CoE Leader

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Enacting governance and establishing an effective team structure are two core priorities for a CoE Leader. Though the style, playbooks, and sizes may vary from CoE to CoE, there are fundamental items that must be in place no matter what. Learn what other CoE Leaders have tested and determined as their governance standards and CoE structure.  ( ⭐  indicates popular content) Key Topics Recommendations from 2022's CoE Leader of the Year Coming soon Governance Standards  Model Building Standards ⭐ : Create an intuitive and consistent model design, design user-friendly experience/consistency across models, and instill certainty that models include the latest best practices. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Creating a model building standards document helps unify model building and design standards across all use cases.  — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE  (@Prince.Ayinde) Solution Architecture Standards — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Establish policy for no-code platforms to accurately and sufficiently support the changes in business and technical environments. Enable quick delivery, but ensure applications are not built and integrated haphazardly. Translate stakeholder objectives into architecture requirements, solutions, and changes. Regularly review and recalibrate your solution architecture as the broader firm’s needs and technical environments evolve. Prioritization Strategy & Council —  By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Involve development and stakeholder perspectives when communicating with executive decision-makers. Establish criteria for prioritization of one project over another; Gain consensus approval for resources, cost, and timing. Change Controls —  By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Establish a risk-based model for evaluating the magnitude of changes and how to deploy these to the firm. Ensure changes are communicated in advance and are tested by functional and technical end users. Create a changelog to improve audibility and align with regulatory requirements. The Anaplan Planual: The Planual is a must-read resource for all model builders as it establishes a foundation of best practices when building in Anaplan.  — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE  (@Prince.Ayinde) CoE Structure Secrets of a Successful Center of Excellence (CoE): A Q&A with Groupon [Webinar]  ⭐ : D ive into details of two tactical components of Groupon’s CoE: Master Data Management (MDM) and custom Anaplan enablement  COE Roles & Responsibilities  ⭐ : Every business has different organizational structures; however, CoE Roles & Responsibilities is a framework for CoE leaders to identify the right resources for success. — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE  (@Prince.Ayinde) Fortescue Metal Group's CoE Structure: A Core/Central Anaplan Team with Federated Anaplanner Council, PMO, and IT/Data Team — By Asslam Umar Ali, CoE Leader @ Fortescue Metal Group (@Asslam) Integrated Planning Team, Central CoE Team, and Technology Committees  —  By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Integrated Planning Teams Central CoE Team Technology Committees Led by the functional model owner and resides outside IT. Informs executive sponsors & vertical leads on status. Follows firm-wide/standard architecture & build guidance; Reports updates to Central CoE. Deploys changes, testing, and training on a custom schedule that is relevant to the departments/models they cover.     CoE Lead Solution Architect & Strategic Designer Leads Center of Excellence (e.g., Process Design, Training, Documentation, Quality Assurance, Recruitment) Project Management Efficiency & Effectiveness arbiter Leads project planning & delivery updates; Co-Lead scoping & effort estimation Change Management Adoption & Embeddedness Catalyst Leads UX and UI feedback sessions, Leads training & enablement, tracks successes & failures Info Security & Engineering & Support Triage & route day to day (BAU) bug tracking & support tickets Setup Infrastructure (e.g., SSO, Certificates); Establish Data Policy, Security Policy, and Business Continuity Policy Data & Analytics Integrates master data & external systems Assists with data extract, reporting, and comparatives        
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Defining and fostering a culture of Connected Planning within and outside your CoE is a critical responsibility of a CoE Leader;  Breaking down silos and challenging the norm is at the core of Anaplan and CoE members.  The vision, clarity, and connections empower everyone to stay focused and act faster to continue the momentum.   ( ⭐  indicates popular content) Key Topics Recommendations from 2022's CoE Leader of the Year Coming soon For Your CoE What your CoE members must know about Anaplan's value, the tools they should have (both modeling and non-modeling), and how to stay connected to make an impact Why Anaplan: Being able to articulate the value proposition of Anaplan within the firm and more broadly your industry, will ensure that decision makers & firm executives are comfortable with leveraging the platform for critical business processes. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) White Papers: Gather ideas and understand the ‘art of the possible’ by reviewing the latest developments for your industry, your use cases, and your technologies. