Imagine your organization as a bustling city. Just like a city needs well-maintained roads and highways to ensure smooth traffic flow, your business needs an efficient program to get assets where they need to go across the organization. This is known as a Digital Asset Management (DAM) program.
Implementing a DAM program is like road construction, but instead of building physical roads, you’re creating vital pathways for your digital resources. However, similar to road construction, roadblocks may arise on your journey toward seamless DAM implementation. In this article, we'll explore common obstacles that organizations encounter when implementing DAM and how to overcome them, ensuring a smooth trip toward more effective digital asset management.
Identifying Roadblocks: Common Obstacles to Successful DAM Implementation
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Resistance to Change
One of the biggest hurdles to implementing a DAM program is resistance to change within an organization. People are creatures of habit, and a new system is often met with skepticism and pushback. Your employees may be comfortable with their current methods of handling digital assets, which can make them oppose adopting a DAM program.
Users often aren’t aware that a more effective way to manage digital assets is available. Additionally, it’s difficult for specific teams and departments to know how their inefficiencies affect other departments further down the asset lifecycle. Resistance to change is the number one cause of failure in new DAM programs. If users aren't committed to making changes in their daily routines, they’re unlikely to use the new system and workflows you’ve built, resulting in a lack of return on investment (ROI).
Lack of Clear Objectives
Another common roadblock is beginning a DAM implementation without setting clear objectives. Without a well-defined purpose or plan, your DAM program may flounder, leading to frustration and disillusionment among your team members. The core reason this lack of clarity leads to failure is that it fosters bias and results in an ill-equipped and uninformed team.
Without a clear roadmap, shifting priorities throughout your organization is likely to delay the implementation of your DAM program and also create noise around your workflows and standards. Without clarity around these pieces, users can’t effectively navigate and use the system, meaning your goals probably won’t be achieved.
Lack of Resources
When attempting to create new systems and programs internally, a common dynamic develops between those championing the need for change and those making the final decisions around committing the required resources. Decision-makers often want to see, or at least receive assurances of, a return on investment (ROI) from the new systems and programs before dedicating staff, budget, and time to developing them further.
Without the necessary resources, the ROI on implementing a DAM program is greatly reduced, leaving those bearing the burden created by the lack of a program to do the best they can. As a result, team members are burned out, fatigued, and frustrated. Based on our experience, Stacks has found that many DAM programs struggle and ultimately fail because of this dysfunctional dynamic.
Best Practices for Overcoming Roadblocks
Quantifying and Documenting the Benefits of DAM
It's essential to effectively communicate the benefits of DAM for your organization to your decision-makers. For organizations who have just identified their need for a DAM program, this often means quantifying the costs of not having a program. How many assets are recreated unnecessarily? How long does it take for users to find what they need? What level of risk does the organization assume by not having its assets organized?
When compiling this list, be sure to highlight how DAM can streamline your workflows, save time, and improve collaboration, not at just an organizational level, but also departmentally. Ask users what their biggest problems are and then demonstrate how DAM solves them. Most importantly, present numbers. Specifically, numbers with a dollar sign in front of them. Decisions are easy to make when the cost of doing nothing is exorbitant.
Building a Program that Fits “Just Right”
Before implementing a DAM program, identify specific goals you want to achieve, such as reducing asset search time, ensuring brand consistency, or improving version control. Create a roadmap that outlines the steps needed to reach these goals, ensuring that everyone in your organization understands the purpose and benefits of the DAM system.
The critical component of this roadmap is its specificity to your organization. Base your goals and priorities on real-world examples and use cases collected from people who use your assets every day. Be sure to avoid hyper-specific, short-term issues. Identify the high-level workflows that cost the most time and money. Balance the needs of different stakeholders and departments.
Choosing the right DAM technology is also crucial for a successful implementation. Selecting a system that doesn't align with your organization's needs can lead to wasted time and resources. To avoid this, conduct thorough research and assess various DAM platforms to find one that matches your specific requirements. Consider factors such as scalability, user-friendliness, and integration capabilities. Engage with potential vendors to ensure their solution aligns with your goals and that they’ll provide adequate support during and after implementation.
Building Buy-In from the Start
Even after selecting the right DAM platform, ensuring user adoption can be challenging. If your team members don't embrace the system, it won't deliver the expected benefits. Begin engaging with users from top to bottom as soon as you recognize the need for a DAM program. For the sake of decision-making, it's important to centralize the leadership of this effort. Be sure, however, that this team has its finger on the pulse of users at every stage of development.
To help users become familiar with the new system, provide comprehensive education materials, training sessions, and ongoing support. Encourage feedback and make necessary adjustments to the DAM system based on user input. Recognize and reward employees who actively engage with and promote the DAM program.
In the journey toward implementing a successful DAM program, you’re likely to encounter many roadblocks, but with the right strategies and solutions, you can overcome them. Remember, just as a well-constructed road system facilitates smooth traffic flow in a city, a robust DAM program streamlines the management of your digital assets, leading to increased efficiency and productivity within your organization.
Don’t let the probability of encountering these roadblocks deter you. Contact Stacks today to discover how our DAM solutions can pave the way to a more efficient and organized digital asset management future for your organization. Embrace change and drive your organization towards a brighter, more productive future with DAM!