Nicole Lind gives an overview of the hidden challenges innate to making the switch from an existing CMS to Drupal. Includes common misunderstandings, personality types, and organizational change issues
Doublespeak is language thatdeliberately disguises, distorts, or reversesthe meaning of words.Doublespeak may take the form ofeuphemisms (e.g., “downsizing” for layoffs),making the truth less unpleasant. From Wikipedia (paraphrased)
Understanding Implication:DrupalDoublespeak Your site is practically already built!“There’s a Truth:Module forThat!” You’re going to need plenty of development work to get the custom look and functionality you have in mind.
Understanding Implication:DrupalDoublespeak “Of course the designs are ﬁnal”. Just a few tweaks are“Final designs” expected and shouldn’t impact functionality. Truth: Even small design changes can introduce signiﬁcantly new functionality.
Understanding Implication:DrupalDoublespeak The new CMS will be completely customized, but“Flexibility” should act like shrink wrapped software with documented manuals and no bugs. Truth: Your Drupal CMS is often custom-made. It will require a debugging period and custom documentation.
Understanding Implication:DrupalDoublespeak Drupal is free! Of course it’s going to be cheaper!“Cost Savings” Truth: Every project is unique. While Drupal is free, the development, support, and hosting of your project is not. Savings (and costs) will vary.
Understanding Implication:DrupalDoublespeak There are Drupal developers everywhere!“There’s talent all Truth:over the world” Hiring and maintaining Drupal talent is getting harder and harder no matter where your organization operates
Evangelist Description Brought Drupal to the organization or pushed for a major over hall of the existing implementation Caveats Depending on how they “sold” Drupal (which is often an oversell with Drupal Speak terms) to the organization will determine how to handle the rest of the tribe members. What to do with them Manage expectations and bring everyone back to reality
Passive- Description Expresses aggression in non-Aggressive assertive (i.e. indirect) ways Caveats Although not a very vocal tribe member, the passive aggressive often uses subversive emails and conversations to pass blame and avoid doing their job What to do with them Point out the inconsistency between their words and actions
Openly Hostile Description Openly antagonistic to the project. They will be the ﬁrst person to say I told you Drupal was a bad idea Caveats Often motivated by fear and they often feel they should be leading the project effort What to do with them Assign an important job in the project to this person or completely eliminate them. There is no sitting on the fence or shades of grey
Know-it-All Description Often a very experienced technical person but they are new to Drupal. Caveats Confusion drives this person and they will complain about the inadequacies of Drupal but not really know Drupal What to do with them Train these people as soon and as much as possible!
Apathetic Description The apathetic will sit on the sideline and make no meaningful contribution to the project Caveats Usually much of the editorial staff is apathetic and unfortunately they don’t say much about the CMS until the new product is already built What to do with them Preview as much of the early build through demos and test accounts
The Protector Description Keeper of the budget and sustains the migration effort through resourcing Caveats Sometimes unclear who this member is and how much power they have What to do with them Make this tribe member your friend. Take them for dinner and drinks. Schmoozing!
The Chief Description The mover off all things related to the migration effort. Understands the strategy, language and players associated with getting the job done Caveats Not always well liked and may need to be hard on other tribe members What to do with them Empower this tribe member with real authority
Understanding Changein the Drupal TribalCommunityKey Considerations
People are scared.Tough changes can make peopleredundant, threaten jobs andrequire the restructuring of theorganization
Speed of change matters.Slow is usually easier, but manyweb projects require urgency andspeed to market
People react differently.Some are more impacted bychange and sometimes do notcope well; may act out, taking ontribe roles of the openly hostileor passive aggressive member.
Change is inherently risky.It should be managed with careand professionalism
Migrating is InherentlyRisky and What To DoEvolving People andLanguage Through RiskAssessment
Identifying the most common risks Risks Potential Impacts No Drupal experience Cost Unknown dependencies Schedule Scheduling Performance Double data entry Unidentiﬁed block behavior Old legacy system has no clear migration path Lack of clear content mapping
Survey users andstakeholders for additionalpotential risk✦ Don’t forget members of the technical team (including developers, system administrators and hosting partners).✦ Take time to understand editor and content contributor processes and expectations for the admin.
