a long to do list
Anyone who thinks managing a DAM system isn't a full-time job is in for a big surprise PHOTO: Stacy Spensley

For anyone who thinks managing a digital asset management system isn’t a full time job, read on. Below you’ll find 12 months of DAM projects and ideas for 2018 to help you tackle DAM head on and find all the files.

Audits

Let’s start with the most important item: Audits. Auditing every nook and cranny helps you know what you’re up against when it comes to digital transformation at your organization. We've broken down this project into five audits that can help you understand the maturity of your systems and processes including:

  • Metadata and taxonomy audit.
  • Documentation audit.
  • Asset audit (i.e. shared network drives, CMS/CRM systems, etc.).
  • Permission, users and access audit.
  • Workflow and process audit.

Feedback 

There are so many ways you can increase end user adoption of digital asset management practices at your organization. Gathering feedback from multiple sources helps you focus on what areas need improvement and what needs aren't being filled. Sources of feedback include things like:

  • User group interviews.
  • Focus groups.
  • User group surveys.
  • User acceptance testing.
  • User shadowing.

Tagging

When you’re staring down the barrel of an untagged five terabyte asset library, you may start to feel like you’ll never make a dent in the work it takes to tag these assets. Don’t fret, get organized by creating a tagging framework.

  • Distribute asset tagging to various teams during asset creation, review, approval and upload process.
  • Onboard a DAM intern to help with DAM admin tasks and tagging.
  • Create an archive or record retention policy to help focus your collection on active assets.
  • Create a curation policy for your DAM library to help keep the number of files requiring tagging low.
  • Use artificial intelligence to apply keywords.
  • Use automation to apply metadata.

Security and Governance

Information security has never been more important. As 2018 is sure to bring more hacks and data breaches across all industries, make these security and governance projects imperative to tackle:

  • Conduct a shadow IT audit and system IT audit.
  • Create and run a DAM governance board.
  • Make friends with IT and risk management (partner on projects and initiatives).

Integrations

Digital asset management is not just a static library to house your company’s most important digital content. It should be connected to the way you already do business, including the systems and processes you use to accomplish business objectives throughout your organization.

  • Scope out an internal integrations roadmap and align resources.
  • Know the integrations roadmap for your DAM product.

Training

Many DAM tools are intuitive and easy to use, but people always benefit from extra training. With this in mind, make sure to:

  • Host training sessions.
  • Conduct train the trainer sessions.
  • Create a user training session calendar for the year.

Strategy

Putting together all of the pieces in this to-do list is no easy feat. Based on your organization and use-cases, you’ll have to create a strategy that makes sense for you and your goals. Try:

  • Creating a DAM year in review report at your organization.
  • Outline what the strategic DAM initiatives will be for next year.
  • Audit your DAM tool and benchmark it against other DAM tools (know how companies in your industry tackle DAM, know their processes, and perhaps even pay a visit to their office if they’ll have you — you’ll learn a lot).
  • Review your budget for DAM for the current year, adjust based on projections for the coming year.

Learning

As a DAM champion, you should be the subject matter expert for your organization, especially when it comes to software, product and domain knowledge. Keep up your education in the coming year and challenge yourself by:

  • Learning the API to use in system integrations and data and file imports.
  • Attending webinars, conferences and training sessions.
  • Staying up to date on features, feature requests and bug tickets. Push for updates and deadlines. Know the product roadmap as well.

Documentation

Codify your knowledge for others, so they can pick up where you left off should you take a vacation, leave the company or just to help out. To do this:

  • Update your training collateral.
  • Update your workflow documentation.
  • Update your taxonomy documentation.
  • Update your metadata dictionary.
  • Update your permissions and rights documentation.
  • Update your system and processes documentation to inform your integrations strategy.

Advocacy

As the DAM champion, your organization expects you to lead advocacy and outreach for DAM information governance. Getting to know potential areas of collaboration, new DAM use cases or uncover previously unknown stores of digital assets can open up new doors for your DAM project and reduce organizational inefficiencies. In the new year, make it your goal to complete as many of these advocacy activities as you can:

  • Create a marketing campaign for DAM Advocacy.
  • Discover the archives at your company.
  • Discover the library at your company.
  • Discover the brand management team at your company.
  • Meet and onboard the sales team at your company.
  • Meet and onboard the marketing team at your company.
  • Meet and onboard the legal team at your company.
  • Find three DAM Champions in your organization and befriend them.
  • Find three new groups or teams to onboard.

Measuring and Reporting

Finally, how will you know what's working and what isn't as important to pursue? Measure and report on your DAM activities and usage to identify areas for improvement. You can do things like:

  • Identify KPIs and measure adoption.
  • Create schedule for DAM ROI reporting.
  • Create reports and share them with the DAM governance team and involved stakeholders.

Many articles towards the end of the year choose to highlight trends for the new year. I hope this more practical list of tried and true provides a bit more actionable items for those on the front lines of digital asset management so that you can win at all the DAMs, onboard all the users, measure all the returns on investments, and —most importantly — find all the files.