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Apptio Education Services

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We are "flipping out" because the new TBM Taxonomy 3.0 Flashcards are here!


This tool allows you to quiz yourself on TBM Taxonomy terms and definitions, while giving you a visual representation of where the terms belong within the layers of the taxonomy.  So follow the link, and get to flipping! TBM Taxonomy Flashcards


You can find a PDF of the TBM Taxonomy 3.0 here: #TBM Taxonomy V3.0 (PDF).


Bookmark this page (see image below) to be on the lookout for downloadable and customizable versions of the TBM Taxonomy 3.0 flashcards and poster!


Also, check out TBM Taxonomy 2.1 Flashcards!

We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in our Community Awards and helped make it a success!

Here are the 2018 Community Awards winners...

Calling All Royals 

Community contributors who now wear the crown of Royalty.

The Winners -  Ben Haines of Roads and Maritime Services,  Bhawna Singh of Hillwood,  Jenny Franklin of Fedex,  Juan José Jarillo of Blue Shield of California, Julie Batty of RBS,  Laila Fivian of ABB,  Michelle McGuire of Blue Shield of California,  Oliver Smith of Nationwide Building Society,  Srikanth Satakopan of HP Inc.,  Thodi Andersson of Societe Generale (Paris), and Thomas Bognar of Erste Group Bank

We are so appreciative to the TBM Royals for sharing their skill and thought leadership with the Apptio Community! I was especially honored when I looked over the attendee list and saw that Juan José Jarillo who's known for starting valuable discussions through his community blog stopped in. Thank you, Juan José!

TBM Pursuit 

Developed by Christopher Davidson, the TBM Pursuit challenges Community members to sharpen their TBM and Apptio skills. Many entered but only a few solved these brain teasers.

The Runners Up - each of these folks solved the majority of the TBM Pursuits.  Axel Burkert of Diaxion,  Jenny Franklin of Fedex and  Michelle McGuire of Blue Shield of California each solved 4 of the 6 challenges.

 Suresh Sawlani of Emirates Airlines/Dnata solved 5 of the 6 challenges.

The Winner - Steven Young of HSBC, solved all 6 of the challenges.

The Prize - Steven wins a Trivial Pursuit game and a personalized Community badge.


The Hat Trick Award 

For wide ranging contributions to TBMConnect that consistently drive TBM thought forward.

The Winner -  Francis Chinkhandwe of M&G Prudential

The Prize - Francis wins an orange soccer ball and personalized Community badge.


The Level Up Award

For consistently raising the level of engagement, discourse and fun on Community.

The WinnersKyle Castro of Navy Federal Credit Union, Oliver Smith of Nationwide Building Society and Jairus Green of WDFW

The Prize - Kyle, Oli and Jairus win a Game Stop gift card and personalized Community badge.


The This and That Awards

For combining technical knowledge and humor. 

The Winners - Thodi Andersson of Societe General (Paris) and  Neda Traycoff of Realpage Inc.

The Prize - Thodi wins Dragons Lair swag and a personalized Community badge.

The Prize - Neda wins Wedding Crashers swag and a personalized Community badge.


The Top Cat Award

For blazing the path to TBM Royalty, excellent cost reduction contributions and helping to open up all things TBM to a wider audience.

The Winner - Jenny Franklin of FedEx

The Prize - Jenny wins A "Worlds's Best Cat Mom" throw pillow and a personalized Community badge.


The Secret Squirrel Award

For major and consistently valuable contributions to Community, including being willing to meet with other community members to share ideas.

The WinnerJulie Batty of RBS

The Prize - Julie wins A "Secret Squirrel" coffee travel mug and a personalized Community badge.


The Trailblazer Award

For providing first-in-line foundational knowledge and acting as thought leaders in TBM.

The Winners - Matt Temple  and Richard Coronado of Sony Pictures Entertainment 

The Prize - Matt and Richard win hiking poles and a personalized Community badge.


Important Contributors

For regular and appreciated contributions that enrich community.

The Winners - George McElfresh of USAA,  Sofia Angeles of WellStar Health System,  Clare Smit of Nationwide Building Society Menno Wittebol of rabobank, Claire Finch of Fidelity Investments

The Prize -  Custom Community Badge


What would an Awards show be without games? Wait..are there typically games during awards shows? We think so! Here are the winners from the games we played.

