Drupal At The ANU College Of Law

In 2010, the ANU College of Law migrated from a proprietary software environment to an open source Drupal environment. The project started slowly, encountering staff resistance to change from a known, but unwieldy and out-dated system.
Under the old environment, we had no content management system. No-one ‘owned’ our static web pages, which were rarely updated and frequently forgotten. When and if pages were updated, they were edited directly on the server, creating headaches for the IT department: corrupted files; rogue code appearing in the browser hidden behind the locally installed website administration tool; and connectivity issues between the client computers and the server
University pressure to adopt new corporate branding finally created an unstoppable impetus for change. We had to develop a unique, flexible project management approach to achieve stakeholder buy-in, user training and cultural adoption of Drupal.
As we moved our content into the new environment we transformed it into “chunks” of information that each had an owner and much more granular permissions. We changed our content structure almost completely in the new environment. The chunks of information became websites. These websites went through rigorous analysis and testing for approval. Our users were given websites they had to administer, granting them the authority to consider the type, currency, accuracy and adaptability of their content.
By working from the least important chunks upwards, we were eventually able to achieve not just a new website, but a new college commitment to marketing through the web. The Associate Dean now chairs a web working group tasked with ensuring that content is fresh and relevant; and our college community has finally begun to recognise the power of Drupal, testing us to extend and develop our own knowledge and skill of the platform.
Co-presenter: Ilona Van Galen

Business & Strategy
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