Secondary week by week guide to moving to Arbor - weeks 1-10

Welcome to Arbor!

Congratulations on choosing Arbor as your new MIS and welcome to the Arbor community!

This guide will give you all the information you need to get you up and running on Arbor. Your dedicated Project Manager will be here to support you every step of the way.

Weeks 1 to 3 - Plan

Week 1

What happens this week?

To begin your implementation you will have a Kick Off call to introduce you to your Project Manager. You will get access to your ‘Implementation Workbook’, which will be your key document to make sure your school gets the most out of the implementation!

To enable you to see how your data will look on Arbor as soon as possible, please submit your first data back up.

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Meet your Project Manager and book a Discovery Meeting with them
  • Upload your first data backup
  • Assign roles and responsibilities within your school team and start thinking about who will be your Arbor Champions!
  • Fill in the ‘Roles & Responsibilities’ and ‘School Systems Audit' tabs in your Implementation Workbook

Top tip for week 1!

Look at each tab of the implementation workbook and make sure you have completed all the information that you can at this point to kick the project off.


Week 2

What happens this week?  

In week 2 you will have your Discovery Meeting to develop a shared success plan and book dates in for key milestones. You will go through the information that you added to the workbook in week 1. This is also an opportunity to get your training booked in so get your diaries ready!

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Develop your shared success plan alongside your Project Manager
  • Access your timeline with dates for key milestones
  • Book training
  • Arrange a convenient date for regular progress meetings with your Project Manager
  • Make a plan with your Arbor Champions for a smooth change management process
  • Notify third parties of the move to Arbor

Top tip for week 2!

The sooner you can let your whole school team know you’re moving to Arbor, the better! Take a look at our Change Management guide for some tips on how to get staff on board with the changes ahead.

Having an open forum for people to ask questions and understand more about why you decided to move can help with the change, and ensure people know what their role will be in making Arbor a success at your school and what their roles and responsibilities will be in the coming weeks.

Week 3

What happens this week?  

By week 3 you should have access to your first dummy site. Your Project Manager will provide you with login details and a URL so you can log on and see what your new system will look like! Now that the implementation is well underway, you will have your first progress meeting with your Project Manager. They will show you the data cleansing and data checking steps which you can then start to work through in your implementation workbook.

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Get your team excited about the move by sharing online training resources and videos

  • Provide the Project Team with login details for the test site so they can take a look at Arbor

  • Prepare a plan to check your data over the next few weeks, the sooner you are able to complete these checks the better as there is more time to resolve any issues

  • Ensure all training attendees know when the sessions are and how to access them

  • Confirm that you are happy with how business roles and permissions have migrated for staff members

Top tip for week 3!

Make sure that users do not send comms from the Arbor dummy site as these will go out to real (and confused) parents/guardians. If you are worried about users doing this you can restrict sending permissions.

Weeks 4 to 8 - Prepare

Week 4

What happens this week?  

In week 4 you will be working through the data cleansing and data checklists in your workbook. Some of the differences that you spot can be resolved by cleaning up the data in your current system ready to check again when your next data backup is uploaded.

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Progress meeting
  • Check data counts are the same in your current system and Arbor.
  • Notify third parties of the MIS change

Top tip for week 4!

Getting your Arbor Champions involved in the data checking process will not only make the checks more thorough but will also help staff get used to navigating their areas of the new system.

Week 5

What happens this week?  

In week 5 you will complete your data cleansing and checking and will be ready to send a second dummy data backup. Your training should have started by now, so expect to start getting questions from inquisitive staff! Your Project Manager will be on hand to direct you to the right place for any queries.

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Progress meeting

  • Complete first phase of data cleansing and checking

  • Make sure staff are getting the most out of their training sessions and share any recordings of the sessions to those who may have missed them

  • Upload second data backup

Top tip for week 5!

Get reports ready to make data counting on your second dummy data run easier and quicker.

Week 6

What happens this week?  

You are more than halfway towards Go Live! Your second data backup will be loaded into your Arbor dummy site ready for you to view the results of your data cleansing and check any issues that have now been resolved.

Where on the timeline are we?



Actions for this week

  • Progress meeting
  • Check how the updated data looks on your dummy site and complete checks in the workbook

Top tip for week 6!

If your school will be using Arbor’s Parent Portal, this is a good opportunity to test it out by creating a Guardian using your email address on your test site.

Week 7 

What happens this week?  

In week 7 you might want to provide access to the system to your wider staff team. It’s a good idea for staff to work through their current workflows to make sure they can access everything required for their role at Go Live, and so that they can get to know how Arbor works.

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Progress meeting
  • Continue training sessions

Top tip for week 7!

Check out the Top Things to Consider Before Go Live (Secondary) article here for things to look out for on your second dummy site and common queries that schools have when using Arbor for the first time. You can also take a look at the free resources available on the Help Centre.

Make sure that users do not send comms from the Arbor dummy site as these will go out to real (and confused) parents/guardians. If you are worried about users doing this you can restrict sending permissions. To make sure unwanted comms don’t get sent, don’t turn on emails / SMS in the behaviour workflows yet.

Week 8

What happens this week?  

As you are only a couple of weeks from going live with Arbor your school’s project team and Executive Sponsor will meet with your Project Manager to make sure you are on track, go through the plan for go live, and review any risks.

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Project Review 
  • Set up trial behaviour and assessments (if using from Go Live)
  • Continue training sessions
  • Make sure all third parties are ready for your move to Arbor

Top tip for week 8!

Make sure each team knows how they are going to configure their area of the system by running through our “8 Ways to Customise Your New Arbor MIS” here.


Weeks 9 to 10 - Deploy

Week 9

What happens this week?  

It’s the week before you go live!

Make sure you have completed your data checks and counts from the second data backup and make any final tweaks to your existing data so it is in perfect condition ready for your move to Arbor! You will receive a backup reminder confirming the date for the final data backup to be sent to Arbor and when you will lose access to the dummy data. Make sure you record data counts from your existing MIS as close to the time of uploading the final data cut as possible so you are comparing accurate information once your Arbor site is ready. 

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Progress call
  • Finish checking data in second dummy site
  • Data counts for the final data run
  • Make sure plans are in place for your go live
  • Send final backup

Top tip for week 9!

Time for a dress rehearsal! Duplicate some data entry and workflows (e.g. taking a register, amending student details) in both your existing system and Arbor to get used to using the new system and plan any process changes.

Week 10

What happens this week?  

It’s almost time to go live with Arbor! You will do your final data checks and counts on the live system (you should be a pro at this by now!) and get ready to start taking attendance next week. You can start configuring any priority modules you have planned to use(e.g. assessments, behaviour) ready for go live. 

Where on the timeline are we?


Actions for this week

  • Sign off data checks and counts in live Arbor MIS
  • Set up any priority modules needed for Go Live

Top tip for week 10!

Anything entered into your current MIS after you take your final backup will migrate to Arbor. You should communicate this to your team to avoid any surprises!

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