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DAM Best Practices

3 “DAM Therapy” Practices to Avoid Breaking Up with Your DAM

Ben Owen

By Ben Owen | Nov 08, 2021

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No one wants to break up. Breakups are difficult, scary, and bring out the worst in people. They happen for many different reasons. Maybe it’s a communication breakdown or a few things that one person does or doesn’t do that causes problems. One of the steps that a couple often takes when experiencing difficulty is meeting with a counselor. In therapy, they can discuss their issues and be open and honest about what needs to change.

Like a great counselor can save a relationship, therapy works wonders for teams thinking about breaking up with their current digital asset management (DAM) platform. Organizations often encounter similar problems with their DAM that married couples do with each other. Communication issues, lack of understanding, processes that create tension and confusion, and a lack of engagement. Like a romantic breakup, moving from one DAM platform to another is complicated and messy and rarely solves the real problems. So, rather than break up, it would be best for organizations struggling with their DAM system to seek some “DAM Therapy.”

3 DAM Therapy Practices to Avoid a Breakup

1. Get Issues Out in the Open

The benefit of couples therapy is that it gives both people the freedom to be open and honest, without fear that their truthfulness will end in a fight. Likewise, organizations in need of DAM therapy need to create a safe environment in which to discover and resolve their issues. End-users won’t provide the necessary feedback unless they’re confident it won’t lead to drastic consequences for them. Like a counselor asking probing questions, leaders and managers who are aware there are problems should interview and survey the users of their DAM system. Here are some examples of great questions to ask your team:

  • How would you describe your feelings when using the DAM?
  • Would you recommend using the DAM to others?
  • How do you usually find the assets you need?
  • Do you get too few, just the right amount, or too many results when you search for assets?

Asking these kinds of questions will help your team in many ways. First, it leads to increased morale and makes it easier to build trust and buy-in. When every team member feels valued and heard, it goes a long way to creating a culture of trust. Second, it provides your management team with a lot of useful information and data to sort through— reliable data they can draw real-world conclusions from. Lastly, it helps your team begin the second step in the therapy process…

2. Identify the Real Problems

Successful couples therapy occurs when a great counselor looks beyond surface-level frustrations and drills down to the heart of what’s making each person feel hurt or angry. By doing this, they foster true understanding between the couple, leading to healing and reconciliation. The same is true for managers engaged in DAM therapy. Once they’ve asked the right questions to bring out into the open the problems their end-users have with their current DAM program, they need to take time to understand the source of every issue.

Sometimes it’s easy to understand why there are problems. For example, end-users may not be onboarded to the system or other technical issues keep it from being effective. Other times it’s more difficult such as when employees complain about not being able to retrieve the assets they want quickly. There can be tons of reasons for that, from a poorly-constructed folder structure to inconsistent metadata application to a lack of adoption of the system as a whole. One constructive way to gain a clear picture of the challenges faced by your end-users is to map out the current lifecycle of your assets and their use cases in the day to day of your organization. Be sure to structure your initial questions to make this process easier on your team.

It takes time and effort to identify every issue, but it’s impossible to implement a lasting solution without a real understanding of each one.

3. Make a Plan for Change

The final, and most important step in the therapeutic process is creating action items for all parties involved to ensure change occurs. This is only possible after honest dialogue that allows the couple to acknowledge their issues and empathize with each other. While communication and understanding matter, the point of therapy is to see growth and change. The same is true for your organization and its DAM system.

There are many possible changes your organization can make regarding its DAM. It may be that the platform you have and the processes you’ve created work, but your end-users just need to be trained and adopt the program. Or you’ve identified processes that are outdated or nonexistent that need to be developed or updated. Maybe you’ve realized that the platform your DAM currently resides on doesn’t properly match your needs and workflows. Ultimately, your organization needs to identify the results they’d like to achieve and develop the action items to get them there.


The final step for any therapist worth their wages is to check in with the couple to see how things are going and hold them accountable. They may need to be reminded of the promises they made in counseling, or have changed their desired result and are working towards something new. The same is true for your DAM system. Following therapy, your management team needs to hold stakeholders and end-users accountable for achieving their action items, as well as continue to listen to them as they notice things that may be new. Perhaps certain teams have run into roadblocks to completing their tasks. Maybe real-world implementation has surfaced new issues that change your goals. No matter what, the point remains. Therapy isn’t truly finished until you achieve the goals you set. Contact Stacks today if you need an external counselor to guide your team through therapy and check in! Our team has worked with brands of all sizes in many different industries and is happy to help.

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