for the users to get things done outside Anaplan and feed them back into Anaplan.
    2. Scrolling grids is something which has its own challenges as highlighted by @jziemer It could be the size, position or shape of the scroll bars, not sure.