The ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘maybe’ of ‘Can we build that with Drupal?’

07/23/2015 - 11:15-07/23/2015 - 12:00
Session Track: 

Business and Strategy

The purpose of this track is two-fold - one angle helps you to understand the advantages of Drupal from an organizational leadership angle and the other is to highlight the great Drupal sites and projects you're working on and to show what's possible. These sessions are business focused, and will be non-technical.


Over the last five years, Drupal has made a huge splash in the Government sector and has quickly become the open source CMS platform of choice. If you’re not already using Drupal, it’s likely that it’s come up as an option. It’s a powerful and flexible framework, and because of this the answer to the question ‘Can we build this with Drupal?’ is usually ‘Yes’. That said…your ‘yes’ should sometimes be ‘It depends’.

Understanding the reasons why government has taken interest in Drupal is key to understanding how and where it is best used. Drupal has core strengths that line up with key needs, but there are things it doesn’t do well. How do you make sure that you’re not asking Drupal to do too much? Conversely, even if Drupal is the best choice, how do you make sure your architecture is sound, your project plan is tight, and your business strategy is appropriate?

We’ll look at some case studies from various levels of government from federal to local, examine the challenges faced, and review lessons learned. If your project needs to stretch Drupal to its breaking point, how do you mitigate the technical, project management, and business impacts? How do you weigh the pros and cons of using Drupal when you are planning a project, and what are the key warning signs in an RFP that warn against it? And even when the needs of the client project line up cleanly with Drupal’s core strengths, how do you identify the risk areas when it seems like a match made in heaven?   

Drupal is a powerful tool and can transform the work you do, but being educated as to its strengths and weaknesses protects you and your project, whether you are a contractor or contract officer, internal technology team or external developer.