Get off your Agile treadmill and build a community instead.

Tim Gray

It’s time to take a fresh approach to project management. Stop gazing inwards, incessantly tweaking internal project processes but get out and use your skills to build a community.

If your project management approach never changes and your team looks tired and jaded it’s time to look beyond a strictly Agile approach, be more creative and use the power of the community (and yes that includes Drupal!)  to refresh your team.

Learn how to progress products quicker by taking full advantage of everything that Project Management has to offer while making the best use of your community’s resources.  Encouraging flexible informal feedback doesn’t mean you can’t also apply a rigorous change management process to handle new functionality in as objective a way as possible. It’s this process that allows us to enhance the user experience of both our Content Management System and the visitors to our website.

We’ll take a new look at continuous improvements and how you should be applying this to your community building (whether this be clients, users or your team) as well as your products. So not just building services and functionality but organising events and engaging with the people that use your software and websites as well.

The University of Edinburgh has a large devolved development community, a bit like an open source one, with the same obvious wealth of talent and experience. When we turned to Drupal we could see the power of community development and immediately wanted to make code sprints a part of our development approach. We’ll show you why you should be doing the same.

Code sprints for us are not just about getting work done but building community spirit and team morale, encouraging and supporting knowledge transfer, and upgrading everyone’s skills.

We had some hurdles to overcome so we’ll be exploring these and how to avoid them and we’ll look at what governance models you can put in place to stop everything descending into chaos.

We’ve used this approach to deliver over 300 websites in a central service and have also allowed our internal business units to take a Drupal distribution, customise it to suit local needs, and ultimately to feed this work back to benefit everyone. What we want to encourage is a developer working to meet his immediate departmental needs but then feeding back to meet the University needs and then hopefully on further to meet global needs of Drupal as well.

What'll you'll take away

  • Take a new look at your approach to project management and how to harness the power of the community.
  • Lean to think creatively and use the best bits from the open source community.
  • Stop it falling apart by adding layers of governance and project management.

Topics to be covered:

  • Combine strong project management skills with community led flexibility and creativity.
  • The use of change management and a Change Advisory Board
  • Encouraging developers to contribute back to Drupal by submitting code but also by actively participating in the Drupal community e.g. hosting events.


Session Track

Project Management

Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 - 14:15 to 15:15
Schubert 4-5