Managing Change in TM1 / Planning Analytics Models
For organizations using IBM TM1 / Planning Analytics, managing change within models is a significant challenge. Michael Mackie discusses the potential pitfalls and offers an innovative new solution.
In my work with a large number of TM1 users over the years, I’ve found that one of the principal challenges they face is making changes to the models they’ve created. This inevitably leads to a series of questions:
Will the change work the way we want it to in production?
How can we clearly understand all existing dependencies within a model before making a change?
How do we reduce the significant costs of fixing problems incurred after we make changes?
Having made changes, how can we reduce the time spent documenting them to create an accurate picture of our TM1 models?
Helping our clients address these questions led us to develop QUBEdocs™, a tool that enhances and fully integrates with TM1 to deliver effective change management and impact analysis.
Change equals risk and the more complex your models, the greater the risk. TM1 models rely on a series of dependencies– including data sources, data flows and business rules – so what may seem a simple change can create unforeseen errors. This has the potential to affect the accuracy of your corporate reports, with all the attendant consequences – legal, compliance and business reputation – that may ensue. Even when you catch the errors before they make an impact, a great deal of effort can be involved in fixing them.
In developing QUBEdocs, we saw that a major benefit for users would be the ability to conduct impact analysis before making changes to their TM1 models. So, not only does QUBEdocs provide visibility over model dependencies, it also offers an impact analysis function. This enables changes to be tested and evaluated in a development environment – before putting them into production.
The result is that our clients can now clearly see the impacts proposed model changes will have – then adjust these changes before implementing them – with the result that they are saving hours or days of remedial work in fixing issues that would otherwise occur.
Maintaining up-to-date documentation of TM1 models is a significant task. This documentation is vital for a number of reasons – from complying with corporate governance to simply understanding the current state of a TM1 model, so new changes and adaptations can be planned, tested and performed.
We closely integrated QUBEdocs with TM1 to automate documentation of the most complex models. This means that, when changes are made, QUBEdocs will automatically update this documentation so that our clients have clear visualization of their TM1 models at the touch of a button.