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How to Futureproof Your Next Project with Drupal Rector

A project manager’s guide to making your next site Drupal 9 ready

Photo of interlocking metal gears

Drupal Rector is a tool that’s designed to help automate Drupal code upgrades. While most of the information to date about using Drupal Rector has been written from a developer perspective, in this post, we’ll put on our project (or product) manager hats and see what it means for your project.

First, let’s set a common scenario:

  • As a project manager, you are responsible for scheduling maintenance and upgrades to your portfolio of Drupal sites and applications.
  • Staying on Drupal 8 introduces project risks once we enter 2021.
  • Moving to Drupal 9 compatibility as soon as possible guarantees the best return on your investment in the platform.
Chart showing security and bug fix support timeline for Drupal 7, 8, and 9
DrupalVersionsSupport by Drupal.org, licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0.

With these factors in mind, what does Rector mean for your project? Let’s take a look:

  • Rector is a set of tools for automatically updating the PHP code that runs your Drupal site.
  • Drupal Rector is a set of tools specifically targeted at Drupal 9 compatibility.
  • Your development or support team can use Drupal Rector to help prepare your site for Drupal 9.
  • You can start today, getting in front of future risk.
  • Your team can contribute to the health and stability of the Drupal project by contributing to Drupal Rector.

What might a project plan look like? First, look at the resources you have. If you have developers, they can take one or more of the following steps:

At Palantir, we have focused on step 1 in order to enable our Managed Support team to perform steps 2 and 3. We work in Kanban sprints with a small team, and we have seen measurable progress in as little as a week.

Taking such a proactive approach as a project manager is a great way to ensure continued project success. As Drupal 8 will likely no longer receive community support after Q4 2021, taking steps to support Drupal 9 now will save your organization time and money in the future. It is also a great opportunity to contribute to the Drupal project and get organizational credit for doing so. 

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

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