Once an organization recognizes the value of what a DAM could do for them and decide they will get a DAM, they should ask themselves “Who will use the DAM?“, then “Who should use the DAM?“. Once they had the DAM for a while, the question should evolve to “Who else should use the DAM?”” to maximize ROI.
Let us start with before you get a DAM and get a segment of potential users involved in the process.
Prior to having a DAM, you could interview potential users by asking them:
- What is their workflow without a DAM?
- How do they search for assets without a DAM? (Some methods you may hear described may seem archaic because they are)
- Where do they search for assets without a DAM? (How many silos did hear about?)
- What assets do they commonly search for? (You might realize the DAM could be used for a lot more than just photography and video)
- What could they do with a DAM?
- How would they like to search with a DAM? (What metadata might they need to find these assets?)
- How would they like their workflow to be simplified with a DAM?
Give the users brief examples from case studies of how others have used a DAM, but do listen carefully to your users because they will give you a glimpse to what could be streamlined and simplified in their workflow. Some feedback will need to be taken with a grain (or a bag) of salt. By asking the potential users for feedback early on, it makes them part of the solution and makes them feel involved in the process of implementing the DAM which they will want/need to use.
Once you get a DAM, you need metadata for your assets:
Who will add metadata to assets for the DAM?
Depending on how quickly you need to add assets to your DAM, you will need to evaluate whether you should/can outsource the metatagging of assets based on turn around time compared to doing this in-house.
Once you have metadata and assets:
Who will add assets to the DAM? These people will be your power users.
Depending on how technically inclined your power users are and how complex your DAM is it use, you may be able to reassign people to import assets into the DAM.
Who will your regular DAM users be?
- How many users will you have?
- What assets will they want/need to access?
- What will be their workflow?
- Do they all work for your organization?
- How are you mitigating the security concerns with outsiders accessing your DAM?
- Who has limited access to the DAM?
- Who has full access to the DAM?
In order for users to adopt the DAM, someone needs to demonstrate the value of the DAM to the users, support and train users regularly:
Who will implement and administer the DAM in your group, department and/or whole organization?
Of course, all these people are human too:
Who will be their backup in case something happens to them?
If you don’t make decisions about who will be doing these tasks, you risk making the DAM a ‘shelf baby’ and wasting an invaluable resource.
What is a ‘shelf baby’? Any product which the organization has spent money on, spoke about for countless hours, tried to rush the implementation early on and finally shelved it as something that was a nice idea with lots of potential, but it did not get adopted by users. So off it goes to a shelf just like a book where it sits there for years…collecting dust in its infancy stage (hence the name). Every organization has at least a few ‘shelf babies’, but the idea is to avoid collecting them unless you need deep holes to throw money in.
Ultimately, everyone will benefit from user involvement and feedback throughout the evolution of your organization’s DAM.