Proper training is essential. Imagine signing up for a piano recital without taking any lessons beforehand. How about flying on a plane piloted by a novice or buying a fancy kitchen appliance you don’t know how to use? No matter the situation you’re dealing with, effective training is the key to ensuring a successful outcome.
With the growing importance of content in today’s marketplace, properly creating, organizing, managing, and distributing digital assets is vital. For this reason, brands are investing in digital asset management (DAM) systems to make this job easier. Many organizations, however, invest only in the tool and not in the training needed to ensure it’s used effectively.
To fully harness the power of a DAM system, effective training and onboarding for all users is crucial. At Stacks, we believe that healthy DAM programs consist of platforms, processes, and people. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of comprehensive training, along with key strategies and best practices to empower your team and unlock the true value of your investment in DAM.
Building a Solid Foundation through Comprehensive Training
A well-executed training program lays the groundwork for success when building a DAM program. When users are properly trained, governing the system is simpler, adoption is high, and risk is minimized. Below are a few key considerations for building a comprehensive training strategy recommended by the Stacks team.
User Group Development: Before designing your training program, it's important to assess the specific needs of your end-users. How will they use the DAM platform? What kind of permissions will they have? What will they need to be aware of in order to execute their tasks? The best way to do this is to develop specific user groups based on their roles in the organization, the different ways they use assets, and the level of their access to the DAM system.
Customized Training Content: One size doesn't fit all when it comes to training. Develop training materials that align with your team's roles and responsibilities and focus on the features and functionalities most relevant to their day-to-day tasks. This approach ensures that users can quickly apply what they've learned, leading to increased adoption and productivity. Utilize screenshots, screen recordings, and pre-existing training materials from your DAM platform vendor to quickly create and distribute new training materials as needed.
Interactive Learning Opportunities: Engage your users through interactive learning experiences that go beyond traditional classroom-style training or simple slide decks. Incorporate hands-on exercises, workshops, and sandboxes to provide practical experience with your DAM program. Interactive learning not only enhances comprehension but also fosters a sense of ownership and confidence in using the platform and processes. One of the best training tools our team employs is user acceptance testing, where users can pressure test and validate freshly-developed DAM workflows and metadata standards, provide feedback, and acquire the necessary skills to operate within the DAM program.
These kinds of real-world training exercises are especially important for employees enriching assets with metadata, ingesting them into the system, governing the library, and moving assets frequently. Be sure they have an appropriate understanding of your standards and processes before launching your program.
Ongoing Support and Governance
Training doesn't end with the successful launch of your DAM program. To reinforce learning and ensure continuous improvement, it's essential to provide ongoing support. As your DAM program grows and expands across your organization (as it should), you’ll need to onboard new users and assets, create new workflows, and update existing users on new features or process improvements.
This means you’ll need a training infrastructure in place that can scale with your program and DAM team so that the owners of the program aren’t overwhelmed with questions and requests. Below are some ideas for what that infrastructure could look like.
DAM Knowledge Base: Develop a comprehensive knowledge base where your team can find and access the materials they need. Your DAM platform is a great place to do this, as training materials can be made searchable, and navigating the knowledge base acts as a case study for the user.
Fill your knowledge base with user-friendly documentation that employees can refer to when they need assistance. Include step-by-step guides, FAQs, and troubleshooting tips to address common issues. Regularly update this resource to keep up with software updates and evolving user needs.
User Communities and Forums: Foster a sense of community among your DAM users by encouraging them to join dedicated online forums or communities where they can connect, share best practices, and seek advice from their peers. Most DAM platforms have communities and forums your team can join while you implement the system. If not, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Facebook are also great places to find any answers you need.
Encouraging collaboration and knowledge-sharing enhances user engagement and empowers individuals to discover new ways of leveraging your DAM system. If you can’t find pre-existing communities, create one yourself, either internally or externally.
Feedback Loops: Establish feedback mechanisms to gather insights from users about their training experience and any challenges they encounter. Actively listen to their suggestions and use them to refine and improve your training program. This iterative approach demonstrates your commitment to continuous learning and user-centricity. Stacks recommends collecting feedback within several weeks of launching your DAM program, and then doing so at regular intervals throughout the first year.
Unlock the Potential of Your DAM Investment
Effective training and onboarding play a pivotal role in maximizing the value of your DAM program. By investing in a comprehensive training program tailored to the needs of your users, you can ensure they have the knowledge and confidence to leverage the full potential of your DAM solution and the processes you’ve developed around it. Additionally, ongoing support and DAM governance, such as a knowledge base, user communities, and feedback loops, foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
If you're ready to unlock the true potential of your DAM investment, the team at Stacks can help. Our experienced professionals can guide you through the training and onboarding process, ensuring a seamless transition and empowering your team to make the most of your DAM system. Contact us today to schedule a meeting and embark on your journey toward efficient and effective digital asset management.