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) 2021 Gartner® Market Guide for Cloud, Extended Planning and Analysis Solutions  [Analyst Report]  ⭐   Gartner® Report: Future of Finance extends FP&A to include operational planning [Analyst Report]  ⭐   Client Testimonials:  Establish buy-in and credibility for new initiatives by understanding how peers overcame similar pain points. Explore opportunities for business improvements that may not have been immediately obvious. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) How We Engage & Collaborate — By Asslam Umar Ali, CoE Leader @ Fortescue Metal Group (@Asslam) Anaplan Training: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Model Building training, and The Anaplan Way Training  Anaplan Core/Central Team Secondments: Opportunity to backfill roles for 3-6 months to further upskill in model design, build, and deployment  Sharing Best Practices:  Fortnightly/Bi-Weekly: 30 minutes Tips & Tricks catch up with core/central team  Share "Tip of the Day" by the user from the core/central team  Ask Anaplan Anything: A session through Anaplan Customer Success Business Partner  The 3 Pillars of Connected Planning — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE (@Prince.Ayinde) People: The people pillar requires a cultural change from top (strategic) to bottom (operational). Data: The data pillar, in terms of drivers, outputs, and inputs from different use cases, is important for Connected Planning. Plans: The plans pillar is the dynamic way you execute a strategic objective. Anaplan Academy - Agile Implementation Related: Understand how to work iteratively & flexibly to promote user adoption, while having structured guidance & planning to mitigate risks & ensure effective deployment. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) 140: Agile and Anaplan 341: Agile in Action 345: Agile for Internal Development   Non-Anaplan modeling competency — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Expand your skill set outside of Anaplan. A CoE needs to be able to have an equivalent understanding of existing Excel or Non-Automated processes in order to be successful in migrating to Anaplan. Understand what is a good fit for Anaplan vs better suited in other tools. Selecting Center of Excellence Governance Structures: How recurring sets of checkpoints/meetings with standardized agendas are critical to staying connected and eliminating siloed planning Roadshows & Promotions How to showcase Anaplan's value to other teams and spark innovation and drive executive buy-in to expand beyond the current state Cross-Functional Demonstrations — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Schedule time with non-Anaplan model users to showcase how currently deployed models bring scale to the organization. Emphasize parallels, opportunities for no-code integrations, and rapid time to deployment; Prepare proof of concepts (if applicable) to make the platform relatable.  Current State Process Review — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Schedule time with Anaplan model users to understand how they are receiving & sharing data/insights. Document business workflows in the process mapping tool and highlight areas of opportunity (e.g. Manual data manipulation, offline processes that fill point solution gaps). White Papers & Case Studies (Internal Strategy) — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Document lessons learned from deployed projects & create run books/reference guides in a central repository. Publish communication to a broad set of employees to spark idea generation & uncover new opportunities. Executive Deep-Dives — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) 1-on-1 or tailored group sessions with firm executives to highlight the successes, known roadblocks, and upcoming projects within Anaplan. Come prepared with 1-page summary guides so the executive team can comfortably understand ongoing use cases but are not to burdened by excessive detail. Connected Planning Playbook: The connected planning playbook is your birds-eye view of the fundamentals of connected planning. — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE (@Prince.Ayinde)  
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Many professionals know how impactful having Anaplan knowledge and expertise is on their careers. As there are many paths one can take being part of an Anaplan Center of Excellence.  Hear from our current and former Center of Excellence Leaders on how being in this leadership position has propelled their careers, and learn how you as a CoE Leader can shape your members' professional developments. From 2022's CoE Leader of the Year Coming soon   CoE Leader Career Paths  Learn how much impact being a CoE Leader has on your career, whether that continues within or outside of your CoE Hear from Brittany Deaton,  Actuarial  Director at Unum, former Center of Excellence Founder and Leader, and 2019's Certified Master Anaplanner of the Year.   