Executive Summary

The University website is implemented on the Polopoly CMS platform. Following on from previous work, in 2012 a project (UWS006) was completed to create a Drupal Proof of Concept Evaluation to evaluate the suitability of the Drupal CMS platform for the University website. The final report recommended that some further investigation be completed (UWP002 Drupal Further Investigation and Training) but that fundamentally Drupal offered an exciting range of opportunities for the future development of the University’s website. Following on from this project a business requirements exercise was undertaken to document the requirements for the new CMS UWP001 Drupal Business Requirements and Business Case.

This project will deliver the new University-wide CMS and migrate the current LIVE content from Polopoly to the new CMS. The CMS will be built based on the User Stories documented as part of the requirements gathering delivered and signed off during the project UWP001. 

Business Objectives, Deliverables and Success Criteria



Success Criteria



To deliver a new University-wide CMS that meets the needs of the user community based on the User stories as prioritised by UWP. The new CMS will provide better support for mobile devices and offer content producers an easier, more adaptable system, while also providing at least the equivalent level of functionality of Polopoly.



D 1.1

a. Deliver a new and improved CMS that allows the current devolved publishing model to continue functioning as outlined in the user stories (business requirements). The CMS must be easy to use by non-specialist and occasional editors.

b. The website delivered by new CMS must include a responsive design supporting mobile devices and provide an improved web experience for the website visitor.


  • Delivery of priority use cases; must deliver at least the equivalent functionality available in Polopoly.
  • Testing with CMS users throughout the development process


  • Delivery of a responsive design for a range of devices.
  • Testing with representative website users throughout the development process
D 1.2Implementation of new CMS to DEV, TEST, STAGING, TRAIN and LIVE environments. The new CMS infrastructure must support the service in a performant, scalable and resilient manner.
  • New CMS is deployed to all environments using established continuous integration processes
  • The infrastructure meets the requirements in terms of performance, scalability and resilience.
D 1.3Develop technical support materials and handover system support to Production Management
  • Support materials are documented and reviewed by all relevant support teams
Content Migration   


To migrate current LIVE content from Polopoly to the new Drupal based CMS. Also, to create a manageable/realistic transition plan that can be achieved with the resources available and within the timescales agreed


D 2.1Engage and consult with all units/schools using old CMS, so they understand steps involved and are prepared for the transition/migration when their turn comes. 
  • Units/schools informed of developments/timescales
  • Remedial work on content has been completed

D 2.1

Complete a full audit of all current websites and their content – activities to included quantify number of individual websites, their size, number of editors involved, etc.

  • Full audit complete to inform full migration plan

D 2.2

Initial editorial migration – following technical migration, review content to check that automated migration has worked properly, quantify the type and range of editorial activities required to make content fit the new site structure, content layouts and CMS editorial functionality.
  • Editorial migration is tested with changes to processes/tasks documented and reviewed
D 2.3Produce a robust and manageable migration process that can be tailored and repeated for all units currently publishing in old CMS/Polopoly.
  • Plan for 14/15 wide scale migration is delivered (based on experiences during initial migration)
D 2.4Rollout of migration process/activity – following the successful initial migration (both technical and editorial), work with each unit/school to successfully move content from the old CMS to the new CMS.
  • Implement migration plan to move schools and units to new CMS
D 2.5Decommission Polopoly
  • Polopoly to be moved to a read only state by Summer 2015
Training and Support   
O3To provide the required training and support infrastructure to allow UWP to support the new service and ensure that users are trained to publish content to the new CMS and that the new service is suitable for all levels of users.  
D 3.1Interface usability, design and development – to ensure interfaces are kept easy to use so that the training overhead is kept to a minimum.
  • CMS design pattern library in use as an ongoing working document .

