A new version of the Digital Asset Management (DAM) Maturity Model is now available.  

The model, jointly developed by independent analyst firm The Real Story Group and the DAM Foundation, was first released publicly in May, and is designed to provide a structured framework for aligning technology for digital asset management (DAM) with business efforts. It is intended to improve the success rate of DAM projects, by looking beyond the technologies and tools to the human-, informational-, and systems-related aspects of an organization.

A Holistic DAM Strategy

In order to go beyond the technologies, the authoring organizations said, it is important to develop a “holistic strategy” that describes where an organization is, where it wants to be, and then conduct a gap analysis. The DAM Maturity Model is based on a comparable, previously existing Enterprise Content Management Maturity Model.

The authors said that the DAM model can be used to assess an organization’s current state and provide a roadmap for improvement. For instance, an organization may discover that it is over-spending on technology and under-spending on developing metadata standards.

At the time of the first release, Real Story Group Principal Theresa Regli said in a statement that “we felt it necessary to develop a model that can act as a compass to guide enterprises toward the optimal states of technology, workflow and informational maturity.”

The model provides suggestions for graded levels of capabilities that range from basic information collection and control, through sophisticated levels of management and integration, to continuous experimentation and improvement.

The May version of the model proposed 16 dimensions of maturity across three categories and five maturity levels. The newly-released edition uses 15 dimensions, organized into four categories, to define a DAM ecosystem.

Four Categories in DAM Maturity Model

The four categories in the new model are People, Information, Systems and Processes.

Under People, for instance, three kinds of Focus Areas are matched with five competency levels to create 15 descriptive cells or dimensions. The Focus Areas are Technical Expertise, Business Expertise and Alignment, and the levels are Ad Hoc, Incipient, Formative, Operational and Optimal. Alignment refers to “the collaboration between technical and business areas utilizing the value of DAM to achieve the organization’s mission.”

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People Category in DAM Maturity Model

To utilize the model, the authors suggest an organization first identify “internal champions” who advocate the need for DAM, such as marketing managers, creative, sales peoples and licensing staff.

Then, a detailed questionnaire, such as one provided by the DAM Foundation, is completed for each of those stakeholders, and the cumulative responses are used to assess where an organization’s current and future states reside in the model. “At the end of the exercise,” the authors have advised, “the level itself is not important,” but, rather, the importance is that the organization has identified the weaknesses and “plans to address them.”

The Real Story Group offers research and advisory services for content technology and implementation. The DAM Foundation, whose inaugural meeting was held in March of last year at the Createasphere conference in Los Angeles, is a professional society focused on best practices, standards and the growth of digital asset management.