ZEN of the Anaplan Decoded - Zen 1


  Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD


We all know that Anaplan is so powerful and so flexible that anything you can think of building on this platform can be built. But does that mean we should be doing it?  That’s why this Zen of the Anaplan is my personal favorite. This is so broad a statement but it is so powerful that it allows you to think multiple times before you even implement your design. Every Zen gives utmost priority to at least one of the elements of PLANS methodology but this  Zen not only talks about Performance (P) element of PLANS it also talks about rest four elements i.e., Logical (L), Auditable (A), Necessary (N) and Sustainable (S) Element. Let’s talk about how this ZEN keeps every element of PLANS in place.

Concatenation of Properties”: This is a typical example to explain this particular Zen w.r.t Performance (P) element of PLANS. In order to create a unique code while importing the data into Anaplan you combine multiple properties if you don’t have a unique code in the source file or source system. Although Anaplan allows you to do that but that doesn’t mean you should be doing it.  You should get a unique code from the source & that should be the prerequisite before you even think of loading the data into Anaplan.

Applying multiple filters to create a saved view”:  Although Anaplan doesn’t stop you to apply multiple filters on any given axis or multiple axis of a particular module this has shown serious performance issues. This also breaches Logical (L) element of PLANS

Cluttering the formula”: Anaplan doesn’t restrict you to put the cluttered formula in one line item. Infact you might think it saves some space for you but in the back end you are asking Anaplan’s engine (Hyperblock) to perform all those calculations in one go which not only has Performance Issues but it also goes against the Auditable (A) element of PLANS. So you have to find a balance between the most optimized model and the best performing model.

Using Multi Dimensionality for LOOKUPs”: When working on calculation modules (which mostly are multi- dimensional) if there is a need to LOOKUP on certain dimension, model builders create a line item within the calculation module and perform the look up. Although you will be able to achieve the results but you are unnecessarily asking Hyperblock to calculate more than what is required. This has the impact on Necessary (N) element of PLANS

“Direct Referencing of List items”: Although you can reference the list items directly in your formula and Anaplan will allow you to do that but you are strictly recommended not to do so because it is not at all Scalable and mess up with Sustainable (S) element of PLANS.


Spoiler Alert: We are going to have our first Virtual Group Event very soon. Stay Tuned:)