The Challenge Round - Oliver Smith of Nationwide Building Society

Community Member Award Game - Paula Foster of RSA

The Prize -  Oli and Paula win a small gift card (don't get too excited we're on a budget ;-)

That wraps up the awards and game winners.

We look forward to the excitement, energy and expertise each of you bring to Community. 

Our sincerest appreciation for your contributions to our Community and for taking time to attend our Awards. 

Happy TBMing in 2019!

The Education Services Team

Rhonda Keller, Shannon Wallner, Lisa Strube-Kilgore, Lisa BarbourLauren Pagan, Jenny Goodwin, Rebekah Caroway, Debbie Hagen, Paolo Coppa, Alison Pumma, Jesse Sharp


Hello TBM Heroes. 


I'll be straight to the point. Well, pretty close at least.


First, the RTBMA 2019 learning content is now available.


Second, if you are an existing RTBMA 2018 you will need to review the following competencies and resources that comprise the 16 question RTBMA 2019 bridge exam.


Lastly, if you are not yet a RTBMA, you will need to review the following competencies and resources that are now included in the 50 question RTBMA 2019 exam. 


The following are the competencies and TBM Connect resources you'll need to review for the exam.


What to expect on the RTBMA 2018 to RTBMA 2019 bridge exam (you have the RTBMA 2018 and want to obtain the RTBMA 2019):

The exam is a 30 minute, sixteen question exam that will assess your knowledge of the competencies listed above. Existing RTBMAs are already enrolled in the appropriate learning plan for this exam.


What to expect on the RTBMA 2019 exam (you do not have any RTBMA credentials):

The exam is 120 minute, fifty question exam that will assess your knowledge of the competencies listed above and the knowledge you gained while taking the courses in the RTBMA Learning Plan. 


We wish you the best of luck in your TBM knowledge acquisition!

Many of you learned about the Apptio Value Explorer in your Creating Reports to Defend your Numbers course.  When the Apptio Value Explorer first came about and we started showing it to you, you could only use the AVE with the Reference Project.  This made it a great tool to get a feel for the available reports and the quetions that could be answered,  but of course, you wanted to be able to use it to look at your own project and drill directly to your own project.  


Well, good news!  Did you know that as of the March 2018 release, if you have the v104 template or later installed, you can access AVE from within your Company projects and drill to the reports with your actual data.  


Here is a link to the release notes where we documented this capability when it was released.

Here's the short version:

Apptio Value Explorer. You no longer have to access the AVE from the separate Data Advisor option under the gear wheel.  You can access it from within your project under the project menu.


Other cool capabilities include:

  • Filter to view all Outcomes, or view the Outcomes and reports for your installed components only. With this setting enabled, if I've not yet built out to Applications, for example, I wouldn't see the outcomes related to the Applications Component. 

  • Ability to add your own outcomes with a link to your own custom reports in Apptio Value Explorer.
  • AVE works with Template v.104 and later (Learn more).

I hope you find this helpful!



Clifford Bird; Jenny Goodwin Paolo Coppa

Want to know what Rhonda Keller and I are so jazzed about???       



Mark your calendars, the first ever Community Awards is coming to you Wednesday February 13th (8:00am - 9:00am PST / 11:00am - 12:00pm EST / 4:00pm - 5:00pm GMT).


You will not want to miss this highlight of Community and it’s members from the past year and kick off for the new year.


One of Apptio’s core values is creating wildly successful customers. We are continuously amazed at how our customers take on this core value to help their fellow Apptio customers become wildly successful. Whether you help to answer questions, create useful content or tag someone in a post that they might find useful or interesting, you are helping us create wildly successful customers. Our Apptio Community would not be the resource that it is today without YOU.


Did you have the most creative blog posts in 2018? Did you answer the most questions? Or were you the most encouraging Community member? Join us on February 13th to find out! We look forward to “seeing” you there.


Be on the lookout for the event posted on Community soon.

Hi folks,

I just wanted to share a function we learned about in the Advanced webinar series.  This one may come in handy if you have a list of values in a column and you need to evaluate that column and either leave or replace the values.


