I’ll have to double check in the Anapedia documentation, but I’m pretty sure Versions are considered Structural Data, so you’re right that you wouldn’t be able to run that import on a model in Deployed Mode. So you would need to deploy in the change via ALM every day which is definitely not ideal. This might be a case where you need to evaluate using Custom Versions, but it will be challenging (though not impossible) to rebuild all the Switchover functionality on a custom dimension.
Definitely sounds like a good question for the support team, your Anaplan Customer Success representative, or your implementation partner, sorry I can’t be of more help here!
Thanks Holly, appreciate the chance to connect with everybody in the community, looks like we already have a lot of great questions queued up and I’m excited to start diving in! I’ll be here to answer any questions live as well, so feel free to keep the coming!
Looks like things are starting to wind down. First, I’d like to say THANK YOU to @HollyRieke for coordinating this whole AMA (not just today’s, but all of them). Excellent job all around, and thanks for your support in preparing here, you’re adding a ton of value to the community and appreciate the opportunity. Also a huge thanks to @Courtney for running such a great Master Aanplanner program, I love the direction you’re taking the group and I’m grateful to be part of program, let me know how I can continue to help.
And most importantly, a huge thanks to everybody who took the time to send in such thoughtful questions. I enjoyed the thought exercise in giving my two cents and hope I was able to provide some useful responses and help on your Anaplan journeys. Let’s keep all these conversations going on the community, always feel free to @tag me in a comment or question online if you think I can add value to the discussion.
Looking forward to working with you all in the future as part of this great Anaplan ecosystem!
What are the fundamental guideline or reasons when to use a Custom Time and Version. In what situation, you would not use the standard time function and Version. What are the things to be cautious when using custom time and version. Thanks
For me, using custom time lists usually relate to reporting aesthetics, or to separate years & months into two dimensions (to increase pivot flexibility). For example, where i want February displayed as either "February" or "Feb"... and not, say, "Feb 18". Also, sometimes Analytics are improved when I can pivot Years and months separately (e.g. years in rows, months in columns).... can't do that with native anaplan time!
Hi @edgargomez, thanks for kicking us off with a technical question.
I think @PaulRitner hit the nail on the head, definitely agree with everything he said (as always! Thanks Paul!). One other element I’ll add is that to be completely honest, we use custom time a lot less now that Anaplan released custom time filters. One of the primary reasons we’ve used custom time in the past is to limit sparsity related to adding the full time dimension to modules that only apply to a specific timeframe (for example, you have 3 years in your model time settings, but have a module that only contains 12 months of historical bookings, so this module would take up 2 years of unnecessary space).
Regarding custom versions, the first time we think to use them are if there is a fluid number of planning scenarios which should be modified by the customer on the fly. We would then use a list and allow the end users to add more items from a dashboard, which is clunky at best for Versions. We would also use custom versions if there are multiple different types of scenario planning requirements which require multiple types of “versions”, but this is less common especially for a less-mature new Anaplan customer.
I would say given the flexibility of Anaplan there really aren’t many down-sides to using custom Time/Versions, except you could be missing out on a lot of great standard functionality that Anaplan has baked in to the product especially as they continue to grow and add more features (think custom time ranges, but also things like functions that reference standard versions or time - sure you could replicate those with other functions, but you might be missing out some advanced features). Overall, we love the standard Time and Versions and make sure to use them as much as possible, and really evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether it’s worth using custom dimensions to replace that functionality.
Can I take the easy way out and say my answer is “Yes to everything you just said”? Ha!
Ok, for my real answer, we have a very intentional approach to enabling Anaplan customers and dedicate a lot of time and thought to this. The flexibility of the platform and the ability for it to be truly business-owned is probably the most exciting thing for me about Anaplan in general, so we definitely take the time to make sure customers realize the full potential here.
Here’s how I see the customer enablement journey: After purchasing licenses and before preparing for implementation, the customer has their key business owners go through Anaplan’s Launchpad training. This sets the foundation for everybody to have a common understanding of the platform and the terminology needed for using Anaplan. Then, that core group should go through the 201 certification on their own. Once that’s completed is when we come in as the partner.
We strongly believe that 201 helps set a really solid foundation for model building. We also believe that the business should be involved every step of the build process. But what we’ve observed is that there’s a gap between the knowledge somebody has after completing 201, and the knowledge needed to understand what’s going on during an implementation. So before we begin the implementation we take as much time as we can (ideally 3-5 weeks), and facilitate another set of training for the customer – this is your Coach approach from above. Here we focus on letting the customer apply their knowledge from 201 on a new build (not the use case we’re implementing), and we provide guidance on how to complete that build on their own, while using that as an opportunity to teach some leading practices and common pitfalls of building in Anaplan. During this time, our build team is usually ramping up or working on collecting requirements/user-stories, so this usually fits in nicely with an implementation timeline.
By the end of this period and when we’re ready to start the implementation model build, the customer should be pretty advanced for Anaplan newbies, and can meaningfully contribute to the build (call it side-by-side build). This is where we take your Collaborate approach from above. We assign user stories to the customer as well as our build team, and usually try to work together in a war room environment so everybody can see what we’re doing. We help the customer through roadblocks they hit with their build, and we build particularly challenging or important sets of functionality we walk the customer through how and why we did what we did.
In our experience, this has led to really effective side-by-side building, where the customer can fully own parts of the build without “slowing” anybody down. And it’s also led to huge rewards both short- and long-term. Short-term, our build team is augmented by the customer model buidlers, which is great for helping build out complex business processes that they really know best, or even for taking on things that might have been beyond our original scope. Long-term, when we deploy and transition out, there is minimal KT required and very little bump in continuity between the implementation team who built the model and the business owners who own the model moving forward. Really taking that business-owned philosophy to the extreme, where they fully own the model even before we’re out the door.
So there you go Dana, apparently this is something I’m really passionate about, I’ll stop here for now and happy to answer follow-up questions, thanks so much for getting me started on that topic!
As an Anaplan Admin, I'm always struggling on arranging the users. It seems that the 'User' list is a bareboned place without any tool to sort, filter or re-arrange the users in anyway. Can you please share your suggested best practice for the following scenarios?
1) How do I move myself to the top of the user list (as a starter :)?
2) How do I group a cluster of users together (either they have same access, or have similar attributes)
3) How do I sort out users with a same selective list access, then modify them in one-shot?
4) How do I substitute one user with another (e.g. the new user inherits exactly the same access to the incumbent)?
5) How do I manage users who changed their email addresses (due to marriage, for example)?
6) How do I quickly disable all user's access, then restore it (without re-setting up all the selective list access)?