CoE Members' Paths Technical Careers Master Anaplanner: As a CoE leader, it is advantageous to join the elite group of Anaplanners. Master Anaplanners enjoy a privileged relationship with Anaplan which includes faster access to required resources and knowledge sharing. — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE  (@Prince.Ayinde) Product Owners — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Vendor management (Contracts, pricing, RFPs, etc.) Troubleshooting escalation: Support Tickets & Post go-live support, Operational Requests/Enhancements Cross-functional architecture  (System integrations, Database / codebase design, security, etc.) Report/analytics/visualization tools updates & design Platform policy lead: SOX, Other Audit, Security Reviews Technology Business Partners — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker)  ‘Evolve-the-firm’ Projects: User stories, Requirements, and Stakeholder mgmt, Opportunity tracking & execution Process & Solution design; Quality Assurance Platform Health Support: UAT tester/participant, Feature-set evaluation & Feature prioritization Implementation Lead — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker)  Enterprise Performance Management: Offer outside expertise, capability expansion or lessons learned, Provide Industry or Product or Use Case specific knowledge Platform assessment > Solution design partner > Implementation Support Deployment & Operational Enablement: Design UAT scripts, Training Sessions, Model Guides, Establish CoE Charter, Recruit Members, and Train Leads Typically available in consulting firms   Non-Technical / Business Careers  Model Owner / Subject Matter Expert (SME) — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Vendor knowledgebase:  Attend webinars, courses, etc., Understand/present platform roadmap & best practices Own model design and strategic & new feature roadmap Cross function liaison (e.g., Upstream / Downstream data dependencies, reporting requirements, model promotion, new user onboarding) Corporate Strategy & Operations — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Work with internal stakeholders in need of systematic workflow improvements. Understand the latest & most innovative technologies within your industry or function. Eliminate operational issues caused by legacy process: Reduce technical debt & innovate existing platforms, Automate data transformations and connectivity, Create self-service access to critical decision-making information Process Design Consultant — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Finance, Human Capital, or General Enterprise Operations: Improve capacity, capability, collaboration, and credibility, Influence client’s strategic direction (e.g., M&A, Restructuring, Hiring Plans, Capital Raise, etc.) Help design process to deliver the right information, at the right time and in actionable formats. Provide insight into key firm drivers (e.g., Profitability, Compensation, Cost Drivers, Client Acquisition, etc.) Typically available in consulting firms  
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As noted in this CoE Leader video, CoE Leaders are seen as transformational and strategic leaders in the business. You are leading the team's charter and creating long-term success plans for both Anaplan—the technical roadmap—and your CoE members—the talent roadmap. Learn how other CoE Leaders are sparking inspiration, sharing successes, and ensuring continuity for their CoEs.  ( ⭐  indicates popular content) Key Topics Recommendations from 2022's CoE Leader of the Year Coming soon Talent Strategy and Roadmap Core Anaplan Talent  — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Look for individuals in or out of your technology team with strong deductive reasoning skills, macro-level thinking, an existing skillset in comparable technology, or has a strong grasp of overall organizational goals Some attributes of a successful candidate may be: An employee from a business line who has built and maintained complex financial models or low code platforms (e.g., Salesforce, Workday) Employee out of a rotational program eager to continue with a variable/rotating work model but remain close to core business Subject Matter Experts — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Look for individuals eager for change and willing to take on something outside of their day-to-day or those who have actively promoted/implemented other strategic initiatives Some attributes of a successful candidate may be: An employee from a Non-Tech Department with a strong aptitude for existing technologies An employee with strong process knowledge and credibility within their vertical An employee with management reporting & communications experience 3rd Party Partnerships  — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Anaplan consulting is an extremely valuable complement to an internal CoE / Anaplan team. They can provide foundational guidance to set up an organization for success. Below are some examples of when to leverage: Implementation Staff Augmentation (Post Go-Live) Promotion/Proof of Concept Development Emphasize Internal Partnerships: Business partner alignment is fundamental to the long-term success of the Center of Excellence. From engineering to end-users, consistent engagement maintains a collaborative environment. Often, new use case opportunities are birthed from strong, mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders. As a CoE leader, prioritize check-ins with stakeholders to understand their challenges and identify collaboration opportunities. — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE  (@Prince.Ayinde) Technical Roadmap Deployed Models and Net New Use Cases  — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker)   Deployed (Business as usual) Deployed (Retrofit/update) New Development (Core Competencies) New Development (New or Edge Cases) Monitor performance, scalability, and stability Provide escalation for complex support tickets Offer training, support, and documentation for users Prioritize ‘parking lot’ development items Perform platform clean up & simplification Bundle, test, and deploy new functionality with limited disruption to end-user population Gather user stories, requirements, and process maps Work with existing Anaplan users or tangential teams Create sprint plan, assign resourcing, procure spend, and deliver using change management best practices