The components involved in a Center of Excellence combine to promote self-sufficiency within a business. This may start as early as a business’ first release, and can continue on throughout each new release. There are eight key components that each business should expect to benefit from with the establishment of a Center of Excellence:
Skills and Expertise
The Center of Excellence provides an entire organization with the skills and expertise needed to develop the Anaplan platform within the business and provide training to the team. It creates functional Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), provides solution design, architecting, and technical model building skills, and offers project management capabilities. Furthermore, it provides ongoing training for an organization, including instructor lead (classroom) training and on-demand eLearning courses.
An Implementation Approach
The Center of Excellence creates a known and understood approach to delivering and evolving solutions within Anaplan for an organization. Utilizing the benefits of the Anaplan Way Agile methodology, a Center of Excellence encourages collaboration between all parties involved with the Anaplan platform, successful iterations of new and updated releases, and accurate visualization of each project and release.
Direction and governance
The Center of Excellence creates a governance framework that is used to steer and prioritize the Anaplan road map within an organization and drive the ROI of each release. This includes identifying an organization’s steering committee, executive sponsors, and the sign-off/approval approach and process. The Center of Excellence may also act as the project management office (PMO), which is attached to each release.
Data Governance and Integration
Establishing a Center of Excellence helps to utilize the master data hub concept within an organization. The Center of Excellence will generally be responsible for the master data hub, which will feed into most, if not all, models within the organization. Doing this creates a single point of data reference within the organization for all departments and regions to refer to. Also, the Center of Excellence provides adherence to conventions, policies, and corporate definitions that are used with the Anaplan platform.
Access to Knowledge and Best Practices
The Center of Excellence is responsible for providing a knowledge base and internal community to support an organization’s efforts in Anaplan. These internal resources should provide functional use case and technical model building best practices, as well as a shared practical knowledge surrounding the platform and the organization’s specific use within.
An Anaplan "Savvy"
The Center of Excellence constantly holds an awareness of the "power of the platform." This awareness includes what the platform is currently doing for the organization and what it could be used for in the future with platform updates and improvements in mind. Additionally, the Center of Excellence maintains a practical understanding of the Anaplan App Hub and how apps can be leveraged for rapid prototyping and deployment of releases.
Access to Support
The Center of Excellence acts as a 24/7 customer support desk for the organization, and offers customized support when necessary.
The Center of Excellence provides a support system to handle all change management surrounding the Anaplan platform. This includes clear and appropriate communications to drive and support user adoption, and alignment of upstream and downstream business processes.