From the very moment an organization decides to implement Anaplan, it is imperative that it starts building the foundation for ownership of the solution from the beginning of requirements gathering to the end of user acceptance testing (UAT). When this is done successfully, clients feel confident in the solution and accountable to develop the skills needed to successfully sustain and grow the solution past go live. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
How to Establish Ownership
There are many ways to establish ownership of the solution within the client project team:
Embed Client Team Members as Model Builders When the client includes internal model builders on the project, they will be building the solution hand-in-hand with the implementation team. This integrated build strategy almost guarantees accountability from the client team, as the model builders understand not just what the end product should look like, but also how the solution was built.
Write User Stories with the Entire Project Team As mentioned in the article A Good Plan: Spend Time on User Stories, user stories not only outline the requirements for the project, they also set expectations for the client throughout the build. Including the client in the process of writing their own user stories with the support of the implementation team will establish accountability from the start of the project.
Host Open Build Sessions
Hosting open build sessions where project stakeholders from the client side can interact with you as you create your Anaplan model(s) will allow them to witness the process as it occurs. Providing context for how and why each item in the model is built will allow the client team to understand not only what has gone into building past parts of the model, but also what it will take to create new build items throughout the implementation.
Create a Center of Excellence Finally, the creation of a Center of Excellence within the client can be a major asset in establishing ownership of any product. With a Center of Excellence in place, the client no longer has to reach outside of their own organization in order to build out Anaplan solutions. This grassroots methodology allows for long-lasting success, and the initial investment from the implementation partner is dwarfed by the lasting effects it can have for our clients.
Of the many lessons that I’ve learned while working in the Anaplan space, establishing ownership of the solution within the client team is one of the most important. The difference between accountability for the final solution and a lack thereof could mean the success or failure of the implementation.
At Spaulding Ridge, we are committed to providing our clients with best-in-cloud solutions. Part of providing these solutions is ensuring the continued success of the product long after we have finished an implementation, and we have found no better method for ensuring the lasting success of a solution than establishing accountability within the client team.
We accomplish this through:
Teaching client builders the ins and outs of Anaplan model-building.
Devoting time and effort to writing user stories.
Holding open build sessions for client stakeholders.
Helping to set up a Center of Excellence to ensure the continued success of all Anaplan solutions within a client.
Spaulding Ridge does everything possible to provide clients with both a sense of value and accountability in every implementation. If you have any examples of how you have established accountability within an organization implementing Anaplan, please share your comments below!
Jeremy Stern, an Analyst in the Performance Management practice of Spaulding Ridge, LLC, is a certified Anaplan model builder with experience in Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A). Jeremy strives to provide the most valuable solutions to his clients in order to bring them to the forefront of connected planning.