The Planual

logo The Planual provides a systematic set of standards for model building on the Anaplan platform. The rules in it are designed produce the most efficient, usable, and scalable Anaplan models, while dramatically increasing performance for models in all contexts. We highly recommend that all model builders familiarize themselves with these standards, and start incorporating them into their model-building practices. (The results will be significant!)

Feel free to read from top to bottom to see how the rules fit together, or feel free to access only the rules that are most applicable to your specific application. For many rules, we have included links to additional rules and relevant articles in Community!

The Planual is an evolving document, and leverages years of experience and experimentation from internal Anaplan builders, customers, partners, and Master Anplanners. We welcome all feedback and suggestions!



Having trouble viewing the The Planual below? Click here to download a copy.

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.


3.10 says check in with end "uses" frequently.

I believe this should say "users".

It's on both page 5 and 42.


Great document!!

Must read for beginner and intermediate model builders. This will build good habits and save you headaches later on. 

Can't stress the importance of naming conventions, blank list/module separators, and contents bar management. When you get building full speed, things get unorganized quickly.

If importing from databases or using number lists, always use a code or unique identifier.

If you are building out a model from the ground up, I highly recommend using a boolean time reference module to manage time filters.

Happy model building.

Planual has ~140 rules and ~25 exceptions. Some are common sense / vaguely general. It would be great to have a High Impact list of rules.

Grammar nitpick:  Replace "try and do X" with "try to do X".

Fantastic resource, @DavidSmith!

Is there any reason why best practice import file type has been omitted from the Planual?

I have always found that zipping files (particularly large transactional files) saves a lot of "upload" time but wondered if there was a reason against using it?




No reason, and yes, it does save a bunch of time

It will be added for v2 - Thanks


As much as you learn new ways of leveraging Anaplan to solve interesting problems, it's essential to keep the basics in mind to achieve model efficiency and optimize build performance. This PLANUAL has been of great help for me, especially in saving good amount of time. Great work!

Thanks for this @DavidSmith

Have used it myself and ensuring that my team does so too. Very helpful for both beginners and advanced users as well.  

Thank you @DavidSmith. Really a great document for all model builders.

Great document @DavidSmith! Do you have a portrait version so it can printed and bound? Would love to have a copy on my desk.


We had it landscape because we had a limited edition bound and printed - There are only 2 left (and I have those),  To say it was a popular at 2019 was an understatement


We are in the process of creating a digital version, but I'll see if we can provide a portrait PDF when we finalise the new version

hello @DavidSmith 

speaking of the new version, when is it expected to “hit the shelves” 😊

I was expecting the release during or around CPX.


- Einas 


Yeah, sorry, we are running a little behind on that



No apologies needed. Take your time. I'm sure the outcome will be worth the wait.


Thank you for all your efforts.


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