Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

5 Steps to a Successful Adaptive Insights Implementation

April 5, 2018 / by Lauren Strohmeier


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You have decided to move to the Cloud to more effectively manage budgeting, forecasting and reporting and increase operational efficiencies. Perhaps you’ve chosen an industry-leading corporate performance management (CPM or EPM) solution like Adaptive Insights and defined your objectives for FP&A transformation. So, what’s the best way to deploy the system to your company? A CPM implementation requires a strategic plan of action. At Carlson, we help our clients succeed with the five-step Carlson Implementation Methodology.

These steps are: Discover→ Design → Build → Train → Deploy & Optimize

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Here’s a proven approach to ensure an implementation that brings the best business results.


During the Discover phase, we work collaboratively to create your project plan. How will your system achieve your objectives? It’s important to have a sense of direction.

To begin, we help structure your team and hold kick-off meetings. Because collaboration produces better ideas, you will want insights from key team members. Together, we develop an understanding of your company’s strategic vision. With input from various departments, you will be able to optimize performance across the company.

Establish critical success factors for the project. What resources are required to make the implementation happen? Assess existing business processes, reporting requirements, technical infrastructure, and resources. With this information, you can determine a path forward to ensure project completion. To create the roadmap for your strategy, define optimal business processes and workflow.


At this point, we will have defined a comprehensive plan of action. It’s now time to design its blueprint. During onsite design sessions, we review all requirements, structure, and modules in detail. Additionally, we develop and document the processes, information workflows, reports, user roles, and models.

Your design will be the foundation upon which your CPM system is built. It will also lay the groundwork for the implementation’s development. By incorporating finance and systems “best practices”, you will have a solid foundation for the project.


When we build, we bring your implementation to life. We put your vision into action in a way that optimizes your company’s operational efficiencies. How does this happen? Firstly, we create core system structure. Then, we build integrated financials with historical and test data. This allows us to determine whether the models and modules are seamlessly functioning.

After, we develop models, calculations, and assumptions. We then create, test, and populate key supporting schedules. Additionally, we create the reports, dashboards, and scorecards that inform budget stakeholders, managers and the executive team.

For the final part, we develop and assign user roles and permissions of the solution based on the design phase. This gives your team’s respective members the capability to access and operate the program. To ensure automated and efficient data flows, we create integration touch points with other systems and perform integrated end-to-end system testing.

Before you launch your new CPM system, learning how to use it is essential.


As believers in education, we give you the knowledge and resources to effectively prepare for your new CPM system. Specifically, we develop and provide user and administrator documentation. You also receive power user and admin training sessions. During the sessions, we train you on solution features and processes. You benefit from “best practices” instruction and guidance on driver-based budgeting, rolling forecasts, balanced scorecard, and “what-if” scenario planning.

After the training, you and your team will be prepared to operate the CPM system with skill and ease.

Deploy & Optimize

It’s now time to deploy and optimize.

As we roll out the solution to you and your team, the system will activate with Go-Live Support. We fine tune the solution based on your feedback. To ensure a seamless transition to the new system, we provide ongoing optimization support as your company’s processes evolve. Your CPM system is now ready for you to make the most of its capabilities.

The Carlson Implementation Methodology is proven to deliver implementation success, helping companies across the nation launch their new CPM systems. Your company will smoothly transition into a more efficient way of managing its core budgeting, forecasting and planning operations.

If you are interested in an CPM implementation with Carlson Management Consulting, get started today by requesting a discovery call and demo.

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