Twelve Consulting Group goes to school

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As an Anaplan partner, our mission at Twelve Consulting Group is to improve the lives and opportunities of our people, customers, and communities by empowering them with the latest technology. In the spirit of sharing our way of thinking and inspiring continuous growth, we created Twelve.EDU.

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Twelve team members Megan, Haley, and Liz rocking the Twelve.EDU shirts.

Twelve.EDU is intended to increase university campus engagement and bring Anaplan into an educational environment. Our kickoff event on March 10, 2017, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, included an Anaplan customer case study and demo of an Anaplan model that provided students with perspective on how leaders leverage the Anaplan platform to create connected organizations. Twenty-five Carlson MBA and MSBA students worked with consultants from Twelve to make strategic business decisions for a theoretical software-as-a-service company. Students worked in groups to understand the underlying connections between sales, customer success, marketing, operations, and engineering, and to see how department-level decisions impacted the imaginary company’s bottom line.

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We know how to get students’ attention: free coffee and t-shirts! In seriousness, we were very impressed with the level of interest and engagement from all student attendees.

Students received a dossier containing a business scenario and guidance around building multiple staffing scenarios for each department. By adjusting drivers and assumptions, students were able to see how revenue (driven by sales and R&D departments), customer relationship demand (maintained by the customer success department), and lead generation (influenced by the marketing department) were heavily interconnected. Consultants from Twelve enjoyed helping student groups build the model and learn how to best optimize performance using the Anaplan platform.

One of the biggest takeaways for all participants was that many business dependencies are non-linear relationships. Put another way, something that seems merely like a simple cause-and-effect relationship may actually have an impact throughout an organization! Even with a condensed, theoretical case, students had to consider many tradeoffs and make cost-to-benefit decisions by observing cross-functional relationships within their businesses.

Teams of students worked with consultants from Twelve to understand the case and prepare presentations—including some terrific Anaplan dashboards—and deliver their results to a panel of judges consisting of Todd Hallett, VP of Global Sales Operations and Enablement at Anaplan; Ashley Bowes-Johnson, Senior Associate Director at Carlson’s Graduate Business Career Center; and one of Twelve’s partners, Josh King. Teams were evaluated on overall process whiteboarding; Anaplan dashboard content; and takeaways, recommendations, and decision-making rationale. Presentations were well thought out, and judges were impressed by the students’ innovative solutions and observations.

Students applied a great deal of thought to the execution and meaning behind their projects. Not only did they focus on how interdependencies impacted final financial projections, but they also focused on what their solutions implied for the business scenario. 

Todd Hallett was kind enough to close out the program with an engaging fireside chat with the students. Todd provided a unique perspective into real-world scenarios of modeling with Anaplan. It was an insightful, fun, and an energizing learning experience for everyone who attended. Special thanks to the amazing students and staff at the Carlson School of Management.

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Todd Hallett from Anaplan (left) provided great feedback to participants using examples from his day-to-day work. The students were taught the basics of the Anaplan platform and learned how one could make a career with Anaplan.

If you would like to see Twelve.EDU at your school, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Liz Ward to be included in our campus initiative in 2017.

Editor’s note: With its University Program, Anaplan also has relationships with several major higher education institutions nationwide. Under the University Program, Anaplan donates platform workspace and licenses to universities to equip students and faculty to become ambassadors for connected planning. For more information about our University Program and Anaplan’s uses in higher education, contact Jerome Feltracco, Anaplan’s Vice President, Public Sector, Education and Not-for-Profits. Also, if you’d like to sharpen your Anaplan skillsets, take a look at our latest career opportunities.

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