Drupal CMS Update: Project Booted Eagle Soars

Over the past few months, we’ve all been working together to tease out requirements and strategize about the new Content Management System. Now we’re just about ready to release the RFP (DOC, login required. Please note: this is a draft).

All of us here at the Forum office, with input from the regionals, have been working very closely with our counterparts at the Council to define a system that meets the diverse needs of all our organizations.  It has to meet the requirements of new RAs joining the initiative and strengthen the collaboration and knowledge sharing between RAs and colleague organizations such as the Council.

Together we have identified Drupal as our open source content management system of choice. Because the CMS we develop will be an open system, each RA will be free to work with any Drupal developers they choose for their own site development, as long as the template and modules developed adhere to the rules of interoperability established in the platform design.

Phase 1 will encompass the development of the Council website, development of the Forum and pilot RA sites, and replicating and refining the functionalities currently on the Forum’s KM system, including interoperability among the RA sites.

The goal of Phase 1 is to build the CMS platform for all of us.  The vendor we will select in this phase will serve all of us, but each individual RA and the Forum is free to select other vendors to design and implement their own websites, and develop new modules and functionality as they see fit.  If we like the selected vendor, we can choose to work with it as well—the choice is ours.

We heard you loud and clear—it’s all about having a choice.

Also, we’ll be looking for a few volunteers to be pilots.  We’re thinking the pilots should include several current KM Partners and possibly several non-KM Partners to work with us in 2011 and report back to the regionals on their progress.  We hope to start enrolling other interested RAs in late 2011 and 2012.

To manage the process of vendor selection, we are proposing the formation of a Joint CMS Working Group with four representatives from the Council and four from the Forum and Regional Associations. The Forum/RA representatives will act as the voice of all regionals in this process.

We also recommend that the CMS Working Group be authorized to allocate resources from the joint fund for project management, collective customizations, and other activities related to this project. While this group will be taking the lead on many decisions, including selecting vendors to receive our RFP and narrowing the responses down to a group of finalist, we want to keep the lines of communication open and make sure your opinions are conveyed in these discussions.

If you have any recommendations on how to streamline or improve this process, we are open to them. This working group has only been proposed and is not yet approved so now is the time for brilliant ideas and changes to the group’s structure.

Got questions? Suggestions? Hit us up in the comments.

Photo by Muchaxo via Flickr (Some rights reserved)


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