Armanino Blog

Optimizing Your Workday Adaptive Planning Model

November 18, 2019

Updated October 30, 2023

Typically, a client experiences enough headaches with spreadsheets that triggers a need for something more robust and collaborative. A new Workday Adaptive Planning (previously Adaptive Insights) client either addresses a single pain point or does a complete implementation all at once. The planning process becomes transformed and the team works more collaboratively, spending less time with data manipulation and more time with critical analysis and decision support.

But what happens after a few years pass and the business objectives change, FP&A personnel change, management changes or there are acquisitions or divestitures? How does your Workday Adaptive Planning model change with you?

First off, there are 5 questions you need to ask as you consider a model redesign:

  1. Are you able to respond to management quickly for decision support? If the C-Suite needs to make business decisions quickly, are you able to make a few adjustments to your model and offer an alternative forecast with impacts to the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow without much delay? If not, it may be time to consider a model redesign or model enhancement.
  2. How often are your users in Workday Adaptive Planning? Workday Adaptive Planning is like exercise equipment for your business. If you use it for its intended purpose very frequently, you will have great results. If you and your team use it quarterly for some basic budgeting and reporting, you are not getting the true value from your purchase. You can buy a great treadmill for your exercise room, but if you use it only 4 times a year, you will not see any results. You need to eliminate spreadsheets that supplement your planning process and get your users in the solution frequently to perform their planning and reporting tasks.
  3. What is the user experience like? Make sure you have a good understanding of your user experience for your budget owners. Is the current process cumbersome? Is all the data you need readily available in the system or do users need to go outside the system? Are the sheets set up in such a way that only users see what they need to see and can't see those areas outside of their own? If you are having trouble with user adoption, it might be that your model has become too cumbersome, too many versions, organizational levels that no longer apply or critical data that is not easily integrated and accessible in the system.
  4. Have you created quick wins for your users? After you have a good understanding of 1-3, you need to figure out how to address the issues. Is it a data issue? Consider an automated integration from your key data sources with audit checks. Let the system do the work and let your team do the analysis. Is reporting and dissemination of information a problem? Have you developed business unit specific dashboards, HTML reports and OfficeConnect reports that provide quick insight to key business trends? Listen carefully to your users and find a way to address their pain points. Build momentum with quick wins and focus on saving them time in their day.
  5. Are you prepared for the future? Change is constant in your business environment. Is your model designed to change as your business changes?


Workday Adaptive Planning is a best in class, corporate performance management solution, that is designed to optimize your planning, forecasting and reporting processes. The best Workday Adaptive Planning models are the ones where the client has carefully listened to the user community and designed the model for flexibility, efficiency and excellent decision support to the management team. The objective is to make Workday Adaptive Planning address your business needs for planning and reporting, not duplicate an ERP structure or a spreadsheet design.

Armanino helps clients navigate digital transformation and achieve their end goals using a combination of next-generation technologies and expert change management strategies. To learn more, contact our experts.

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