Planual Explained

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

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.

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

Re: Planual Explained

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...



Jared Dolich
Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

Re: Planual Explained



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.

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

Re: Planual Explained

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. 



"Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime"
Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

Re: Planual Explained



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


Re: Planual Explained

@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.

Master Anaplanner/Community Boss

Re: Planual Explained


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. 



Community Manager

Re: Planual Explained

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


Re: Planual Explained

Thanks @emilydunn - appreciate your help

Occasional Contributor

Re: Planual Explained



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.