Slate Implementation Strategies

Slate's clean, functional design ensures that users do not need technical expertise to maximize its powerful capabilities.  The intuitive interface and straightforward systems simplify training needs and empower users to stand up their business processes quickly. It is helpful to understand a few important elements of the Slate implementation process before attending the Fundamentals of Slate training.

  Best Practices

The best way to learn about Slate is to use it. Users may provision a test environment to try out tools and build and test processes with actual data in a playground. While it may feel daunting to “go live” before every part of the admissions process is built, we recommend using certain tools in your production environment when initial work on a particular Roadmap box is completed.

The sooner staff access and use the Slate administrator interface, the sooner their comfort level with Slate will grow!

Time Commitment

The time required to implement Slate depends on the project timeframe and the resources you allocate throughout the implementation. In general, the more aggressive the timeframe, the more time Slate Captains need to devote to Slate.

Slate is process-built, allowing individual institutions to customize every step of their operations. Proper time allocation is necessary and the best way to gain knowledge of the system fundamentals. By devoting the necessary time to implementation, you ensure the success of your project.

Make a commitment to building a strong knowledge of all basic functionality in your first year. Focusing on Slate tools allows Slate Captains to move through the implementation as efficiently as possible. Many institutions start an implementation thinking that their multi-step process must be replicated precisely in Slate. However, as Captains learn more about the Slate tools, they often realize that those historical processes may be translated into Slate more simply. 

When to "Go Live"

One notable difference between Slate and other systems is that Slate does not typically have one systemwide “go live” date. Slate is designed to “go live” gradually as tasks on the Slate Roadmap are accomplished. For example, when an inquiry form and on-campus events are set up, these may “go live” before the interviewing process is ready to launch.

A sample Slate “go live” schedule may look like this:

Tool / Process "Go Live" Date
Inquiry Form* February 1
On-Campus Events* March 1
Interviews/Trips* April 1
Off-Campus Events* April 15
Upload Dataset - Prospects* May 1
Prospect Deliver Campaigns* May 15
Upload Dataset - Applicants June 1
Application July 1
Checklists/Student Status August 1
Reader September 1
Exports to SIS October 1
Decisions November 1
Post-Decision Process December 1

* Alternatively, Slate Captains may prepare all prospecting tools (inquiry form, events, prospecting email campaigns, etc.) and “go live” on the same day. Your Client Success Manager can help strategize a smart “go live” schedule. 

Test Environments

While Slate offers a fully-featured test environment, developing all business processes in the production database is best practice. Furthermore, adjusting and managing data and procedures in the production database is relatively easy and safe. Rest assured that these processes will not be available to the general public until they are ready.

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