DigiTech Magazine - US Summer 2017 - Page 20

NINE THINGS 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 1. VISION 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 guide execution. 3. STANDARDS 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 SUPERHERO 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. 4. GOVERNANCE YOU MAY BE DOING IT, BUT ARE YOU DOING IT WELL? 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. 20 DIGITECH Magazine Summer 2017