YOU NEED TO GET RIGHT BEFORE TACKLING YOUR
DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT (DAM) SYSTEM
Calling today’s DAM implementations “complex” doesn’t quite do justice to the chaotic, living, breathing ecosystems
they have evolved into. They behave like living organisms, and when poorly managed, those organisms do not self-
organize. Like a gym full of five-year-olds on a sugar high, poorly managed DAM systems run amok, misplace critical
parts, and generate a whole lot of misdirected noise and energy. With a little upfront planning those figurative five-
year-olds can be tamed, organized and put to work. Here are nine key considerations executives must incorporate
into their DAM strategies to control the chaos. The end result is higher-quality, better-controlled assets managed
within a platform that enables future innovation.
By John Tigh / Marko Hurst
It may seem obvious, but in DAM implementations a crystal-clear guiding vision is often
missing or not well formed. An effective vision doesn’t just account for the “what,” but goes
on to account for the “who,” “when,” “where,” “how” and, most importantly, the “why.” To do
YOUR DAM NEEDS
A NORTH STAR
that, executives must obsessively focus on the end user’s experience. Identify your end user,
scour use cases, and cross-reference with business objectives to design a vision that guides
all subsequent decision-making.
2. USE CASES
Nothing is more frustrating than a poorly managed DAM. Such great potential, reduced to
serving as a mere content repository. This limited potential is often the result of weak use
HELP YOUR DAM REACH
ITS FULL POTENTIAL
cases that haven’t effectively demonstrated what the content needs to do.
The jobs-to-be-done theory, more commonly applied in innovation and R&D circles, could
be a helpful framework in establishing use cases that truly demonstrate what content needs
to do. Armed with those insights, an informed work flow manual can then be developed to
Ah, standards. The most underappreciated hero in a sustainably high-performing DAM.
Organizing principles are the foundation of an effective DAM practice, but because digital has
often grown up organically within organizations this little hero is rarely housed and cared
BUILD A STANDARDS
for under central ownership. This fractured approach is Kryptonite to organizing principles,
which are left fractured, incomplete and far less able to influence DAM system success.
YOU MAY BE DOING IT,
BUT ARE YOU DOING IT
If standards is the hero, governance is its reinforcement. Governance keeps the engine
running and ready for growth by ensuring workflows and standards are being accurately
applied, change management functions are empowered, and the vision is being achieved. As
in all great leadership functions, the magic is in a governance system that is of the people
and for the people. The core team should be representative of creation, consumption and
business needs/drivers. Their role should err on the side of ownership and maintenance, as
opposed to enforcement; heavy-handed enforcement or an overreliance on the rules has a
tendency to encourage people to find a way around the system.