Top-Down Allocations


TDA_Square.png Estimated Level of Effort:

4-8 Hours of Model Building

Level of Difficulty:

Recommended Training:
L2 Model Builder Training

Casual Model Builder

Potential ROI:
Decreased planning time
Increased accuracy of targets/spreads

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Top-Down Allocations

Whether it's budgeting or quota-setting, allocations are a fundamental element of the planning process. When starting a planning process like this, you want to let the Anaplan platform do as much of the heavy lifting as possible, and in this case, that means automatically calculating the best starting point. Regardless of the number of levels in your hierarchy or your specific planning use case, this approach to cascading numbers is a critical skill to have up your sleeve. The approach is very flexible and applies to virtually any planning scenario that includes a composite hierarchy and can easily be applied to allocating expenses down to multiple cost centers, splitting credit for a successful campaign across multiple marketing teams, and determining the locations that are most likely to provide the highest cost efficiencies.

In this example, we will focus on taking a sales target from the global headquarters and cascading it down to individual sales teams. While more advanced recipes will get into concepts like driver-based allocations, smoothing the seasonality of historical figures, or including external data sources to determine the optimal allocation, this recipe starts with the critical foundation of determining the baseline for any final numbers.

In a typical quota-setting process there is often a human element of confirming the numbers. This recipe does not include the steps of building Hold and Override functionality, but it does provide the starting point to add that functionality on at a later time.



  1. Identify the list(s) and hierarchies you will use to distribute. If this is a finance use case, this is typically a chart of accounts; if this is a quota management use case, this can either be a territory hierarchy or a sales management hierarchy.
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  2. You will need to create modules for every layer of the hierarchy you will be allocating and cascading. Each module will be structurally the same, aside from the planning dimension (in this case, Geo hierarchy).
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  3. For your Initial Target, use the following formula to retrieve the Initial Target from the Parent level in the hierarchy and divide it by the percent the current level is responsible for receiving from this level of the hierarchy.
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  4. (OPTIONAL) Next, we may want to determine our level of over assignment at each level. This is particularly applicable to Quota management (but could apply to budgeting, only in reverse, i.e. under assignment). Over assignment is the practice of "over assigning" a goal to each child level in the hierarchy. What this does is creates a buffer for each leader in the sales org so that not every member of the team needs to hit 100% to achieve the team goal. If the leader's goal is $100, he/she might assign out $115 in quota, so if someone comes up short, the team still makes its goal.
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