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DAM Management

What Makes Good DAM Management?

Ben Owen

By Ben Owen | Sep 16, 2021

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Effective management is crucial to giving everyone on a team a shared vision and excitement about the future and a clear roadmap to make it a reality. Without it, it’s difficult to achieve set goals, no matter how good the plans or talented the team.

The same is true in the world of managing digital assets (DAM). Perhaps your library or server system is cluttered and unorganized and is held together only by the work of a few “gatekeepers” who ensure assets are managed well. Conversely, maybe you have cutting-edge software and exceptional metadata and organizational standards, but no one is tasked to enforce those standards and keep your platform organized. Either way, you are not using your valuable assets as efficiently and effectively as you could.

Clearly, DAM management matters. So, what is it? What responsibilities does it entail, and what are the benefits of doing it well?

What is DAM Management?

DAM management comprises the planning, organization, operation, and maintenance of a DAM system. It can be handled by an individual, a team, or a third-party like a DAM consultant or service provider. DAM managers oversee the day-to-day operations of their system and ensure that it’s running smoothly. They also elevate problems and bring ideas for special projects to leadership.

DAM Management is a vital component of DAM Governance. DAM governance comprises the rules which ensure the proper creation, implementation, maintenance, and management of a DAM system and its workflows. Some organizations have the DAM manager lead the governance of the DAM system; in others, they are a member of the governance team. In both cases, it is important to understand the differences and relationships between DAM management and DAM governance.

Responsibilities of DAM Management

Using the four core responsibilities outlined in the definition of DAM management above, we will outline some of the tasks involved. This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to identify the tasks that are unique to your DAM system and workflows.

1. Planning

Planning is vital when creating a DAM system. Without planning, a powerful DAM platform becomes just another expensive storage bin that will cause problems as your business grows. Without proper standards and processes, users will have trouble navigating the system, unknowingly add to the clutter, and waste time and money looking for assets to help them do their job. Below are some of the main tasks involved in designing an effective DAM system:

  • Identifying a suitable DAM platform with features to fit your workflow and budget
  • Establishing standards for file naming, folder structure, controlled vocabularies (taxonomies), master keyword lists, and content quality
  • Road-mapping the migration and metadata tagging of assets into the DAM platform
  • Developing processes for uploads, downloads, file sharing, asset approval, and editing
  • Creating a governance structure
  • Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) that will give you a snapshot into the health of your DAM system
  • Documenting standards for training and onboarding

2. Organization

Once you’ve designed your DAM system, it’s time to create it. Nailing this step allows your team to maximize the value of the creative assets you have. Below are some of the main tasks involved in organizing an effective DAM system:

  • Migrating your digital assets onto the new platform
  • Tagging assets with keywords from taxonomies and master keyword lists
  • Renaming assets based on your file naming convention
  • Creating an intuitive folder structure within the new platform
  • Tiering priority assets and archiving non-priority assets into a backlog
  • Onboarding new employees into the DAM system

3. Operation

Now the fun begins. You’ve established standards, organized your DAM platform, and trained your users. Your team is now leveraging your assets and utilizing them to make money for your organization and drive growth. The DAM manager’s role is now to ensure that the DAM system is running smoothly and can expand across the organization as needed. Below are some of the main tasks involved in operating an efficient DAM system:

  • Ingestion, tagging, and renaming of incoming assets
  • Ascertaining library health by tracking data and reviewing reports
  • Auditing library to quality-control metadata and confirm that file names are in line with standards
  • Identifying special project opportunities
  • Integrating the DAM platform with other key organizational systems

4. Maintenance

As your organization grows, so will your DAM system. It’s important to make certain that this growth is sustainable and scalable. Maintaining a healthy DAM is key to ensuring that the system remains a helpful component of your business’s workflow. Below are some of the main tasks involved in maintaining a DAM:

  • Reorganizing assets as the library grows and workflows change
  • Tagging archived historical assets with metadata
  • Expanding the DAM system across the organization to include its subdivisions and subsidiaries
  • Listening to feedback and change requests from library end-users
  • Meeting with key stakeholders to communicate library value

Benefits of DAM Management

A Path to Growth

Without effective DAM management, your organization’s growth could mean an intense strain on your workflows. More content means, more assets to sort through, reorganize, and migrate and more time and money wasted searching for them. Conversely, when a DAM is well-organized and maintained, increasing content is easily managed. You can read more about scaling your business through DAM here.

Buy-In Across the Organization

When you govern and manage your DAM system well, stakeholders across your organization will better understand the need for it. In addition, end-users will be more willing to follow standards; leadership will be more inclined to fund any needed expansion, and clients and consumers will trust your organization with their content and their business.

A Functional, Efficient DAM System

The last, and most easily-understood, advantage of effective DAM management is a working DAM and all the benefits that come with it. These range from enabling your team to do their work efficiently by more easily editing, approving, sharing, and using assets; to all users being able to search the library effectively; to higher-quality content being put in front of your audience to drive your organization’s growth.


No matter where you are in the DAM journey, it’s well worth the time to consider who will create, implement, and manage your DAM. Need DAM management, but don’t have the bandwidth on your team? Contact Stacks, and hear about our fractional DAM management offerings!

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