It's the "this column" reference. It's a way to refer to the column you are already in (a self-reference if you will).. in order to evaluate the existing value before replacing it with a different value.


Here is an example- Suppose I have a column in my dataset that contains values of N/A and numbers. I could put the following formula in that column in the dataset:=IF({$_}="N/A","",{$_})


What this formula means is  "check the value of the cell I'm in, if it has an N/A, then leave it blank, but if it has a number (or anything but N/A) then just leave the existing value in there.  It's primarily used if you are versioning a transform, since you are replacing values in cell with different values.

In October we held a first ITFMF / ITP User Group call. This was attended by several customers and supported by Andrew Edeen and Allen Nieman from Apptio’s product development team who presented ideas on the roadmap, including how it is created and prioritised. Andrew and Allen also fielded questions from customers on specific points on process and usability.


Some of the main themes from the discussion were:

  • Customers want best practices on Forecasting. They find it harder to start and socialize than Budgeting.
  • Customers want to know more detail about what is being changed by users in the tool.
  • Customers want help rolling out and socializing ITP within their organizations. More prescriptive materials.
  • Customers want to know what is on the roadmap.


Whilst we continue to discuss these ideas we have set-up the next ITP/ITFMF User Group (Jan 23) call which is planned for Wednesday 23rd January at 16:00 GMT/11am EST/8am PST. For this next call we will again present the roadmap with news of new themes being developed for Q1 2019. However we would also like to invite suggestions for any additional topics you would like to discuss. Some common areas may be Labor planning, Contract planning, CT / ITP Integration, Multi-currency etc. Please use this Smartsheet form to pick the top topics you would like to discuss: Click Here


If you are not already, be sure to follow the ITP/ITFMF User Group by selecting Follow at the top of the user group page.


Hello all. Just a quick announcement for your convenience. 

Check out this macro that Jason Lam created. It makes quick work of converting a plain vanilla Data Advisor  download into something easier on the eyes.  


How great would this logo look next to your name?!!!!


Maybe it was  the beginning of the year, maybe you just started your TBM Journey, but I'll bet many of you set out to earn your RTBMA before the end of this year.  Well, if you haven't finished the courses yet, there is still plenty of time to get your name on the Wall of Fame - RTBMA18  Don't wait until the last minute.


Think what a great achievement that would be to add to your 2018 performance review!  Plus you'll be able to add the logo to your TBM Connect and  Linkedin profiles.  And that's just the fame part of completing the RTBMA requirements you'll be learning so much about how to manage your Apptio solutions!  


Here is some advice I've given my students or seen them give to others once they've earned their RTBMA!


For those of you who have finished the courses but are test shy:

  • Review this document on how to become an RTBMA 2018 Become an Apptio Recognized TBMA . Scroll down to the "what is the exam like section".
  • Review the self-paced courses, if it's been a while since you've taken them. There are some questions around TBM, Hallmarks of Success, etc. 
  • ***(new item)*** We've added the Sample Exam as an optional part of your Learning Plan 
  • Just give it a try.  No one but you will know if you don't pass on the first try and you'll know what to study for so you can take it again.  And who knows, you just might pass on the first try!
  • It's about 50 multiple choice questions, you won't have to write formulas or troubleshoot.  We're not trying to trick you.  If you've paid attention in class and done the class work, you should be able to pass this exam.
  • You'll have 2 hours to answer all the questions.  I recommend going through and answering them all quickly, flagging the ones you aren't sure of for follow up.

For those of you who need to complete your 1500 points requirements on Apptio Community:

And finally for those of you who are waiting to complete some Instructor Led classes before you can earn your RTBMA:

  • Here is a link to where you can see all scheduled classes in your timezone
  • If you don't see your class on the schedule, email to let us know what classes you are missing and let us know your timezone.  We will do our best to get these courses on the schedule to help you complete the necessary courses for your RTBMA.


Don't wait!  Get RTBMA Certified Now!

Happy Monday everyone!


I've come across another topic that I get asked about sometimes in class, lab assist or on AAI that I thought I'd try to clarify for the Apptio Community.  It's related to allocation rules and that option in the From part of your allocation screen.


"Send only remaining values" (after other rules run).


