Unity is strength … when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. — Mattie Stepanek

Actions, Not Intentions

Collaboration is an action, not an intention.

Good digital asset strategy design is rooted in the interaction of people, process and technology, working together to solve problems and create focused outcomes. You lay the foundation with clearly stated business requirements, people empowered to execute the process and technology to fulfill the goals. 

Once the business sets the foundation, look to your content. Creating a content plan that connects to the overall goals gives your digital assets the power to generate revenue, increase efficiencies and enhance your ability to meet new and emerging market opportunities for your users. 

This is why we collaborate. But it demands wisdom, common intention and clear processes to achieve your goals.

People

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much — Helen Keller

Employees have high expectations of systems and solutions. Those expectations are rooted in the features and capabilities they experience every day as consumers.

But what if their expectations are out of sync with the strategy? By gauging and managing user expectations at the beginning of the planning stage for any tool, you can assure that features and functionalities match user expectations.

Businesses should view their employees as the customers of their employee systems. While the range of business needs and technological capabilities vary greatly from their consumer lives, employees' expectations for performance and personalization within the corporate sphere are just as demanding.

Involving them early and often in the design process will aid in adoption and advocacy down the line.

Process

A clear purpose will unite you as you move forward, values will guide your behavior, and goals will focus your energy. — Kenneth H. Blanchard

Defining a strong digital asset strategy demands that you collaborate with those who best know the systems and other resources needed to release your assets’ potential — be they photographs, videos, graphics, logos or marketing collateral. 

Expanding markets and complex supply chains for digital images demand constant updating, rethinking and redesign of your strategy. As long as change exists in your business, your strategy will change. Your strategy is never really “finished.” 

Prepare for this by ensuring your solution is flexible and well governed. Successful collaboration starts by defining what your customers and business want to do with digital assets and then creating the plan to achieve it. After that, communicating how your assets are used to drive business will inspire others, from IT staff to all users present and future. 

Strategy must be shared and understood in order to be successful. What success is not is buying the software and hardware and then pushing the button.

Technology

Every collaboration helps you grow. — Brian Eno

Collective actions build mutual trust among members of a community to establish knowledge — sharing opportunities, lower transaction costs, resolve conflicts and create greater coherence. Trust encourages further interactions and participation in technology. 

Beyond functionality, the meaning and purpose behind technology will impact positive experiences. Trust in the technology and the data flowing through the pipes will lead to greater participation, that in turn increases the value and utility of assets and information. 

Without trust and participation, no system can produce results. This is collaboration at its root level. Technology has the power to transform data into information and then information into insight or knowledge — something actionable and meaningful. 

Collaboration between humans and technology, in the form of user information such as personal preferences and preferred options, makes data the fuel for optimizing process and technology. Understanding the needs of users and providing the necessary touch points cannot be achieved without collaboration.

Creating Value

Collaboration is as complex and varied as the digital workflows, people and processes it supports. 

Collaboration occurs internally and externally with partners and third-party entities, between designers, creative, analysts, marketing managers, product owners, merchandisers, IT support, consultants, vendors, governance councils, working groups and more. 

Value is not found — it is made. So collaborate to develop your digital strategy and see it through. Manage it well, start with a foundation, embrace the transformation and discover the value in your content.

Title image Victor Erixon