Planual Explained


Have you heard about the document called “The Planual”? Do you know how many Articles, Chapters, and Rules do we have in it, what is the Zen of the Anaplan (Guidelines basically)? If you don’t know here is the article for you.


Planual Definition: It is the guidebook for Anaplan modelling but as per Best Practices

Planual Artifacts: There are 6 Articles, 36 Chapters and 193 Rules in it. Overall there are 31 exceptions given to 21 rules. Do you know which rule has the maximum number of exceptions?Let me know in your comments?


Anyway here is the breakup of the Planual numbers. I am not detailing out the chapters here because it is already available in the Planual.





Central Library








UX Principles




UX Build

















Zen of Anaplan: There are 10 guidelines in the Planual which is considered to be the Zen of the Anaplan and here are these.


  • Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD
  • Calculate once, reference many times
  • Simple > complex
  • Only calculate when you need to
  • Sparsity is not your enemy
  • Big and fast > small and slow
  • Booleans = great. Text = bad
  • Text joins = worse
  • Don’t let exceptions overcomplicate the model
  • Sums and lookups are good, but never together

Fun Fact –ZEN means meditation. The Japanese for zen is from the Chinese for chan which in turn comes from the Hindu dhyana, the form of yoga through meditation. ... Asking the true meaning of zen at a deeper level is incredibly self-referential, important and useless to the point of dizziness~ ~ Source:


Rule 1.01-01 => What to infer from these Rule numbers?  Remember the Acronym (ACR) – A for Article, C for Chapter and R for Rule

Left most 1 is the Article number i.e., Central Library in this case

                             01 in the middle is the Chapter number i.e., Time in this case

                             Right most 01 is the Rule number i.e., “Never use SELECT with TIME” in this case

I am going to explain these rules (though not all) with detailed explanation. What used to happen before Planual was born which we will be calling as “PRE DAVID ERA” or Simply “PDE” and what happens now. Please let me know which rule you want me to explain in detail. If it doesn’t require too much of an effort and external factors that might derail the explanation I will surely do my best otherwise I will go ahead with the selection that I have made. Stay tuned!

Note: Forgive me @DavidSmith  for using your name in an era considered to be a Paleolithic age in Anaplan Modelling:)

Note: This Article is based on the Planual - Version 1. There might be the new version in future which may change the overall numbers.


Best Answer

  • DavidSmith
    Answer ✓


    Thanks for the shout out!!


    Planual V2 was something I was planning to release this year, including more explanations of the "why" and also get our community team to revamp the on line version.


    I have started this, but my recent job move meant I had to pause it.

    I would be more than happy to work with you, Rob M, Jared etc. to get this updated





  • Articles like this is why I think your the best @Misbah 

    I'm starting to see the "gray" in some of these rules now that I have four years of Anaplan implementations completed. 

    It almost seems like Planual V2 needs to explain the "why" and the trade offs as it relates to the PLANS philosophy.

    @Misbah just an idea - Want to see if @DavidSmith@rob_marshall, and the other pros would collaborate with us to upgrade the Planual V1? 

    You know so much from answering all the Community questions...



  • Misbah



    That's exactly why I want to bring this out to community esp new Anaplanners. I want to show what is the bad way (not recommended way or PDE)  and the best way of doing things explaining the rule. 


    I am sure they are already on it but if asked for our inputs It will be an honor to collaborate with our Pros.

  • Thanks @Misbah 
    The Planual was a turning point in my Anaplan journey. At first, I was a bit frustrated because basically I thought almost everything I knew was not "up to standard", until I paid close attention to the graph at the introduction page explaining the "competing" forces Performance, Usability, and Sustainability. That lit a little light in my head.

    I love the idea of bringing the Planual into the discussion. 



  • Misbah



    That's great to hear, let's get it rolling then. Intention is to **** the Planual to all sections of community members.

  • @Misbah- is your intent to have these discussions / education about Planual topics in the Forum?  If so, can the community add a "Planual" label so easier to track and find the discussions?  Would really help a newbie like me 😊


    Thanks for all that you and others do - sincerely appreciate the mentorship given.

  • rm1206



    First of all thank you very much for everything that you do on community. It’s commendable.’


    Second I agree with @davidmccarty  if it can labelled as Planual so that we keep track on it.

  • Misbah


    Yes that’s exactly the intent. Regarding having a label of its own is something which is beyond our control. However let me see if @emilydunn can help here. 



  • Misbah



    Thank you for your kind words. Let’s see if labelling is possible

  • Misbah



    I am in

  • @Misbah I'll message you directly, thanks

  • Hi @Misbah and @davidmccarty - Great thoughts here! Let us take a look at this and see what we can do.

  • Thanks @emilydunn - appreciate your help

  • @Misbah, @JaredDolich - I was talking to another Anaplan newbie like me ( @antonlagergren ) and he had what I think is an interesting idea...developing some "cheat sheets" that would explain the process of say creating a module from a best practice perspective but do so with some visuals.  And make it oriented towards a newer Anaplanners...

    I am probably not explaining the concept well, but even so, would this be something you would be interested in exploring?  Not sure if it fits into Planual or not...



  • @davidmccarty sign me up!

  • @davidmccarty ,


    We are starting to work on Planual v2 next week, so hopefully we can get this out soon.



  • Hi all,


    Thanks for the introduction, David! Yes, I had the idea of making some cheat sheets. I've been trying to think of what topics might be most beneficial, anybody have any suggestions? I was thinking possibly a "How to compose a formula", or "How to build a module", step by step. I am definitely open to any suggestions from community members of cheat sheets they think would be beneficial. I think the best topics will be those that take a significant enough amount of steps that having a handy list of "order of operations", might be beneficial.


    As for contributing to Planual V2 (or even for use on the cheat sheets) ---  I enjoy making instructional design graphics/step by step type designs and have done it for many previous projects. I am including some examples from a Digital Logic Design class I had a few years back. All graphics are created by me just using Paint program. Conveniently, Digital Logic Design deals with module connectivity in an almost identical fashion to how Anaplan models are constructed, from a conceptual standpoint (inputs, outputs, formulas, steps, rule exceptions, best practices, etc). 


    Please take a look at my documents and let me know if any of this sounds to be of use! 🙂 Feel free to reach out, I am happy to offer my time.


    Anton Lagergren

    240 706 1645

  • How did I miss this post ? 🙂


    @Misbah well done for the "Planual Explained". It's a great idea that deserves its own section - I'm going the relevant link/info with the rest of the team and slowly catch-up with the series.

    Also, great to hear you guys and Anaplan are already working on the v2. FY - does anyone have a rough idea about a targeted date/quarter for the revamped version to be available ? I love the idea of visuals too!   

  • @Alessio_Pagliano


    Thank you so much. Digital Planual is going to be released soon - it is being worked upon. @rob_marshall any idea when will this be out.

  • @DavidSmith It was an honor to collaborate with you and Rob on this.