I've noticed some of you using it when trying to complete your Cost Source to Vendor or Cost Source to OCP allocations with unsatisfactory results and I wanted to clarify what it does and when you might use it.  Before writing this I synced up with one of my super smart people Mark Nealey and he helped me explain it in simple terms.  He can add on or clarify if needed. 


First, what the "Send only remaining values (after other values run) does, it says, take whatever is left after ALL of my other rules are applied and send those up. It's the leftover costs that I don't necessarily know how to account for. 


Here's how Mark explained it to me:


Let's say I owe people 30 dollars.  I know I owe Rhonda Keller $10 and I know I owe Julie Batty $10 but I don't remember who the last $10 goes to.   I would use the "send only remaining values" option to just divide it up into small pieces and give it to everyone else on the planet (or at least on TBM Connect ). 


The benefit is that I have a fully allocated model, with no fallout. 


The caution:

However, I do want to caution you from applying this option just to get a clean model.   Many people view fallout as a bad thing (which it is, in a way), but what it really is, is the opportunity to understand why those costs are falling out, and work on improving our data or our allocations so we can understand and correct where that cost should actually go.  


One other caution I'd offer is that you want to be careful what other allocations you apply when you apply this rule.  For example, if you create 2 outbound allocations, and set them both to "send only remaining rules (after other rules run)"  you'll create a deadlock.  This is because it can't run line 1, until line 2 runs and it can't run line 2 until line 1 runs. Therefore it's deadlocked and can't process either allocation.


Finally, don't interpret this blogpost to mean that you shouldn't use this option.  It has it's benefits as long as you understand what it's doing with those leftover costs.  We just want to caution you that we shouldn't use it just to make your model tie out top to bottom/left to right.  Here are two related articles I found useful on this topic. If you've read/posted other related articles or have feedback, feel free to comment.


Model Fallout - Friend our Foe? 

Using Ungoverned spend to communicate with TBM customers 

I've gotten this request a couple times recently on Apptio Community and since not everyone has an AAEP to watch Jonathan's Spark video, I decided to write up an abbreviated version of how to do this.  For those of you have have current AAEPs you can view Jonathan's video by logging into ApptioU and searching on Binary Filter. 


If you don't already have the binary (Yes/No) column, you'll need to insert a formula column to create it. Usually you use some kind of If statement to test your values and return Yes or No.   If you already have a Yes/No Column you can skip to Part 2.



Part 1:

To make setup easy, I've created a simple report that displays Cost and Budget by Account number.


In our scenario let's say the business wants to only display values where there is negative variance.   To accomplish this, we'll first have to calculate variance (of course we do have a variance metric but I'm going to create a custom column for demonstration purposes).  Go to the Data Tab while in your report and Insert a Formula Column.


Variance is just Budget-Cost.   Set the format to Currency and click Create.


Now we only want to show the rows where the Calculated Variance is a negative number.   We can do that with a manual filter, but we don't want our users to have to filter every time... so we'll create another formula column to test for negative variance.

This results in a new column with Yes and No values


Part 2:

Now again, we want to show only the ones with a negative variance, which in our table would be the "Yes" values.  So we right click on the Neg Variance column and add it to the Filters 


Now that it's in the filters column, we can edit the filter to say what we want to display. All I have to do is right-click and Add it to Filters.


Once it's in the filters I can right-click to edit the filter



I'll need to set up a custom filter that matches the value I want to display (Yes).  Remember Apptio is case sensitive so the value you type in for the filter name, has to match the case and spelling of the value you're trying to filter for. 

Deselect everything but Yes and click OK



Now our report only shows those accounts with a negative variance (where Neg Variance column =Yes). 




Let's do a little final cleanup.  We don't really need our users to see the Neg Variance column... so we can go back to where it exists in the Values area, right click and hide the column.


I hope you've found this helpful.  




You've heard about the TBM Taxonomy. You're even familiar with its layers. But do you get "bogged down" in the multitude of terms, definitions, and their place within the taxonomy?  If you answered yes to this question, we have a solution for you--TBM Taxonomy Flashcards! This tool allows you to quiz yourself on TBM Taxonomy terms and definitions, while giving you a visual representation of where the terms belong within the layers of the taxonomy.  So follow the link, and get to flipping! TBM Taxonomy Flashcards


Find downloadable and customizable versions of the TBM Taxonomy Flashcards and poster at @Make It Yours.


