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 confidently and quickly be up and running with their varied business processes. It is helpful to understand a few important elements of the Slate implementation process before attending Slate Launchpad.
| Best Practice - The best way to learn about Slate is to use it. A test environment may be provisioned 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, it is strongly recommended that certain tools be utilized in the production environment when initial work on a particular Roadmap box is completed.
The sooner staff begins to access and use the Slate administrator screens, the sooner their comfort level with Slate will begin to grow!
When to "Go Live"
One of the biggest differences between Slate and other systems is that Slate does not typically have one system-wide “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|
|Off-Campus Events*||April 15|
|Upload Dataset - Prospects*||May 1|
|Prospect Deliver Campaigns*||May 15|
|Upload Dataset - Applicants||June 1|
|Checklists/Student Status||August 1|
|Exports to SIS||October 1|
|Post-Decision Process||December 1|
* Alternatively, Slate Captains may opt to prepare all prospecting tools (inquiry form, events, prospecting email campaigns, etc.) and “go live” on the same day. Your Program Manager can help to strategize a smart “go live” schedule.
While Slate does offer a fully-featured test environment, it is a best practice to develop all business processes in the production database. Rest assured that these processes will not be available to the general public until they are ready. Furthermore, it is relatively easy and safe to adjust and manage data and procedures in the production database.