Code & Platforms

Project Management for Sitecore vs. Drupal - A Comparison

11 May 2018, Maria Johansson

Two Hero Digital project managers writing on whiteboard

Being a Project Manager means exactly that – you manage projects. Staying organized is the universal language for success, and the approach to how you stay organized can be dictated by the circumstances of your project. When it comes to the differences between Content Management Systems (CMS), Drupal and Sitecore each present different challenges that can be summarized in two words for a Project Manager: setting expectations.

As a project manager, you are your client’s guide, collaborator, and educator. You have to work with the Business Analyst to tune in to your clients’ goals while also having the technical savvy (or access to people with the technical savvy) to advise a client appropriately. You role is to help bridge the gap between what the client wants and what technology can do, while staying on time and budget.

Sitecore

Sitecore is an enterprise CMS – it’s large, robust, and filled with functionality. It comes straight out of the box with a lot of things you might need – it has a framework that serves as the foundation upon which you can build the rest of your site. It comes with a lot of nifty features (like Sitecore Email Experience Manager, which integrates with Salesforce Marketing Cloud) that your client can use on their site with very little setup.

As a PM for a Sitecore project, one of the biggest challenges is to educate your client on what Sitecore can and cannot do. Understanding the many advantages and opportunities associated with Sitecore will help build a great site, and requires you to dive into the depths of Sitecore. There, you will need to connect the different paths and opportunities with the goals of your client’s site to ensure they get the biggest bang for their buck.

A second challenge is remaining within the framework of Sitecore – while edits and adjustments can be made and enhancements are constantly incorporated, if you want to do something different than their framework (or add to its framework), you need to work with Sitecore. This means that the PM on the Sitecore project must be familiar enough with Sitecore to cater to its strengths and find ways to get creative on other client needs

Overall, Sitecore is a great platform for your website, especially if you have heavy marketing or personalization design needs. The PM role of Educator, in this case, will encourage (and demand) that you learn as much about it as you can to help your client deliver a successful product to their users.

Drupal

Drupal is a highly flexible platform – with the Open Source community at the CMS’ fingertips, a solution can be found to most problems you can think of. These solutions come in different packages, too, and your role as a PM becomes understanding the capabilities and limitations of these options, along with how to approach business challenges by (possibly) combining several modules.

In your role as Guide, Drupal will offer you many opportunities to explore the jungle of modules and solutions (for example, Acquia’s Digital Asset Management platform) that take on an infinite number of approaches. There may be a point in your project where you are looking at five different modules needed for your site, but in the end, you need just one piece from each. This will require an insightful technical team to find the most efficient solution that meets the client’s goals.

Drupal has the great advantage of a community that can build out and release whatever they want, however they want, whereas Sitecore’s setup is more controlled. The challenge you face as a PM is sifting through what you don’t need, and finding the right solution for your client’s business goals and user’s needs.

While Sitecore requires you to dive deep into the framework of the platform, Drupal demands that you look at many different options and learn how to recognize what you need and what will not work for your site. This brings a lot of learning opportunities – both of things you should and shouldn’t do – that you can carry with you to your next project.

Need help bridging the gap between what you want and what your tech can do? Contact us.