Review: Planning and Managing Drupal Projects by Dani Nordin

Want to know how to manage a project to build a website using Drupal? Planning and Managing Drupal Projects is a great choice, if you happen to be a Designer. According to Dani Nordin, the author of this tome, Designers often get put into the Project Management role alongside their Design role.

The book is very much focused on the needs of the Designer. This focus on the Designer is evident from the very first page, when Chapter One starts with a Quick And Dirty Guide to DrupalSpeak, which tells the Designer what a Node is and things like that. The next section? How to talk to clients about Drupal. The second chapter? Discussing User Experience design as it applies to Drupal.

Not being a Designer it's tough for me to gauge how well this book presents the challenge of Designing a Drupal website. However, reading about the Designer role was very interesting and I certainly appreciate the effort to start from the User Experience. These computers in front of us need to be friendly to people, and there is a lot of human factors to making a website appealing to humans, of course.

Nordin wrote this book in the first person, and it feels like she's sitting right next to you explaining things directly. This is refreshing from most technical books that put the writer standing behind a podium giving a lecture. Another feature is that scattered throughout the book are interviews with other Designers. Both aspects of the book give you reams of direct honest advice from people who've been in the thick of designing Drupal-based websites.

For example, in Chapter 3 Nordin told us a story of how her first Drupal project went astray because of her initial approach to the project. It wasn't until well into the project, when she started getting content from the client, that she realized the Design was all wrong.

The last part of Planning and Managing Drupal Projects are several useful worksheets to define the consulting/contracting arrangement between the Designer and their Client. Each part of these worksheets is carefully annotated so you understand how to write a Work Agreement, Project Proposal, Statement of Work, etc.

If it's important to you - Nordin doesn't describe any kind of Agile development process.

In all the book is full of helpful advice, based on experience gained in working on real projects. However, because it's so heavily focused on Designers it may not be helpful for non-designers.

You can buy it via this Affiliate Link: Planning and Managing Drupal Projects or via O'Reilly's website Planning and Managing Drupal Projects: Drupal for Designers, By Dani Nordin