PLANS is the new standard for Anaplan modeling—“the way we model.” This covers more than just the formulas and includes and evolves existing best practices around user experience and data hubs. It is a set of rules on the structure and detailed design of Anaplan models. This set of rules will provide both a clear route to good model design for the individual Anaplanner and common guidance on which Anaplanners and reviewers can rely when passing models amongst themselves.
In defining the standard, everything we do will consider or be based around:
Performance – Use the correct structures and formula to optimize the Hyperblock
Logical – Build the models and formula more logically – See D.I.S.C.O. below
Auditable – Break up the formula for better understanding, performance, and maintainability
Necessary – Don’t duplicate expressions. Store and calculate data and attributes once and reference them many times. Don't have calculations on more dimensions than needed
Sustainable – Build with the future in mind, thinking about process cycles and updates
The standards will be based around three axes:
Performance - How do the structures and formula impact the performance of the system?
Usability/Auditability - Is the user able to understand how to interact with the functionality?
Sustainability - Can the solution be easily maintained by model builders and support?
We will define the techniques to use that balance on the three areas to ensure the optimal design of Anaplan models and architecture.
As part of model and module design, we recommend categorizing modules as follows:
Data – Data hubs, transactional modules, source data; reference everywhere
Inputs – Design for user entry, minimize the mix of calculations and outputs
System – Time management, filters, list attributes modules, mappings, etc.; reference everywhere
Calculations – Optimize for performance (turn summaries off, combine structures)
Outputs - Reporting modules, minimize data flow out
Why build this way?
Fewer repeated calculations
Optimized structures and formulas
Data and calculations reside in logical places
Model data flows can be easily understood
Model structure can be easily understood
Simplified formula (no need for complex expressions)
Formulas and structures are not repeated
Data is stored and calculated once, referenced many times, leading to efficient calculations
The content in this article has not been evaluated for all Anaplan implementations and may not be recommended for your specific situation.
Please consult your internal administrators prior to applying any of the ideas or steps in this article.