Anaplan for career growth


Author: David Edwards is a Certified Master Anaplanner and Principal at Columbus Consulting.

Anaplan has long been a tool for driving growth and transformation within the companies that utilize its technology. However, it is also helpful to understand how being well-versed in Anaplan implementation and development is a method for building one’s own career potential.

Consider two career tracks: full-time employment with an Anaplan customer and consulting through an Anaplan partner organization. With a quick search through LinkedIn, Indeed, or other job search platforms, it is apparent that both tracks currently exhibit a shortage of professionals with sufficient subject matter expertise. This leaves a ripe opportunity for those who add Anaplan certification and implementation experience to their résumé.

Within typical customer ecosystems, Anaplan allows for rapid efficiency gains and expansion into multiple areas and corporate functions. This is depicted through Anaplan’s land-and-expand (or honeycomb) sales growth model. To drive one’s own personal career growth, this presents the opportunity to similarly gain quick exposure to a company’s inner functionality, an asset for advancing within one’s area of interest:

Additionally, gaining implementation experience allows for upward growth as companies seek to expand from single use cases to full-scale Centers of Excellence, or CoEs. Becoming a subject matter expert in the Anaplan platform strategically places a model builder in a position to lead future implementations and solution architecting initiatives, eventually leading to direct oversight of the entire ecosystem and internal software strategy as the CoE reaches into multiple functions within a company:

Now consider the second career path as a consulting partner. This presents the same opportunities to advise on the growth strategies and platform expansion opportunities as customer-based developers and architects but with additional potential for experiencing a wider array of use cases and project roles.

Anaplan is an exceptionally flexible tool for handling diverse business processes across industries. To name a few, the software is actively used for financial planning and analysis, supply chain management, workforce planning, investment management, and revenue forecasting. These are only five of the dozens of use cases currently being managed through the platform. An Anaplan consultant, therefore, is strategically positioned to grow their knowledge base of these use cases in a relatively short period of time. This allows for the eventuality of becoming a subject matter expert in one area of business strategy, or for well-roundedness across numerous:

Specifically, within an Anaplan implementation there is also the opportunity for consultants to develop their expertise across various project roles. For example, these include model building, solution architecting, data integration, user experience design, project management, training, and change management. Similar to learning multiple business strategies, gaining exposure to both Anaplan development and implementation strategy is a valuable opportunity that leads to increased career growth as someone who can effectively guide a successful project:

Regardless of which path is taken, both customer and partner-based employment as an Anaplan subject matter expert provide incredibly valuable career growth opportunities. Having an understanding of industry use cases and implementation strategy is a widely sought-after skillset in today’s economy, so it is strongly recommended that Anaplan certification and model building experience be considered as a path for one’s own future career growth.


  • Just starting my Anaplan Journey and like you have said, there is a good demand for Anaplan professionals. However, there is always this 3 to 4 years experience requirement. That begs the question of "how do I get this experience when companies are not willing to take a chance on a new model builder? @DavidEdwards

  • @Uniquet123 That's a good question! I think that in some job offers this 3 to 4 years of experience is not about pure model building skills. Becoming an SME in a specific business areas like Revenue Planning or Supply Chain would also get you closer to become Anaplan professional and even if you would not use Anaplan there it might still count as your experience as you would work in a business. There are many fantastic Anaplanners that started their careers using a different tool.