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How do people talk about DAM within an organization?

When discussing Digital Asset Management (DAM) within an organization, there are (at the very least) three different points of view. These perspectives often include the following:

  • Business
  • Creative
  • Technical

The business aspect is often the sponsor of the DAM. This perspective looks at:

  • Money (what is coming in and going out, even if the organization is non-profit)
  • Time (hopefully used wisely)
  • Delivering the product(s) and/or service(s) to clients

The technical group is often one of the facilitators of business, supporting the communication, creation and delivery of those products/services (more and more every day). The more technology is involved in acquiring/creating/delivering/selling those products/services, the more significant this technology point of view plays a role within the business. DAM has many technical facets (similar to an onion). The technical people need requirements, specifications, use cases, a realistic budget, schedule and the tools to make things happen.

The creative aspect is often another major facilitator of any business.  Creatives may be the creators of the end of products/services. Beyond simply making business “look good,” creatives can often bring clarity to the business vision and can make the message more user-friendly. Creatives are often one of the major users of DAM. A DAM helps an organization not only archive, but also search, find, use, reuse and re-purpose ideas. Many creatives often want to create anything they want, at any time, using any resources they can get their hands on and spend as long as they want on it.

Sounds simple, right? So, why is it so hard to talk about DAM, to be heard and understood within an organization?

This seems to happen often when people work…

  • within their own different silos
  • on a remote island, office or cubicle
  • in their own world
  • locked within their own comfort zone

Most of the time, all these points of view and people work for the same organization and have the same ultimate goal (often involving the realization, creation and/or delivery of the end products and/or services). Sometime this goal is not clear to everyone due to the lack of communication, specifically dialogue (not just monologue) between groups. This dialogue should be with other people who you do not often do not communicate with, but this will help share these perspectives across groups/departments. Break down the silos, egos and misconceptions. Stop throwing work over a real/virtual wall. Stop ignoring what happens before, during and after someone works on something. Stop hiding in your office, behind your email and/or IM. Most of your co-workers don’t bite. Neither should you. Leave your comfort zone and get a fresh look at what the other groups do to make things happen. Speak up.

Build a community with your organization. Everyone should be aware what happens before, during and after each role has done their part. Decision makers should talk to people who are in the trenches to get a real sense of what is going on within the organizations and what can be improved. Don’t take any group for granted. Document workflows based on real world use cases. Share these use cases and workflows openly within your organization. Bring up topics for improvement (or don’t expect things to change for the better). Be open to communication and candor. No one has all the answers. Listen.

How does your organization talk about DAM?