"Hold on, I'll have to call you back. The model needs to update with those changes we just entered, and it's going to be a while before we can see the results."
Does this sound familiar? Countless businesses across the globe are dealing with these inefficiencies within existing planning processes. This leads to untold hours in lost productivity. It's not just about productivity though, it's about focusing on what's actually important to the business. These inefficiencies lead to a major reduction in the time available to focus on what factors are really imperative to success: driving tangible and productive outcomes. The good news is, that's all in the past now, and we're ready to prove it with Anaplan's newest User Experience (UX). The new range of possibilities and functionality allowed us to unlock the door that's been hiding all of those important data insights you've been searching for.
With the experience gained from designing and building apps in Anaplan’s UX for a year now, we have seen firsthand how it has changed the way companies should plan and manage their processes in the future. With l ess focus on overwhelming grids and forever-updating Excel sheets, planners can now rely on streamlined planning components that can truly drive results at a moment's notice. An excellent user experience, KPIs, and interactive charts are the new normal and ar e a definite highligh t throughout the UX. This all combines to allow for quick and efficient performance assessment. Scenario planning is available at the click of a button, comparing forecasts to baseline budgets or prior plans. By displaying key drivers and inputs, planners of all level s can easily see the impact of their updates. This easy-to-use and visually-pleasing interface will simplify even the most complex planning processes so business users can effectively model the impact and results of changing assumptions .
The first step to wards realizing the value offered within Anaplan’s UX is utilizing the appropriate framework to begin the application design . As we have developed within this environment, our focus has been on differentiation and highlighting the new capabilities . This make s it important to have the proper approach mapped out in advance. The logic behind this is s traight forward : it isn't enough just to "use" the latest UX. Planning processes should be built in a way that fully demonstrates the dynamic capabilities of Anaplan. The goal is not to simply recreate compl ex Excel spreadsheets within a shiny new web interface . The aim is to truly transform and showcase the new way s companies can now plan. It's also now possible to combine a much friendlier user experience into those planning processes , which is vital . There is an ease of use for which the tool allows links directly to a greater rate of user adoption, which in turn creates greater value for the organization. The best way we have found to do this is through facilitating that experience visual ly . G raphs and charts are no longer strictly supplemental to detailed data tables , relegated to the bottom of the page. In this new environment, showcasing different charts and graphs as the main focus of the planning process can equip the user with previously untapped planning potential. Along with charts, KPIs help direct the user to the most important metrics, helping shape more granular analysis. While g rids and other aspects of traditional planning are important and still exist, using visuals as a primary tool to point the user in the right direction will optimize the planning process .
Our journey in Anaplan’s current UX began when the initial updates were released . Model builders were put through the training and a task force was formed to evaluate the differences between the classic experience and what had been developed. We started with internal demonstrations given by our peers within our Enterprise Performance Solutions Practice showcasing the new capabilities. A n opportunity arose to showcase the art of the possible, specifically for zero-based budgeting in Anaplan . We decided to take our internal expertise related to the subject matter and translate that into a user - friendly application which showcases the benefit of Anaplan over the competition. One of the key benefits is the ability to break down details such as expenses per day throughout a given hierarchy in a simple visual .
Another great opportunity arose to showcase Anaplan’s capabilities with a use case in Incentive Compensation Modeling. In this example, the client was already familiar with the capabilities of Anaplan within the classic user experience . We thought the specific use case would be an excellent chance to demonstrate what the benefits of embarking on that journey would look like. During the demonstration, it was i mmediately clear what value the new UX could bring to the process . The new charting functionality, KPI cards, graphs, visuals, and grids all fit together on seamlessly orchestrated pages within the application. There was no doubt that this was not only an application with great functionality that checks all of the boxes, but also an extremely user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing one as well.
These examples will be commonplace across the Anaplan ecosystem in a short time, but it's the experience gained in working and building in Anaplan’s new U X that truly provides the most benefit. By taking the time to familiarize oursel ves with designing in the new experience, as well as creating our own best practices in addition to Anaplan's, we can be confident that the solution not only delivers exactly what customers are looking for in terms of functionality but is also easy to use. This point can't be overstated. E ase of use and the flow of models help drive and maintain adoption , which is one of the major benefits of utilizing Anaplan’s UX today.
Times have changed and will continue to advance at an even more rapid pace. There is no doubt that the classic experience in Anaplan is exceptional and provides countless benefits over the competition, but the tool has advanced and so have we. From our perspective, the best part is that Anaplan has been evolving just as fast, if not faster, than clients and customers. They have continued to deliver what we ha ve requested so that we can, in turn, provide stakeholders with the greatest experience possible. What we ha ve heard so far from consumers is that they love what they see.
Join Us On This Journey and Never Look Back.
We've taken the steps ourselves as a firm to move forward and be prepared for the next phase of seamless planning. This time, that "future" we all keep hearing about is actually here and we are excited to show you what that means. Take a page from our book and see what ha s worked for others in your industry by contacting us for a short demonstration of what's possible. We want to hear what you are looking for in a planning solution and what your experience has been. We invite a discussion, so please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Patrick Desmond, Senior Consultant, Enterprise Performance Solutions—Patrick is a Master Anaplanner and Anaplan Solution Architect and has experience in a multitude of projects across the honeycomb of connected planning. Pat also specializes in helping train customers to effectively construct and enable their Anaplan COE's.
Matthew Valianti, Consultant, Enterprise Performance Solutions—Matthew is a Master Anaplanner and has a multitude of experience within the Financial and Consumer goods industries. Matthew also specializes in training model builders to properly utilize Anaplan.
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Hello, I will preface with saying I think all of the updates have been great and exactly what the user base has been asking for so I love the fact that Anaplan listens to it's community. However there is one (and only this one) single feature that would be wonderful to have changed. I'm not certain when it was added but in Anaplan when logged into models, at the very top and center there is the "Anaplan" logo. When you click on this it takes you back to the list of models in the space. When model building it is extremely easy to click on this accidentally and have to re-open what you were working on or lose unsaved changes in dashboards. I humbly ask that Anaplan take a look into potentially moving this link. It's a very small change but it would make a difference. I'm certain that other builders or architects are clicking on this as well. Thanks so much! Pat
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Here's a solution that works in Anaplan without having to export to excel etc. My problem was I needed assumptions entered by Company and the list of Companies was huge and came in automatically out of order through an import. 1) Do a find item on the Company Name list in a module in the source model 2) that Find Item column in the Module CAN be sorted in alphabetical order 3) Saved the view, and re ran the import into the model I needed in and swapped it into the process
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Hello, I'm working on a test to get T&E data that is pulling from an input module into the "Collector" module(using a line item subset) to then map to the actual accounts in a P&L. The collector module has two line items Data (which is Collect) and mapping. I formatted the mapping item as the "Accounts" list, but I wasnt sure if this was the correct way of doing it. I know there are a number of workaround ways like using boolean checks and formulas through more modules but the goal here is to learn Anaplan best practice and eliminate any unnecsary calcs so any feedback would be appreciated. I included a screenshot of the collector module.
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