  • UX techniques formalised/embedded in development processes

D 3.2Develop training and support materials and train initial users involved in the initial migration
  • Must be at least the same as existing Polopoly service
D 3.4Initial training delivery – support staff and initial users
  • Training framework in in place and users trained at appropriate point in the engagement process
D 3.5Rollout training delivery – regular training for all staff as each unit’s website is transferred from old to new CMS
  • Training plan is in place to ensure that users can publish and edit content as with the new CMS
D 3.6Deliver familiarisation/training for support staff to support service transition management
  • Support officers are training and familiar with new CMS
D 3.7Develop SLA and OLAs for the new Drupal Service
  • SLA and OLA for new service have been agreed
Change Advisory Board   
O4Establish a Change Advisory Board (CAB) to enable ongoing management and development of the core CMS whilst enabling local development contributions.  
D 4.1
  • Initiate CAB
  • Appoint chairperson
  • Assist CAB chairperson in appointing CAB members
  • Agreed terms of reference
  • Develop CAB processes including defining processes for technical peer group/UoE Open Source community to feed into the CAB decision making process
  • Agree frequency of meetings and assist CAB chairperson in scheduling initial meetings
  • CAB is set up
  • CAB members appointed
  • CAB members agree to terms of reference
  • CAB processes are confirmed
  • CAB engages with user community and discussions with local developers


CMS Service   
O5To increase the number of units/schools engaging with the central CMS service either directly or indirectly. In order to achieve this the new service should offer different levels of service and support according to the varying needs of different units/schools  
D 5.1The project should provide a core profile of Drupal modules that may be used and modified or further developed by units/schools out with the central service. Appropriate levels of support available from the central CMS will be defined.
  • Suitable service options are available for central supported units, non-core units/schools etc
  • There is a mechanism though the CAB for non-core units/schools to feedback their development for potential inclusion into the core profile
D 5.2Where possible liaison with other HE institutions using Drupal.
  • Engagement with other HE institutions in the UK and further afield to establish areas of common interest.



The scope of the project is to deliver a University-wide CMS using Drupal Open Source software, migrate the current LIVE content from Polopoly to Drupal and provide training materials and associated support related documentation for the new service. This project will be delivered over two years, however, the it is planned to go live with an initial site in July 2014 and continue development and migration throughout 2014/15. While the main focus of the migration will be from Polopoly, it is expected that some non Polopoly content will be migrated. Plans for migrating this non-Polopoly content will be made when details of the source system and content are made available by content owners. 

 Additional Information for key milestones

  • Development Phase 1 Review (Basic editorial functionality): At the end of phase 1 the CMS will have basic functionality. This will include basic editorial functionality, basic IA and basic user management.
  • Initial Launch Units/Websites Agreed: Websites that will form the initial launch are agreed with business units
  • Development Phase 2 Review (Content for reuse, basic dashboard, basic search. migration): At the conclusion of phase 2 the CMS will be enhanced with basic dashboard and search functions, the ability to reuse content, deletion and archiving and features to support migration. The principles of content types will also be defined.
  • Development Phase 3 Review (Themeing, advanced image and doc mgt, basic proxy functionality): The end of phase 3 will see the CMS include theming, advanced image and document management as well as additional editorial functions. Consolidated central user management and basic proxy functionality will also be delivered.
  • Migration Process Review: Migration process is tested, reviewed and agreed.
  • Initial Delivery: Agreed websites are migrated to new CMS
  • Development Phase 4 Review (Advanced/devolved user mgt, advanced dashboard, advanced proxy functionality): By completion of phase 4 advanced /devolved user management, advanced dashboard and search as well as advanced proxy functionality will be added to the CMS.
  • Initial Deployment Review: After this review of the initial deployment the complete migration plan will then be progressed.
  • Development phases 4, 5 and final build release, will include forms, feedback, additional CS customisation and potentially other outstanding “shoulds” and “coulds”




Build Milestones Sign Off

In addition to the core project team, the build milestones will be signed off by:

  • Project Sponsor (Dawn Ellis)
  • Product Owner (Neil Allison)
  • Senior User(s) (TBD)
  • Senior Supplier (Dave Berry) 


Migration Process

After the initial site launch and migration, the remaining websites in Polopoly will be continually migrated throughout 2014/15, as per the plan produced for the Migration Process Review. With over 80 sites to migrate the progress will be reported regularly to the Project Board. The migration process is expected to be largely automated with some editorial effort required after sites are migrated to the new CMS.

Out of scope This project will not include incorporating new websites who do not currently use Polopoly into the centrally provided CMS.


This is a funded project.

Project Info

New University-wide Web CMS
Z. ISG - University Website (UWP) (Closed)
Project Manager
Tim Gray
Project Sponsor
Dawn Ellis
Current Stage
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date