What drives the need for a Center of Excellence? The need for a Center of Excellence comes after businesses have successfully implemented Anaplan into their organization and are ready to become self-sufficient in ongoing Anaplan development and support. Organizations will establish a Center of Excellence to proactively handle the increase in use cases that the company can expect in the near future. Once established, the Center of Excellence can provide the following benefits to the organization:
Many organizations will significantly grow within Anaplan after their first release. As such, they will want to maintain control of the product with the introduction of more use cases and departments in Anaplan. Creating a Center of Excellence will help organizations to maintain control of Anaplan, including the implementation of new releases and training of new users, from a centralized, internal group or team.
Establishing a Center of Excellence early will help organizations to drive consistency across Anaplan. As more data, models, and modules are created within Anaplan it’s important to ensure that everything stays consistent across the application. Doing this will help to ensure that four key elements stay consistent in Anaplan:
Data and metadata
The Center of Excellence will help drive consistency in data and metadata by eliminating duplicate data and avoiding shadow integration processes.
The Center of Excellence will help drive consistency in model design by providing best practices in model architecture, calculation, performance optimization, and usability across the different Anaplan models deployed in the organization.
The Center of Excellence promotes the consistent execution of business processes and methodologies.
The Center of Excellence drives consistency across the application for all users involved. This means that users new to Anaplan can expect nearly the same experience across each model and dashboard they interact with as they have all been developed and deployed using the same process and guidelines.
Creating a Center of Excellence promotes knowledge sharing within an organization. The Center of Excellence may ultimately be responsible for the initial and ongoing training of end users in the Anaplan platform. Additionally, the Center of Excellence may also be responsible for maintaining the processes, procedures, and best practices that the organization uses within Anaplan, which may be provided directly through the platform.
Upstream / Downstream Development
Creating and maintaining a Center of Excellence within an organization will also empower the business to develop more upstream and/or downstream processes within the Anaplan platform. For example, an organization may first deploy a T&Q model, and then decide to develop an upstream HR-based model that contains employee details and compensation data to manage their sales team. The potential to expand upstream and downstream from an initial model in Anaplan is endless.
The Center of Excellence creates a "service" for the business to become more efficient in developing, releasing, and maintaining models within Anaplan, supporting a business group to build and own its own model. This means that an organization may rely on an internal Center of Excellence as a single source to implement new applications, promote platform use, share Anaplan best practices, and handle all training needs.
Finally, a Center of Excellence provides a central point of governance for the Anaplan projects across the organization. In a centralized mode, the Center of Excellence is responsible for maintaining the platform, as well as all other necessary elements involved with the creation and maintenance of an organization’s Anaplan products. The Center of Excellence will have the final say in platform updates and developments, which further drives consistency and efficiency in Anaplan. In a federated mode, the Center of Excellence will assist local teams in their implementation and application roll out efforts as needed.
In both cases, the Center of Excellence will communicate the progress, update and value of the Anaplan applications to executive sponsors across the organization and highlight the value of the Anaplan investment.
I'm an Anaplaner since 2012. As a Master Anaplaner, I focus on complex model building implementations, help our customers & partners on model best practices and COE, contribute to building scalable architecture and usable applications. My key focus is to make our Connected Planning story a reality at our biggest customers.