No big bang: In-Place, iterative, site and process migration

the greenman

In 2014 we were approached by a large multinational corporation to save their website. They had commissioned a large agency to build the site and had received what they asked for: useless but pretty pages that mirrored a set of photoshop files. Rebuilding from scratch would have only ended up in a similar situation because the underlying problem was as much organisational process as it was technology. Over the course of a year our small team iteratively replaced the underlying site without any downtime. In the process we evolved the organisation’s digital governance and management to allow them to begin to create a practical, digital strategy.

The talk will cover our experiences over the course of the year, revealing some of our “lessons”, and our strategy for the next phase.

  • High level site auditing process

  • Digital risk analysis

  • Initial system triage

  • Product management

  • Digital roadmapping

  • Pragmatic testing processes

  • Dependable releasing 

  • Communicating the long term priorities with management

Unfortunately, poorly implemented Drupal projects by large agencies are a good source of business for an experienced Drupal shop. Successful migrations often involve not just migrating code and content - but also migrating the client’s processes and thinking.  


Peter Brownell is CEO of Code Positive. He established the UK Drupal community and has been a professional developer for 20 years. Over the last 10 years he has built has trained many Drupal teams, established a government recognised Drupal apprenticeship and built one of the first UK education startups. Since 2012 he has been working with a number of large digital agencies around the world to help them understand software development processes. 

Session Track

Case Studies

Experience Level


Drupal Version