Closure Report

Project Summary

This project objectives and deliverables are listed in the table below. The project started with a visit to the September 2017 Drupal Conference. The team comprising of colleagues from Website and Communications in LTW Directorate, Development Services, Production Management, and Project services in Applications Directorate, attended sessions covering an array of Drupal 8 technology and business topics. Bruce Darby and Tim Gray also presented a session titled "Get off your Agile treadmill and build a community instead". This was a unique opportunity for the University to present their Drupal journey to an international audience. 

After a pause due to resources working on other projects, mainly, UWP021 Implement GPDR Compliance Requirements, the project team tackled the objectives and deliverables as outlined in the project brief and detailed below: 



Success Criteria


 Outcome Achieved


Implementation Strategy

To deliver a collection of documents that can be used by the implementation project to upgrade EdWeb from D7 to D8. 





Conduct a big picture review of D8. Analysing what D8 offers out of the box. 

Gap analysis is completed and documented


  1. Documented in several work-packages Drupal 8 Workshop Outcomes
Partially; some additional analysis of Drupal 8 Distributions remained outstanding as the focus changed towards the end of the project. 


Complete a module review covering our custom modules, which contrib modules are in D8 core.

All contrib modules used in EdWeb are reviewed, highlighting which modules are in D8 core and identifying modules that need replaced. All custom module are reviewed.


  1. Local Environments have been updated for Drupal 8
  2. Development Branch EdGel for Bootstrap 4 (access to GitLab required)
  3. UWP Investigation into Drupal Distributions presented during Druapl8 Workshop, further actions noted in WP 


Create the Technical Architecture Document

TAD is signed off by all technical stakeholders


  1.  Infrastructure Considerations for Drupal 8 
Partially; A full TAD was not produced progress with Containerisation overall, i.e. out with this project, has not progressed s expected.


Review of Information Architecture (IA).

Areas for improvement in the IA have been identified with an options appraisal for changes to the IA.

The reason for the IA review is that the most heavily customised area of EdWeb is the menu structure and associated permissions.  That is the area which poses the greatest challenge for any migration in terms of complexity because customisations need to be migrated to D8.  An IA review that can bring EdWeb's IA closer to the way content is organised in vanilla Drupal will be a significant help. 


  1. A large part of this work still to be completed by UWP, However, the Drupal 8 Workshop documented work to date. 
Partially; as noted to the right, a lot of this work remains outstanding and was not completed as the focus changed towards the end of the project. UWP will be undertaking a wider requirements gathering exercise in early 2019. 


High-level implementation plan (including resource estimate).

An implementation plan and estimation for the move to D8 is delivered and signed off by the project team


  1. Resource & implementation plan
Yes, however, this plan is already outdated as funding was not secured and the focus changed towards the end of the project. 


Opportunity and Risk

Analyse and document areas of opportunity and risk.





Create a Risk Log with as much detail as possible covering potential risks and threats to the upgrade as well as opportunities that the upgrade presents. 

For example:

  • Risks; Groups and permissions considerations when moving to D8 Migration form  
  • Opportunities; what does D8 offer out of the box to avoid specific customisation. 

Risk Log is created. All log entries are clearly identified as risk or opportunity with information when risk/opportunity may arise, the options for dealing with it and who will is responsible for risk/opportunity. 


  1. SWOT Analysis Workshop


Service Management Identify areas where service improvements can be achieved. 





Review the deployment process for EdWeb and the Distribution to identify opportunities to increase efficiency (time) and reduce costs when deploying security patches and/or code updates.

Opportunities are identified and we have a clear idea if these are achievable with our structure.


  1. Two Drupal 8 Contribution Days have been held. This first collaborating with Thunder at the Drupal Camp Scotland event in May, and the second one we hosted ourselves at the Business School. While this was not directly related to the Drupal 8 work, it was a further step in the collaboration work across the organisation.
Partially; although any decisions on the deployment and distribution processes cannot be made until the System Design for Drupal 8 is completed in the next project.


Analysis of the impact of any changes on the Service

Analysis completed with areas for improvement identified


  1. Further work identified during Drupal Workshop Outcomes. This work will be progressed outside this project as part of the wider Web Strategy development. 
Partially; additional work on this will be completed as part of the next steps by UWP, taking the proposals web strategy into consideration. 


Drupal 8 End of Life

The graphic below states the end of life dates for Drupal 7 and Drupal. These were published during the latter part of the project.

 Source: Dries Buytaert 


Some discussion was held about the possibility of moving form Drupal 7 directly to Drupal 9. However, this was deemed to large a jump. The move and migration between Drupal 8 and 9 is anticipated to be much smaller than between Drupal 7 and 8 thus migrating to Drupal 8 first reduces complexity, risk and cost.

The emergence of a Web Strategy for the University's web estate will influence the future development of EdWeb. The strategy maps out a path for how the University manages a wide range of services relating to the website not only the centrally hosted CMS EdWeb.

Analysis of Resource Usage:

Staff Usage Estimate: 100 days (at end of planning)

Staff Usage Actual: 157 days

Staff Usage Variance: 57%


The outcomes for the individual deliverables can be accessed through the link in the table above. 

Explanation for variance

As shown in the diagram above more time was allocated to Software Development, Devtech and project management. This allowed more effort into Drupal 8 investigation and also into containerised infrastructure. The additional project management reflects the longer time frame for the project. 

Key Learning Points

  1. The process of identifying work streams and the workshops worked particularly well.  
  2. At the outset of the project, it was expected that other services/projects would be the first to use containerisation well ahead of Drupal 8 going into production.  It has transpired that these projects (API and MyEd) have not progressed the use of containerisation so much of the research work was picked up by this project.
  3. The situation with Drupal 8 funding remains unclear, with no funding provided in 2018/19. Learning, Teaching and Web have submitted a bid for funding into the 2019/20 planning round. While this did not directly impact on the outputs of the project is definitely had a negative impact on the project's momentum and team morale. 

Outstanding Issues

  1. While the project completed a lot of work and delivered outputs on the objectives, some areas were not progressed as detailed as the team would have envisaged at the outset.   
  2. The plan under D1.5 is a like for like development and migration of EdWeb to Drupal 8, This does not take into consideration the overlap between this development and the delivery of a Web Publishing Platform which is planned in the Web Strategy. 
  3. Two areas of change within the CMS namely Navigation and Information Architecture (IA) proved particularly difficult to pin down. As noted above the Web Strategy outlines fundamental changes in the way web estate is managed. The Website and Communications team are embarking on a requirements gathering project in the first half of 2019, this will include the areas of navigation and IA.

Project Info

Drupal 8 Implementation Planning
Z. ISG - University Website (UWP) (Closed)
Management Office
Project Manager
Tim Gray
Project Sponsor
Stratos Filalithis
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Programme Priority
Overall Priority