For TM1 / PA Customers, pondering whether to make the leap from TM1 Web to Planning Analytics Workspace (PAW) or potentially dropping TM1 altogether for another product, it’s worth reading this article.

TM1 Web has evolved quite a bit with the leap to PAW. We were reluctant to recommend our clients to make the move to PAW in the early days, too much risk for end users to get frustrated with consistent bug fixes and updates (we learnt our lessons with TM1 Contributor (9.5)). Roll on 4-5 years and wow what an evolution. With the addition of virtual hierarchies, RestAPI and the PAW interface…..if you liked TM1 before, you will love it now.

Even with moving onto PAW (or if you are already there), it’s worth assessing whether you are maximizing the value of your TM1/PA investment. First off, if you are on TM1 Web or TM1 Contributor and if it was a recent implementation you need to fire your consultant or the company assisting you. You have likely wasted time and money on websheets, perspective reports and some design aspects (dimensional hierarchies, that could be consolidated into virtual hierarchies).

As for whether you are getting the most out of your investment, it’s worth considering the following questions:

1. Have you extended TM1/PA beyond finance (i.e. financial reporting, forecasting and budgeting)?

2. Related to question 1, do you know how TM1 / PA is perceived within your organization (outside of finance)?

3. How much maintenance is required, rollovers, websheet maintenance, perspectives reports etc…?

4. Is there a reluctance to invest in TM1, and associated skills internally to truly take ownership?

5. How reliant are you on 3rd parties? How you look at whether your team has the capability to actually be an admin?

6. Is it difficult to get information out, how much logic/calculations are in TM1 as opposed to Excel?

7. Are you only using TM1/PA for inputs and all reporting is outside in a different reporting / dashboard tool?

If you are anything like me you love TM1 and its capabilities, and wish that, if everyone saw the benefits it would be a critical application used across the whole organization for all planning processes, or effectively what I call Integrated Business Planning.

The problem is, not everyone sees the value of TM1 outside of finance (if finance does not see value, then it was deployed wrong or not rolled out properly). If it’s just used for budgeting, it’s likely boxed into “Oh, TM1 that’s the budget tool right?” or even worse “TM1, that’s Cognos right, it’s a BI Tool”. In my head I am going…”nnnnoooo”. TM1 is capable of so much more and with PAW having a nice interface it can finally start to change the perception of users (if done right).

More questions to ponder, did you ever consider or think about the following, before, during or after your TM1 implementation?

        • A vision or roadmap tied to your strategic objective and how TM1 can get you there.
        • The cultural readiness and impact of change on people.
        • Your team skills, post-implementation and whether they still fit the new world of TM1.
        • Your (implementation) consultants business and financial knowledge, alongside the technical skill.

If the focus of your deployment has been purely technical and process oriented in nature, then I will assume you may relate to some of the issues below, if not then you are on the right path.

Low User Adoption & Sentiment 
TM1 hasn’t been adopted by users causing them to revert to Excel and old habits.

No Training and Enablement Program
– Current business partner haven’t transferred knowledge effectively, making your team reliant on them, which is driving up costs and decreasing internal skillsets.
– No Follow up on training or plan to ensure “new habits” are created and followed through upon.

TM1 Is Not Integrated with Source Systems 
Lack of integration introduces additional, unnecessary manual steps to get data in and out, not to mention drill through back to transactions (key benefit, users love).

TM1 Has Not Evolved Beyond Finance  
There is no strategy and roadmap on how to best integrate TM1 into the business. Leaving TM1 as just a finance tool and underutilized by the rest of the business (likely spreadsheets are the main operational planning tool).

Whilst some of these issues may exist in your environment there is an opportunity to resolve them by moving to PAW. However, PAW alone will not solve them but it can be the catalyst to re-invigorate TM1 / PA within your organization. It can give you an opportunity to expand and maximize your investment, factoring some form of assessment for culture, skills and training.

If you are interested in a learning about a holistic approach to deploying TM1, and rolling out Integrated Business Planning within your organization, please reach out.

Written By Lance Tylor 

Lance is a business finance professional with a passion for helping businesses grow. He is a Charted Management Accountant (CMA) within Canada and in the UK and has had several roles within the Office of Finance. His experience has always been focused on business strategy, performance management and business process improvement (leveraging the latest technologies).