We’re implementing DAM! The place do I begin?

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Congratulations! You’ve got the approvals and finances in your firm’s first digital asset administration (DAM) answer and are prepared to leap in. Now what? The thrill of the early days of your DAM journey can shortly give technique to apprehension when confronted with the query: The place do I begin?

The place are my property?

Earlier than you possibly can determine on an acceptable DAM system and the quantity of storage you’ll want, you want an entire image of what you’re working with relating to the variety of property and file sizes. If your organization produces a big quantity of high-resolution video property that will likely be saved within the DAM, that may take up a big quantity of cupboard space. It’s by no means too quickly to start out unearthing and gathering your organization’s property.

To get essentially the most worth out of your DAM, it must be the one supply of reality for your entire property. Go away no stone unturned. Account for all file varieties, together with pictures, movies, paperwork and supply recordsdata. Don’t assume that your entire property are on the corporate shared drives. Shared drives are a superb place to start out, however be sure to’re additionally Sharepoint websites, placing out a name for any exterior storage gadgets, and discovering out in case your customers have a behavior of storing issues on their exhausting drives. Does your organization work with businesses? Guarantee they’ve equipped you with all of the recordsdata they’re contractually obligated to supply.

Early indicators

When you’ve made progress with gathering all of your property, have a look at what you’ve collected and see if you can begin figuring out some broad preliminary necessities:

  1. What vary of file varieties and sizes does your DAM have to accommodate?
  2. Given the quantity, depth, and historical past of property you’re seeing, ought to every thing go into the DAM from day one? Or does it make extra sense to pick a key date and add each asset created from that day ahead into the DAM whereas sustaining archival property in one other location? Keep in mind that for those who keep archival property in a separate location, they need to be shortly and simply accessible by designated customers. You’ll usually discover that some legacy property nonetheless permitted for present use will fall outdoors the scope of what you’ve loaded into the DAM for its launch. These property will must be uploaded into the DAM as customers request them.
  3. Do you usually generate a number of renditions for single property? For instance, do you haven’t solely the unique model but additionally a thumbnail, small, medium, and enormous variations?
  4. Will it’s essential account for versioning? Whenever you add a brand new model of an asset into your DAM, do it’s essential retain all earlier variations for archival functions and have them related to the present model? Do the particular adjustments throughout variations must be tracked?
  5. Are there particular authorized or regulatory necessities round some or your entire property?

Seeing double. Or triple.

One other asset-related activity you’ll wish to tackle sooner relatively than later is duplicates. With property scattered throughout a number of areas, duplicate copies of the identical property are sure to be in a number of areas. They might all have the identical file identify, permitting them to be simply recognized, or they might not. Typically it could possibly take the skilled eye of your inventive staff or content material consultants to establish duplicate property with differing file names.

The earlier you begin figuring out and removing duplicates whilst you’re gathering property, the higher. You’re possible already accustomed to the “rubbish in, rubbish out” precept, and you need to bear in mind it when prepping property for add into your DAM. Positive, you can throw every thing in there and clear it up later, however will you? And within the meantime, how a lot confusion is it inflicting in your end-users, a few of whom are being uncovered to a DAM for the primary time? You’ll want to discover time and assets to handle the duplicates someday, so make it a precedence to do it earlier than you’re prepared for that bulk add of property into your shiny new DAM. You would be saving your self time in not duplicating work by placing metadata on property that may possible be deleted shortly after importing to the DAM.

Who’s driving this DAM prepare? And who’s alongside for the experience?

Critically take into account bringing in a DAM librarian. The earlier, the higher. You might be hesitant about spending a part of your DAM finances on a full-time librarian, and sure, I could also be a bit biased about this level, however it is going to be value each penny. Having a librarian devoted to the mission from the start is very essential if that is your organization’s first DAM. And to get essentially the most out of your funding, discover somebody with the trifecta of DAM expertise: choosing, establishing, AND sustaining a DAM. Carry them in as quickly as doable. It is going to prevent money and time in the long term as a result of they will prevent from making choices early on that you simply’ll must dedicate assets to fixing later.

As a librarian who has helped three firms launch DAMs, I do know very effectively what to not do, and I can information you away from making choices you’ll remorse later. Ready to carry somebody in till you notice you’re in over your head and have made some not-so-optimal choices means your librarian may doubtlessly spend months, if not years after they’ve arrived in “fix-it” mode whereas doing harm management and making an attempt to persuade customers they will belief the system that didn’t make the very best first impression.

In case your DAM Librarian is the motive force of your prepare, your stakeholders are your first-class, VIP passengers. Figuring out them and getting their dedication to the mission ought to occur as early as doable. This permits time for them to get any obligatory approvals from their leaders and prep their schedules for the time dedication. When figuring out stakeholders, be sure to embrace individuals from every separate division of your organization that may have interaction immediately with the DAM. Any group or division that may embrace common finish customers of the DAM ought to be represented. And don’t overlook that the IT and Authorized departments must be included.


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Whilst you wish to guarantee you may have a voice from every related space of the corporate, watch out about establishing too giant of a stakeholder group, which may make discussions unwieldy and result in points coming to a consensus. A part of the stakeholder’s function is to symbolize their respective division and be a single voice for them in conferences, so just one stakeholder per space is required. Clearly outline in your stakeholders the parameters of the function and your expectations. Make sure that they know the time dedication that will likely be concerned, and get their dedication that they’re prepared and capable of stay totally engaged throughout the work. The participation of your stakeholders can considerably assist or harm the progress and timeline of your mission, so set clear expectations proper from the beginning.

Whereas your DAM journey will finally be rewarding, there will likely be ups and downs alongside the best way. Taking these few particular first steps will begin your journey off heading in the right direction and set you up for future success.


Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor creator and never essentially MarTech. Employees authors are listed right here.


About The Creator

Rachel Edwards is an skilled digital asset supervisor who’s obsessed with metadata, taxonomies and information governance. She makes a speciality of bringing order to information chaos since 2007.

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