Anaplan coach’s playbook


Author: Arun Thakar, Certified Master Anaplanner and Vice President in the banking industry.

Seldom has there been a time where a single model builder can solve all an enterprise’s business problems on their own. Anaplan engagements work better with more people than with just the efforts of an individual. That being said, not everyone has the same level of experience with the Connected Planning software. In cases where we find opportunities to upskill the next aspiring architect, here are three coaching plays for your playbook.

  1. Coach to help your team members to work independently and unlock your organization’s potential. Remember those times when something clicked, and you learned how to write that formula or found the functionality in the settings menu that helped you succeed in delivering something on time. You have the option of explaining all those things to your teammate OR you can show them the tools they need to fit the puzzle pieces together just as you did. It might be a mix of both, but keep in mind successful model builders can solve problems creatively.
  2. Design features as an architect with model builders in the room to showcase the design process. Design should not happen in a vacuum. In fact, it’s better to have other architects and model builders on some of the more complex features because they can probe design concepts which lead to a higher quality output. Aspiring developers benefit immensely from sitting in on design sessions. They learn best practices and the why behind what they are tasked to do. They also get a window into the role of Solution Architect, which they might be considering as well.
  3. Host shadowing sessions for experiential learning opportunities. It’s a privilege to teach others. By hosting shadowing sessions, you give your team members an opportunity for them, to see you — the master craftsperson — at work. Calmly narrating your decision-making process as you code and solving for unexpected modeling consideration will give your teammates a better chance of success and may also earn you some kudos.

If the goal of the coach’s playbook is to create more knowledgeable practitioners, the plays themselves are the knowledge sharing interactions we have day in and out. Coaching team members is important for any Center of Excellence, and personally, I’ve always found that my own understanding of a concept is better when I have been able to successfully share it with someone else.

What tips would you add?