Old dogs, new tricks: Supporting websites after launch
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.
Websites are never done. Website builds and rebuilds represent huge investments of resources, and keeping a site relevant for as long as possible is the clearest way to improve the initial ROI.
There are technical challenges to keeping an aging site alive, as all too often sites groaning with technical debt make additional feature development increasingly expensive. There are logistical challenges, too: the investment necessary to maintain a site can fluctuate from minimal security updates to substantial feature development. The only thing you can accurately predict about production support is that the work will not arrive in a steady, predictable stream.
A key challenge for a website owner is how to right-size the production support investment, rapidly ramping up and scaling back when necessary. For development shops, production support is often seen as a loss-leader: strategically important to be well-positioned for a client’s next major build, but not a strong and steady revenue stream.
We see consulting and support as an opportunity and a task that requires its own process; and we see the skillset necessary as its own discipline. Efficiently and effectively managing product support resources engages both client and agency in close communication leading to strategic decisions that take into account both short-term needs and long-term goals.
In this session we will discuss the challenges we encountered building our Consulting team, how we overcame them, and how we built our Consulting team from a strategically important, but inconsequential part of our business, to a dedicated team that does incredible client work and generates solid revenue from a collection of small tasks.
For the website owner, we will:
Demonstrate how incremental improvements can have a disproportionate impact, improving the long-term ROI for your website.
Present strategies to right-size your engagement with your website – rapidly ramp up engagement and scale back when necessary.
For the development shop, we will:
Share how we structure our relationship with clients in a way that makes scope creep mutually beneficial.
Frame production support as an opportunity, instead of an opportunity cost.