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Beginner's Guide to DAM

The Beginner's Guide to DAM Part 4: Process and Standards

Ben Owen

By Ben Owen | Sep 30, 2021

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The Problem

Just like in many facets of business, establishing the appropriate process and defining standards up-front can save pain down the road. In Digital Asset Management, this idea is equally important. In teams of one or two, failing to establish process and standards may not be the end of the world. As a DAM and its use scales to various teams, however, this failure becomes can become a big problem.

DAM Process and Standards

Sitting down with the appropriate stakeholders and deciding how files should be named, what controlled vocabulary should be used when tagging assets, and how the folder structure should be organized are all important early steps to a successful DAM program. Below we take a look at establishing that process and standards and the first steps that can be taken now. Keep in mind, if your company outgrows these, they can always be revisited and re-established.

Hopefully, by now, you understand a bit of what DAM is and what benefits it can provide your company. You should have an idea of what DAM platforms do and may even have one in mind. Before you begin the mass migration, though, you have to establish your process and standards to ensure your DAM stays healthy and happy now and in the future.

Implementing clearly understood organizational processes and standards is the key to creating easily maintained and scalable digital libraries. Without these, your system will become a storage bin that will weigh your organization down over time.

Establishing Process and Standards

Identify Company Language

: Using brand-specific language can be a way to shape company culture and define workflows, getting your whole team on the same page.

Step One: Write down the words or phrases specific to your organization and define them.

Permissions Hierarchy

Benefit: Keeping your assets secure is priority #1. Make sure no one has access to something they shouldn’t.

Step One: Take a look at your folder structure. Who should be able to view, edit, share, delete, or move the assets in each section?

File Naming Convention

Benefit: By creating a standard file naming convention, users always know how to search for the right asset, no matter their experience level.

Step One: Gather everyone together and brainstorm what information is necessary for file names to work.

Folder Structure

Benefit: Navigating a folder structure is the simplest way to organize and look for files. If your structure makes sense, it will make this process far easier.

Step One: Start with the top layer of folders. Does this organization make sense?

Controlled Vocabulary

: A standardized list of 100-250 terms for your contributors to use when they upload assets to the library, resulting in better search results.

Step One: Identify company language and the core categories of information that could be useful when searching.

Visual Quality Standards

Benefit: You want your team to put the best kind of content in front of consumers, not blurry, pixelated, and outdated versions.

Step One: What kinds of problems are you facing? Are assets the right file type? Are there duplicates?

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