How are you going to develop your models? Who is going to develop the models? Do you need to segregate responsibilities for development, test and production models?

Fortunately, Anaplan’s Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) feature provides a framework for the answers to these valuable questions.

ALM is the process of managing the development lifecycle of your applications (aka models) from initial design to deployment to end users. It can be broadly categorized into five stages:ALM.png

  1. Design an application that meets your business requirements. You will create user stories, schema diagrams, modules, data flows, wireframes, and prototypes.
  2. In the Build stage, you create the lists and modules that make up the application. At this stage, use sanitized data; don't be concerned about loading production data into your application.
  3. Test the application for performance and user acceptance. To isolate testing from production, utilize a separate test workspace containing test models and use mock data or a subset of sanitized production data.
  4. Deployment introduces the application to end users with full production data. Generally, your production application will be separate from your development and test applications. Importing production data from an external system or data hub might be part of your deployment process.
  5. Post-deployment, as you build out an application to address further requirements, the development lifecycle can be repeated as often as necessary. Post-deployment development might include:
    1. Fixes to resolve issues, either discovered in production or deferred in the build or test stage.
    2. Additional functionality provided by new dashboards, modules, lists, or formulas.
    3. New models to support additional business requirements. 

We know that change is inevitable. Here are some tips to follow during deployment:

  1. Create a structure for change
    1. Establish Central Responsibilities
    2. Establish Functional Representatives in Business
    3. Designate a Central Solutions Architect
    4. Establish a Process for Changing / Creating a New Model
    5. Consider segregation of duties for Dev and Prod models/workspaces
  2. Create a change control process
    1. Establish process for collecting change requests
    2. Clarify requirements with end users
    3. Calculate development estimates (aka level of effort)
    4. Define a triage process to prioritize developments
    5. Refer to Business Owner for approval
    6. Agree on development or sprint plan
    7. Define a communication plan to the end users
  3. If a data hub (see above) is used, consider the following:
    1. Set Imported hierarchies as "Production lists"
    2. Set up imports from live data hub into development model to eliminate need for import source remapping on deployment
    3. Use a development or production filter for the above to minimize the size of the development model lists 

How do I find out more?

Learn more about what ALM is.

Take the online training on ALM.

Remember to stay up to date on releases and changes to the platform in our platform release blog.

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