The Anaplan Way: Essential documents for implementation


Author: Laiza Tagumpay is a Certified Master Anaplanner, former Customer Success Business Partner at Anaplan in the Philippines, and is now a Solution Architect at an implementation partner in Canada.

The Anaplan Way (TAW) follows an agile approach emphasizing speed, adaptability, and iteration. However, this can sometimes lead business people to believe that all requirements and change requests must be accommodated, which is not the case. TAW still has procedures to follow and boundaries to be respected. Although comprehensive documentation is not mandatory, it is still important to acknowledge that some level of documentation is necessary to ensure both business and technical teams achieve a common understanding of the extent of the solution to be delivered.

Here are some essential documents that must be prepared before and maintained during the implementation to stay focused on the project objectives.

  1. Anaplan roadmap
    This document provides a clear understanding of the long-term vision for the Anaplan platform. It outlines the various releases and use cases that will be rolled out over time, guiding the team in identifying the correct stakeholders to engage with at each phase.
  2. Statement of Work (SOW)
    SOW outlines the details and expectations of the project or initiative at hand. This should have a well-defined scope, ensuring that the client and service provider have a shared understanding of the project's parameters.
  3. Governance approach
    This document assists in identifying the individuals and processes involved in decision-making, including the procedures for accepting and changing requests, prioritization, and approvals. It also highlights the escalation paths in case of conflicting requirements.
  4. High-level system architecture
    This document illustrates how Anaplan connects to the company's overall system landscape, highlighting the specific data points shared between an Anaplan model and external systems — whether as a source or a target, or with another Anaplan model. It may also include the frequency and mode of data exchange.
  5. Wireframes of major pages
    Wireframes provide a comprehensive visual representation of the interface layout. It shows the structure and relationships of the data, as well as the functionality and security required to deliver the expected user experience. It helps the team draw out other components that need to be included in the final product.
  6. Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM)
    The RTM establishes the link between project requirements and the overall project objectives. Its primary purpose is to track the fulfillment of each requirement throughout all project stages, ensuring that the project output satisfies the defined scope. This helps determine requirement validity and analyze the extent of a change request.

When designing and building a model, it's important to regularly take a step back and review the big picture and broader objectives. This allows us to ensure that we deliver the right requirements at the right time with the help of the right people based on the defined parameters. The above documents also make it easier to explain to client stakeholders the impact of any change request on the project cost, resources, and timeline.

Questions or additions to my list? Leave a comment!