Setting up a risk trackingmethod Many formats available on the web; Google “risk analysis” or “risk assessment” for ideas. Most often includes tracking risk for Likelihood of occurring and Impact on the project; impact could be ﬁnancial, timeline, or quality of the outcome
Likelihood deﬁnitionsLikelihood description Percentage of possibilityAlmost certain > 95%Likely 65% to 95%Possible 35% to 65%Unlikely 5% to 35%Rare < 5%
Impact deﬁnitionsImpact DescriptionVery serious An event whose occurrence will impact the project’s cost, schedule or feature set so severely that the project will be terminated.Serious An event that seriously impacts (more than 10%) project budget, feature set and/or schedule; alternately denotes serious loss in required functionality that will be unacceptable to business stakeholders.Moderate An event that, if it occurs, will cause a modest change to the project’s technical architecture, a modest loss of some non-critical functionality, and/or a modest loss of some non-critical operational performance requirements. Minimum acceptable requirements will be achieved. Budget and/or schedule loss will be less than 10%.Minor An event that, if it occurs, will cause small cost (and/or schedule) increases that, in most cases, can be absorbed by the project. Little to no loss of required functionality.
Sample risk assessmentRisk Likelihood ImpactUnnecessary project hours (budget) Likely Minorspent waiting for stakeholderapprovalsEmerging requirements after Likely Moderatediscovery completed which couldimpact timeline, budget and qualityHosting solution is not “approved” as Almost certain Very Seriousof yetNo clear migration path of existing Almost certain Seriouscontent from old CMS which putstimeline at signiﬁcant risk
Common sense plans thathelp reduce risk Set clear and measurable goals Conduct a project discovery Provide as much training and documentation as budget and schedule allows
Setting clear andmeasurable goals“We are moving “We expect to “One of the mainto Drupal save a lot of goals of thisbecause we want money moving project is toour CMS to be to Drupal.” double ourmore ﬂexible.” traffic the ﬁrst month after launch.”
Setting clear andmeasurable goals Unclear“We are moving “We expect to “One of the mainto Drupal save a lot of goals of thisbecause we want money moving project is toour CMS to be to Drupal.” double ourmore ﬂexible.” traffic the ﬁrst month after launch.”
Setting clear andmeasurable goals Unclear Not Speciﬁc“We are moving “We expect to “One of the mainto Drupal save a lot of goals of thisbecause we want money moving project is toour CMS to be to Drupal.” double ourmore ﬂexible.” traffic the ﬁrst month after launch.”
Setting clear andmeasurable goals Unclear Not Speciﬁc Unrealistic“We are moving “We expect to “One of the mainto Drupal save a lot of goals of thisbecause we want money moving project is toour CMS to be to Drupal.” double ourmore ﬂexible.” traffic the ﬁrst month after launch.”
Setting clear andmeasurable goals Goals need to be speciﬁc and realistic to help set expectations for success of the project. Goals also focus our attention on higher priority activities versus lower priority activities.
Project discovery… Helps stakeholders and implementation teams to understand the real needs of the migration project Is ideal for ﬂeshing out the unknowns (risk) of a project. Can be as short or long as needed, but should be done regardless
Training & DocumentationBudgets and timelines generally don’tcover the real outlay for training anddocumentation…which is a risk.
More efﬁcient delivery Create inline documentation as much as possible. Saves time and money relative to creating documentation in two places. Regularly demo functionality for stakeholders. These sessions can be recorded and used for future training and documentation needs. Maintain a central repository for all project documents.
Putting everythingtogetherRisk Likelihood Impact Mitigate PlanUnnecessary project hours Likely Minor No(budget) spent waiting forstakeholder approvalsEmerging requirements after Likely Moderate Yes Implement ticketing system thatdiscovery completed which could tracks changes to features. System should be able toimpact timeline, budget and identifying bugs fromquality improvement requestHosting solution is not Almost Very Yes Push launch timeline out 3 weeks“approved” as of yet to account for delay. certain Serious Communicate to all project stakeholdersNo clear migration path of Almost Serious Yes Start looking for outside vendorsexisting content from old CMS that specialize in data migration certainwhich puts timeline at signiﬁcantrisk
Distributing and publishingthe risk and mitigation plans✦ Initial risk assessments should be placed in the project discovery documentation (if one is conducted)✦ On-going risk assessments should be shared with project stakeholders through meetings, email, scrums, etc.✦ Once new risk are communicated the document should be updated and saved to the central document repository (i.e. Google docs, Basecamp, etc.)
Final thoughts✦ Be patient✦ Understand the people and language of the community moving to Drupal✦ Be sensitive to how other tribal members deal with change
#1 Key Takeaway Identifying and managing risk isthe most effective way to evolveyour community and successfully migrate to Drupal