Getting Started with Approvals in Hyperion Planning

The Problem: How do I get started with approvals in Hyperion Planning?

Controlling the budget creation and submission process is always a challenge. At times it seems as if fifteen different versions of the budget are floating around and deadlines are missed several times or even ignored. This is why Hyperion Planning includes an approvals process that can be used to control data submission, review, and finalization. By using Planning Unit Hearchies and Task Lists, administrators can ensure users are abiding by the budget process in a timely and organized fashion. For this demonstration I’m using the PFPSamp sample application in Planning.

Step 1: Creating a Planning Unit Hierarchy

In order to facilitate approvals, a Planning Unit Hierarchy (PUH) needs to be set up. You can do this by navigating to Administration -> Approvals -> Planning Unit Hierarchy.

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Here is the initial interface for PUHs in Planning. We’ll cover Scenario and Version Assignments and Synchronization in a future post. To get started, I’ll click the green plus Create button.

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Now I can add the details of my new PUH. First I’m going to give it a name and a description, in this case it will be for the Revenue Budget. Now there are three things to notice. First, the Entity dimension provides the basis for the PUH. A PUH can be based on the Entity dimension alone or a combination of the Entity dimension and another dimension. What you should take away is that the Entity dimension is required. Second, by selecting All for Enable Approvals, I’m adding all PUH units to the approvals process. Third, by selecting Bottom Up for the Approvals Template, data will be rolled up the hierarchy from a lower-level unit owner to a higher-level unit owner.

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Now by clicking Next we can identify the Primary Hierarchy and Subhierarchies.

Step 2: Primary and Subhierarchy Selection

Here is what the interface looks like for this part of PUH creation.

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Here are the different options in the interface:

  • Display
  • All Entities – Show all potential planning units
  • Planning Units – Show only all enabled planning units
  • Reset to Default Hierarchy – Revert all changes to the default set by your selection in the previous screen for Enable Approvals. Since I chose all, it would re-enable all planning units
  • Enabled – Click here to enable or remove a planning unit from the approvals process
  • Name – Name of the Entity Dimension member
  • Dimension – Name of the Dimension you are using along with Entity to define your PUH
  • Parent Member – Choose the Parent Member for the secondary dimension associated with your PUH
  • Relative Generation – To add generations (relative to the Parent Member) to the PUH
  • Auto Include – Add any new members to the PUH if they meet the selected criteria
  • Count – Auto populated based on your criteria
  • Selected Members – Based on the criteria you’ve already given, Planning generates a list of the secondary dimension members. You can pick and choose which of those you’d like to include.

Here is a screenshot of the options I am selecting for this demonstration. Note that I’m only defining the PUH for North American entities.

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In each row I’ve modified the Selected Members as follows.

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Now I’m going to show a few examples of how Relative Generation works. If you pick just 0 with Net Revenue as the Parent Member, the only member from the secondary dimension that is chosen is the Parent Member.

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The proceeding examples will also use Net Revenue as the Parent Member. If you pick 0 and 1, it is the Parent Member and the generation below it.

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Picking 0-2 chooses the Parent Member, its children, and its grandchildren.

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If you want to exclude the Parent Member, you can enter 1-3 for Relative Generation, which selects its children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

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Next we’ll assign owners to our PUH units.

Step 3: Assign Ownership

Next we’re going to assign a user to be the owner of each relevant planning unit. Here is the interface for that process expanded to include all the enabled planning units in my PUH.

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Here are the options for this interface:

  • Owner – The owner of the planning unit. Whatever you set here will be the initial owner.
  • Reviewer – This is optional. If you don’t include a reviewer, when the planning unit owner submits data for review, it will simply go to the owner of the planning unit into which the current unit rolls. For example, when the owner of Canada submits data, it will then go to the owner of North America.
  • Promotional Path – This is the ownership path the unit will go through as specified by the ownership set in this interface.
  • Notify The Users – Other users you might want to notify as ownership and promotion changes.
  • When you go to select an owner, reviewer, or users to notify, this is the interface you will get.
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Here is the completed list of owners, reviewers, and users to notify (none) that I’ve set up.

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Now when I click on the Promotional Path icon for Canada: Total Revenue, this is what I see.

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Click Save at the bottom of the screen to save the PUH and move on to assigning the PUH to a combination of Scenario and Version.

Step 4: Scenario and Version Assignment

The next thing we’re going to do is make sure we can actually user our PUH. Go to Administration -> Approvals -> Scenario and Version Assignment.

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The interface is quite simple. For each PUH you can add rows of Scenario and Version combinations for which it will apply. In order to add a new row, click the new row icon under Actions.

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A new row will appear with arrows that can be clicked to add a combination of Scenario and Version. For this demonstration I’m going to pick Forecast and Working as the combination.

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After clicking OK for both Scenario and Version and then Save, you should get this confirmation dialog.

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That’s about enough information for this post. In my next post, we’ll cover getting up and running with the PUH with Task Lists.