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Maintaining governance plans

Platform governance

You must ensure your platform governance strategy does not lose track of websites on your platform after they launch. Long-term platform success depends on a successful launch, as well as training, testing, ongoing maintenance, and future enhancements.

Planning for documentation and training

When building a platform, you may often overlook the expense and time needed to create platform training and documentation. Having a large number of users on several different websites on a shared platform calls for more extensive, detailed documentation and training than required for a single website.

Review the following questions to consider as part of building your governance plan:

  • What is the scope of the required training and documentation?
  • How many individuals and teams will require training, and what is the frequency of the training and re-training?
  • Who produces, and manages the training and documentation materials?
  • Will delivering and managing training occur in a central location, or on a per-department or per-manager basis?
  • Will the management process for updating website documentation and training differ on a feature level?

Planning for testing and demo profile management

Your demo website or profile is typically where you and your users will test new features and perform user acceptance testing, automated testing, and training. Your governance plans must account for maintaining and using the profile, based on the following questions:

  • How will your organization use your demo website or profile?
  • What role, if any, does the demo website or profile need for training internal staff?
  • What role, if any, will the demo website or profile have with automated testing?
  • What role, if any, will the demo website or profile have with user acceptance testing of new features?

Planning for platform maintenance

Platform maintenance is the necessary, periodic work required to keep your completed platform functioning as originally designed. When creating your platform governance strategy, ensure you allot time and resources for the post-launch needs of your properties, and for the platform where they reside. Some questions you must consider when planning include the following:

  • Who will maintain your platform and its properties? Who will handle in-house or third-party maintenance?
  • Do the intended maintainers have the technical knowledge to perform the needed work? If not, how will you address the knowledge gap?
  • Are budget allocations for platform maintenance and platform enhancement separate or combined?
  • How will you handle bug fixes by priority?
  • How will you handle emergencies discovered outside of business hours?

Acquia’s Remote Administration team can handle typical and routine Drupal administration tasks, allowing your team to focus on completing other high-priority tasks, including platform enhancements.

Planning for platform enhancements

Unlike platform maintenance, platform enhancements are forward-looking plans to improve your platform by adding new features, improving current features, or resolving technical debt. You must consider the intended lifespan of the software packages on which your platform relies, including removing any reliance on software approaching end-of-life.

The following questions can help you refine your platform enhancement plans:

  • Are budget allocations for platform maintenance and platform enhancement separate or combined?
  • Will the same team who performs platform maintenance perform platform enhancements? If yes, what is the process for time allocation between the two projects?
  • Does the team creating platform enhancements have the business knowledge to accurately assess your organization’s future needs? If not, who can provide advice?
  • Does the team creating platform enhancements have the technical knowledge to create and plan upcoming platform enhancements? If not, how will you address the knowledge gap?