Why selecting a DAM is a lot like planning your next vacation
I recently returned from my vacation to the South of France. And through it, I realized that planning a vacation is a lot like selecting and planning a digital asset management project. Let me show you what I mean, and share some tips for a successful DAM project along the way.
Looking forward to a trip with your friends abroad, to relax or find a new adventure keeps body, mind and soul in balance but it also requires a lot of planning and preparation before you start on your trip – and it doesn’t stop there. You visit multiple websites and vendors before deciding where and how to travel. On your trip you experience what you’ve chosen – just like the digital journey you and your team embark upon when implementing a digital asset management (DAM) system.
1. Decide where your journey should take you
What kind of traveler are you? What do you expect from your travel experience? Do you want to relax on the beach, go sightseeing in a city or are you the adventurous type that wants to spend time hiking in the mountains? You have many choices – but you need to know what you really want to get out of your travels.
It’s no different once you realize that your company needs a digital asset management system. You need to understand where the DAM initiative comes from, what requirements need to be fulfilled and which targets need to be met. Ask yourself: who needs to do what with the images and videos that drive your brand? Just like when you start defining your travel goals you also need to define your DAM project goals. Part of that planning will also include a budget – whether strict or loose is up to you and your company.
Do you want to travel alone or with family? Who all do you need to involve in your travel thoughts and plans? When defining your digital asset management project it is crucial to involve your stakeholders right from the beginning and convince them about the benefits of implementing a digital asset management system. It’s the same idea as convincing your family/partner/friend to travel to some wonderful island you have been dreaming about.
2. Plan your journey
Once you know what you want to get out of your journey and who you’re taking along, you will need to start planning. You’ll want to decide how to get to your destination: plane, train, boat, car? Do you want someone to assist you in planning the travel, or do you want to plan it mostly by yourself? Check if your travel desires match with the offers you find and your budget constraints. If you have the budget and time for helicopter tours and 5-star dining…then great. But if tradeoffs must be made, agree on a list of top priority activities and be sure to allocate time and funding to those must-have experiences.
Similarly, with planning your digital asset management project, you surely need to learn which vendor you want to work with and who can fulfill your requirements. Look for a vendor you can trust during and after the implementation of your digital asset management in order to bring your DAM to life. Also, ask yourself how many resources are necessary during all phases of your DAM project and how much assistance you want (and need) from your vendor. They might be able to take some of the load off your table, like setting up the system or training your team.
Once you chose a vendor it’s much like when you book your vacation. This is just one of the first steps before you get all the benefits of your decisions.
3. Get on your journey:
This is the most exciting part. You finally get on the airplane/ train/ boat to travel to your chosen destination. Depending on how you decide to travel – maybe you just want to go with the flow or you have planned every single detail of your trip. In any case, you need to talk to your travel companions while you’re on the trip to make sure you’re on the same page. All travel partners need to know where to be and when, else they risk getting left at the boat dock or missing the train.
Equally important with DAM, you’ll need to talk to your peers and stakeholders throughout the execution of your digital asset management project. The implementation of a system requires users to get to know new workflow processes to achieve company and team goals. This includes user trainings and ongoing change management to set expectations – and meet the set expectations.
The implementation of your digital asset management can be an adventure – but with good planning and project management – you can be well prepared for it.
4. The end of your journey is the beginning of a new one
You return home and look back: you have been to tropical places, you have made tremendous achievements climbing to the very top of that huge mountain and you can share numerous memories with your loved ones. You feel good, relaxed and satisfied about how the trip turned out.
When your digital asset management system goes live, you have survived a long phase of defining, planning and executing a huge project with many users. You can cross many things of the list and begin to see the first results of the goals you have achieved. This feels great.
But just as the longing for future exploration, or rest and relaxation are never over (I personally recommend always having your next trip in mind), so too should you always be watching the wellbeing of your new digital asset management system. Make sure your DAM is treated well by the users within the system – the metadata in your assets are edited correctly and workflows are set up and used by your team.
Here are additional tips of how to keep yourself and your digital asset management system healthy.
Do you want to go on a journey with us? We invite you to a digital journey in Berlin at the Canto DAM Summit Europe from September 26 – 27 in Berlin.