Interview the current Anaplan population to understand if their process ends a workflow or if part of a larger workflow Document areas for improvement (pain points, redundancies, or data issues) Perform Anaplan fit assessment & Go/No-Go Decision If good fit/’Go’ > Utilize ‘New Development (Core Competencies)’ deployment approach to implement Deliver Solutions Quickly: A business-led delivery approach is the most efficient way to deliver solutions that business partners will adopt. This requires a focus on hiring the best talent in the Anaplan ecosystem. — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE  (@Prince.Ayinde) Internally Architected Solutions: When delivering results, it is crucial to focus on the customers (AKA, its users). Internal resources create a tighter feedback loop with partners and users by having frequent touchpoints (Story Grooming, Design Review, Sprint Review). — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE  (@Prince.Ayinde)
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Your one-stop-shop of all Anaplan CoE thought leadership and resources that were recommended by successful CoE Leaders in the ecosystem. Don't forget to bookmark these valuable resources! ( ⭐  indicates popular content) Key Topics Recommendations from 2022's CoE Leader of the Year Coming soon CoE Leader Must-Knows  Evolution of the CoE Lead  ⭐ : Understand how a CoE lead can transform the organization within and outside of Anaplan. CoE Leads are driving transformation and acting as visionary leaders and are key to success. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Your Connected Planning Center of Excellence for better decision-making [Whitepaper]: Learn about what and why a CoE is important, 6 benefits of establishing a CoE for Connected Planning, and 3 tips for building a successful and sustainable CoE.  The Benefits of a Center of Excellence [Video]:  Learn how to maintain central control over expanding use cases, share learnings, and establish governance, consistency, and efficiency across data in upstream and downstream processes on the Anaplan platform. Center of Excellence Charter ⭐ : The charter template and general information guide are cornerstones to standing up for the CoE team. — ByJosh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners(@josh.baker), and Asslam Umar Ali, CoE Leader @ Fortescue Metal Group (@Asslam) Center of Excellence Roles & Responsibilities: A brief overview of the key roles included in most Centers of Excellence, and a deeper look at each individual role. At its core, a Center of Excellence needs to have Executive Sponsorship at the highest level of the organization, and a technical expert with a deep understanding of how the platform works. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Center of Excellence Production Support: A strong production support model is crucial to the success and sustainability of Anaplan models. — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE (@Prince.Ayinde) Selecting Center of Excellence Governance Structures:  How companies must identify the appropriate balance of centralization, define the location of the Center of Excellence team members, and set a regularly occurring cadence with standardized agendas to determine the appropriate governance structure. Managing Requests from End Users: This community post is a crucial resource to help the CoE lead understand prioritization and the continued growth of the platform. This guidance will help the team actively tend to deployed instances while simultaneously building for the future. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Foundational Anaplan Knowledge Anapedia: Anapedia is a powerful resource to familiarize team members with the available features of Anaplan and the resources that can help you best understand and deploy these features into your models. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Connected Planning Playbook: A comprehensive guide(s) that provides powerful thought-leadership, design, and scalability content to support your journey. They are also helpful when teams outside the Anaplan CoE need to be pulled on to a project and need information on how to complete their related tasks (e.g. Data Integration, SSO, Security, Data & Analytics). — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Introduction Centers of Excellence  ⭐ : CoE Leaders must be grounded in the fundamentals of the team they are building. — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE (@Prince.Ayinde) The Anaplan Planual: The Planual is a must-read resource for all team members in the CoE as it establishes a foundation of best practices when building in Anaplan. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) The Anaplan Way(TAW): The Anaplan Way ensures your team is leveraging best practices in planning, design, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance of the Anaplan platform — By Prince Ayinde @ Linkedin CoE (@Prince.Ayinde) Platform Status: Get ahead of communication around unplanned outages & maintenance. This is a vital tool for maintaining the longevity of Anaplan by establishing a comfort level for firm executives and end-user alike. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker) Platform Updates:  Understand upcoming releases and expected downtime. This will allow the CoE to promptly notify the user base and make necessary adjustments to platform documentation. Review periodically after launching your CoE to align your release calendar with Anaplan’s. — By Josh Baker, CoE Leader @ PJT Partners (@josh.baker)  
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