The Anaplan Planual—A Sales Perspective


The Anaplan Planual is an incredible document, designed to ensure customer success. If you’re not familiar with this series of best practices, you’re missing out! Take some time to check out the Planual today.

So what exactly is the Planual? It’s is a series of best practices developed by the Anaplan Operation Excellence Group (OEG). The OEG team is a specialized, internal Anaplan group dedicated to improving the customer experience by ensuring Anaplan performance meets the needs of the most complex enterprise architecture. The OEG team researches customer models, from super large to super small, to determine what works and what doesn’t. They take their findings directly to Anaplan development and engineering teams to benchmark how best to solve for every modeling situation.PLANS_Main.png

Through this process, they’ve developed core best practices called D.I.S.C.O. and P.L.A.N.S. I am not going to share what these exactly mean because I am just a sales guy. But, allow me to share with you why familiarizing yourself with them will positively impact your business, customer success, and ultimately—your bank account.

1. Customer models are not easily scalable without implementing D.I.S.C.O. or P.L.A.N.S. principles.

Understanding the benefits of these planning standards supports that use case honeycomb you’ve been developing, allowing the model to grow with your customer’s needs and you to focus on your expand-land-expand strategy.

2. Customer self-sufficiency and model comprehension are key to long-term success.

‘Business owned’ means something at Anaplan—specifically that our customers can take over supporting their models once the consultants leave, and they have Anaplan skills. When the implementation partner hasn’t taken the time to create simple and transferable knowledge— because they didn’t implement best practices—customer acquisition cost is exponentially increased, straining internal resources and stressing out the customer.

Overly-complicated formula that would’ve benefited from the Planual practices.Overly-complicated formula that would’ve benefited from the Planual practices.Here is an example of an overly-complex formula that could have easily been optimized and solved with a set of Booleans. This is a two-page, monster formula that would scare off any customer and have them thinking that Anaplan is too complicated to manage on their own! Poor customer. 
But don’t worry—the Planual can help!

3. Simple is better than complicated, and complicated is better than complex.

Our fearless OEG leader, David Smith, shared this nugget with me earlier this year. For example, some very simple things in Anaplan, like maintaining a consistent dimension order, can make for some serious improvements. With one customer, implementing this simple recommendation improved model loading from four minutes to 30 seconds. This is important because this perceived performance issue could be the exact roadblock keeping your customer from not making a recommendation to the next line of business.

4. Finally, knowing the Planual demonstrates your expertise, while demystifying Anaplan’s multidimensional, HyperBlock, in-memory modeling engine.

How can you instill confidence in your prospect or customer? Know your stuff! Understand how Anaplan works most efficiently, and share that knowledge with customers and prospects. It doesn’t require Master Anaplanner-level skills, but you will do yourself a lot of favors by knowing and embracing the Planual and overall best practices!

How have the Planual principles helped you? Let us know in the comments below. Remember to subscribe to the blog to not miss a moment from fellow Anaplanners like you!


  • If you have any questions on the planual, please post them in the comments on the Planual page