Toaster Time / Blue Box Culprit Anonymity


One of our best Anaplanners at Tableau recently left the Sales Operations organization.  She unfortunately will not be an Anaplan user in her new role.  Before she left, I made this "best practice" image for her, referencing an incident 2 years ago, when I was only 2 months on the job here.




Joking aside, I've recently been doing the new L2 training, and in going through that process, I got flashbacks of my early days with Anaplan.  I remembered how deflating it was any time I messed up a formula, toasting the model for everyone.  There's no doubt in mind that this has a tangible effect on new user enablement, especially if it's a brand new Anaplanner ramping up onto an established Anaplan model.


I know the Development Team is already working on features to preempt the need for Toaster Time processing.  (ie tell you it's going to toast before it tries to process your formula through the rest of the model)


But in the meantime, it would be great if we could just have the option to NOT shame the toaster.  Just a simple boolean option somewhere in the settings.




It's an easy way to be "nicer" to the newer Anaplanners.  If Anaplan is ever going to reach massive appeal and attain its market share goals, we'll need to treat these people better and make the enablement process as easy as possible.


Some suggestions for the new "Toast" messaging:

Toast Messaging.png

14 votes

In Review · Last Updated


  • Or, you know get delivered an actual toaster in the mail.

    Maybe even - Stand down with the pitchforks, normal service will be resumed shortly.


  • Great personal story and I am sure all Anaplanners can relate to this. Hopefully Anaplan reviews the calculation rollback soon as it can be a frustrating element of model building for all users!

  • @matthewkuo 

    I'm really slow - but now I finally get the toaster analogy. I've always referred to it as the penalty box.

    The most obvious toaster is when you forget to format your line item before entering the formula. It would be great to prevent a rollback on that circumstance. Thanks for sharing this story and sorry to hear you lost a brilliant Anaplanner. 

  • Miran
    Status changed to: In Review
  • Well, in my opinion the current functionality is helpful. I would definitely like to have this option always on in the models I develop. In production environment it also reports about "heavy" user activities, such as exporting huge data sets or running long process.


    This should also discourage developers from unlocking production models - use ALM, always develop (and make mistakes) in a DEV environment, when the model is smaller and its rollback time is minimal.


    Maybe it would be better to have this setting as your personal? You could choose globally if you want to be anonymous or have your data displayed in the message.

  • wquan

    Good point @M.Kierepka - it's definitely useful to determine 'heavy' user activity or areas within the model that are causing possible performance issues. If they had the ability to 'hide' who is toasting the model, we'd also definitely need a way of tracking how long particular activities would take (maybe adding a start and end processing time to the audit logs for easy identification of long running tasks?)

  • Status changed to: In Review
  • Agreed.  To explore further it would be great help if a verbose error setting could be set y/n.  If NO then error immediately without the need for 10min toaster action on large models - eg data hub.  Much of the time the error is obvious to the builder - punctuation or Jared's point above.


    Also, i would be keen to learn what % of deployments actually use ALM at all.  



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