The process of migrating to a new CMS can seem like a daunting one. Especially when trying to make a seamless transition while at the same time ensuring all IT and marketing goals are achieved. That’s exactly what Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School had in mind when they made the decision to switch to open-source Drupal. Several factors influenced their decision including Drupal’s infrastructure based on common and current technologies, the ease of Drupal maintenance, the rise in popularity of Drupal in higher education and Drupal’s dynamic search and display options. Woodrow Wilson’s leadership needed to rebuild both their forward facing website and intranet while limiting overhead for its small, already overburdened IT department. It was this need that brought them to Blink Reaction and the Blink Institute.
Starting with introductory training for IT and Communications teams on Drupal, the Institute developed a comprehensive Adoption Plan for the entire school community. After interviewing stakeholders and reviewing business requirements the Institute created a series of recommendations and began working with the IT department to coordinate implementation. Next, the Institute completed a pre-launch usability upgrade that included in-line help and cheat sheets to ease the transition from the old system. The Institute then customized a series of existing training modules to create a custom-tailored curriculum for Woodrow Wilson content creators and content managers. In addition to training on how to use the Drupal interface, discussions also covered potential hosting solutions, custom installation, description of Drupal’s support community and many other practical tips that would help the staff at Woodrow Wilson continue to successfully maintain their Drupal site.
Training from the Blink Institute came in many forms including onsite Drupal training for their computing services and public and external affairs staff. Allowing Blink Reaction to offer onsite training helped stress the importance of tagging content and using the newly established internal style guide. Every class included an explanation of why Drupal was chosen, an overview of the new site, details regarding new authentication method, exposure to new editing tools and policy and procedures for using the new site. All customized curriculum was targeted to roles and tasks that were crucial for the maintenance of the Woodrow Wilson site. Upon completion, both teams continued to fine tune and develop help text, user documentation, screencast demos on topics specific to client needs, FAQs for Tier 1 support, train the trainer tips, email tips and an instructional video series for on-boarding new hires throughout the school community.
“The payoff around our adoption planning with the Blink Institute has been outstanding. We would have never achieved this level of satisfaction around our website or our intranet had it not been for their expert guidance and commitment to our success.”
– Catherine Cuff, Director of IT, Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University
Since the site launch, Woodrow Wilson school content creators, managers and the school community-at large have embraced Drupal wholeheartedly. Not only are more school community members using the sites and creating more departmental and user generated content than ever, the adoption rate is significantly faster than projected. Woodrow Wilson’s IT department has been able to continue working to enhance systems instead of losing time to Tier 1 service requests. There are also currently plans in place for Blink Reaction to provide external visitor support and adoption as well as continual system evolution.
Making the switch to a new CMS requires much more than just expert technology knowledge. As was demonstrated with the Woodrow Wilson School, organizations benefit from additional support, materials and customer service. That’s what makes Blink Reaction unique. We want our clients to be successful because they are our partners. If this sounds like your organization and you are considering making the transition to Drupal, let’s chat. We will guide you in a direction that is right for you and your organization.