Also, check out TBM Taxonomy Flashcards 3.0!

Hello Apptio Practitioners,


One question I'm often asked in Lab Assists and on Ask an Instructor  is "why don't my numbers in Servers and Hypervisors match the guide or the answer key?  What did I do wrong?  


Well the short answer is you may not have done anything wrong.  It's typcially related to slightly different allocation strategies since we're not giving you all the answers and are expecting you to figure some things our for yourself as you get farther along in your training.  But the question comes up enough that I want to explain why it happens using an example from the CT Apps and Services project. 


Let's say you configure your allocations from Physical Servers to Hypervisors and Servers as follows:



Some of you may get a result that looks like this:




While some of you may get different numbers.




So why does this happen, especially since in both cases the allocations from Physical Servers to Servers and to Hypervisors are identical?  Well it turns out, that the reason is back a couple steps in our project with the allocation from Data Centers to Physical Servers. You may think "but I've got the right number in physical servers"  and you're right, but sometimes its about the distribution of those dollars. 


To explain this, let's take a look at the allocation from Data Centers to Physical Servers that we did earlier in the project.  Let's say you allocate from Data Centers to Physical Servers using Location as your data relationship column... but you don't select any weighting value.  Apptio spreads the dollars from the Data Center line items to the respective Physical Server Line items evenly.  In the screenshot, I've filtered by Raleigh so you can see that every server in Raleigh gets the same $ amount.


Now let's change the allocation slightly.  I'll add a weighting factor to my allocation based on the CPU Cores and once again filter for Raleigh.  Notice how when it's weighted by CPU cores, the higher the number in the CPU Core column the more dollars are allocated.  Lower CPU Core numbers result in lower allocations.


The point is, regardless of which allocation strategy I use, I get the same number going from Data Centers to  Physical Servers:  


The difference is in the spread, and that comes out later when we allocate from Physical Servers to Servers and Hypervisors.  Because the $ allocated to each Physical Server line item are different in the different allocation strategies, the amount to send from specific line items in Physical Servers to Hypervisors or Servers are different, which changes the amounts in those subsequent allocations.


We can compare a specific line item.  Below is the project where I have a CPU Core Weighting in my DC to Phys Serv allocation.   I've filtered for HV1000272.  Notice that in my Cost column for that line item in the Source data,  I have $7352 to allocate.l



Now, if you look at the same line item in the project where I've not used the CPU Core Weighting and just let the dollars be spread evenly we get different results. Notice that we only have $2408 available to allocate from the HV100272 line item in Physical Server Master data to the relevant Hypervisor line item.  Of course this is going to change our results.   



The point is, different companies use different allocation strategies based on what is important to them. Spreading the dollars evenly, without a weighting is a perfectly valid allocation strategy although not quite as accurate and defensible as one that is based on an attribute of the data or on consumption. Note: If you're trying to fix your project to match the guide, you can do so by adding the CPU Cores weighting to the Data Center to Physical Server allocation.  


I hope this lesson on how the weighting factors can change your results has been helpful.  Let me know what you think!


Happy TBMing!



As a part of the RTBMA Learning Plan, the Introduction to Apptio course will showcase Apptio’s suite of SaaS applications for automating TBM and how Apptio empowers common roles in IT. In addition, the course covers how you can maximize your success by adopting TBM processes, and how you can connect with other practitioners.


With Apptio’s TBM applications built around ATUM, you can connect your data to pre-defined and useful reports that facilitate better and faster decision-making capabilities for your IT, Finance and Business Units.


Taking this self-paced class will prepare you for the courses that follow in the RTBMA Apptio University Learning Plans.


Share with your stakeholders


Length: 3 short videos (17 minutes)


Format: Self-Paced


Recognition Title: This course fulfills a requirement for the Recognized TBMA Certification

As always, Education Services is happy to provide you with best practices and communications to help you through your TBM journey. This Apptio User Rollout Training Plan developed by Jacinta Fraser at CBA highlights key milestones and opportunities to gain insight through training sessions, email communications, user guides, and more. The PowerPoint graphic is downloadable and completely customizable to suit your organization’s timeline. 


Be sure download this valuable resource!