Introducing Pantheon 180: We're Changing More Than Our Website

Pantheon 180 is a project to update our website and refresh our brand iteratively, by adopting WebOps over 180 days. Part of this involves taking a critical look at our technologies, our processes, and the way our teams work together. In the name of transparency, we're sharing our story.

"It's a beautiful chaotic story. This is our journey" — Christy Marble, Pantheon CMO

We're a marketing team. No, we're a business challenging ourselves to reach our fullest potential. Maybe you've tried this, too. But instead of potential, it feels like a dense, foggy blizzard of internal politics, limited direction, unanswered questions, and stiff traditions that show no signs of swaying. 

Welcome to Pantheon 180, our bid to update our website and refresh our brand by adopting WebOps in 180 days. 

The Need for Change

At Pantheon, we believe WebOps (website operations) is the way to create real, lasting impact online. At the beginning of 2021, we launched Pantheon 180 to actually live this philosophy ourselves. Now, three months in, we're sharing our story. 

We decided to take action for a number of reasons, spanning the technical and the human:

  • Today, the website is a mess of the new and the old. There are floating pages, legacy architectures, and inconsistencies in design and content. These issues are exacerbated by developer backlog and burnout. 

  • We're running on Drupal 7 — a pain point you might share, too, with 65.1% of all Drupal websites running on Drupal 7, and 60% of all Drupal Core projects in the last week conducted on Drupal 7. 

  • Our content editors and designers can't easily update the website — "It might break!" "You can't code!" "Put it in the backlog!"

  • We feel our website doesn't reflect the Pantheon brand; the wonderful work of our customers; and the true potential of WebOps. This is because we don't have a solid technical foundation from which to grow our website and scale our operations.

Watch the video announcing the launch of our "beautiful scrappy story" and what's ahead in Pantheon 180. 

Change Bigger than Our Website 

The solutions to these problems are bigger than implementing new technologies. If we plan to truly adopt WebOps, this will involve changes to our processes, people, and technologies. 

  • Today there is developer ineffiencies; there could be automation and the freedom to innovate.

  • Our marketing team struggles to spin up new pages; there could be collaboration in shared environments, and the ability to securely test changes before sending anything live.

  • We don't have a solid foundation to grow; there could be a credible platform allowing us to focus on what matters — driving impact, measuring results, iterating on success. 

To be successful in this transformation, we need an organizational and culture shift. We need to utilize our own WebOps platform to its fullest; we need to operate as a cross-functional WebOps team. 

Why the Big Bet? Will it pay off? 

Sure, it's scary. Since the project was initially proposed by a small internal team in late 2020, there have been many questions and concerns raised across the organization — and rightly so. 

There is real, justified fear around change: Are we changing too much, too fast? Who is making the decisions? Are we taking our brand in the right direction? Is this a waste of time and money? Do we risk losing growth and potential customers? 

We don't have all the answers. But we do know: this is an opportunity, even if it's terrifying: 

56% of CEOs emphasize the need to aggressively pursue operational agility and flexibility.

This is our chance to "identify our values and goals; view technology as more than a tool; set our team in motion; and invest in forward-thinking technologies". All these are key components 56% of CEOs believe lead to transformational change that "enhances team performance and boosts organizational health." — IBM

The best performers cultivate a mindset of continuous improvement.

"Making improvements to a company’s website is just part of the answer. The best performers cultivate a mindset of continuous improvement, establish repeatable practices and effective governance, have a rigorous focus on performance metrics, and constantly monitor the revenue impact of site changes." — McKinsey

Improving collaboration between Marketing and IT leads to increased business results.

"50% of CIOs who work closely with their CMO claim their company has an improved competitive position. They are 1.3 times more likely to see substantial year-over-year growth, and 72% indicate they are seeing profit margin growth of over five per cent." — CMO 

Drawing Inspiration from Our Customers and Community

You, our customers and our community, are the inspiration for this project. We see you finding novel, digital solutions to major world problems — hungry kids; climate change; racial violence; the pandemic; and much, much more. 

By leveraging WebOps, you use our platform to get the most from your people, create a bias for action, and drive real results online. But you don't see the same possibilities reflected by Pantheon, yet. 

Studies tell us there should be a strong strategic vision and identity — a deep understanding of our value and capabilities — to enable this level of transformational change. We believe WebOps is the way organizations can build credibility, productivity, and impact. Messy or not, Pantheon 180 will force us to demonstrate that belief.

Come with us for the next 10 weeks while we share the 180 story — our successes, failures, and everything in between. You'll see video snippets and blog posts, and you'll hear from people across the company. Our hope is that you might learn from our mistakes and feel empowered to adopt WebOps and bring about your own transformation. Wish us luck!

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