Tips for Making Your DAM Implementation a Seamless Success
It’s no secret that implementing new software is a big job for any organization. It entails gathering feedback from numerous stakeholders, meeting a range of deadlines, and managing expectations for everyone involved. But with the right approach, it can be a seamless success. Here are our key considerations for navigating the digital asset management (DAM) implementation process with confidence and ease.
Know the why
Articulating why your organization invested in a DAM solution is the first step in designing an effective implementation strategy. Your “why” creates alignment across the organization, encourages system adoption, and charts the evolution of your DAM system. It can guide decisions before, during, and after implementation.
It’s possible for an implementation strategy to have multiple “why” statements. For example, McCormick & Company had two. Their “why” statement for their creative team outlined how specific DAM tools would improve their workflow. And for senior leadership, they focused on how the system would create cost savings and a return on investment (ROI).
It’s important to have clear intentions for your DAM investment to ensure long-term success. That’s why every Acquia DAM (Widen) implementation includes a strategy session to help customers identify these goals and objectives.
Assembling the dream team
Half the battle of building your best DAM team is finding the right candidates for the job. Bringing together a core group of decision-makers from your organization to speak to their own needs for the system is key in building a solution that will serve all users. Often, the most successful implementation project teams tend to be smaller, consisting of three to five people. They typically include a single identified future DAM admin, along with key representatives from each team who will use the system that can speak to what assets are ingested and how users should engage with those assets. Keep in mind that too many cooks in the kitchen can lead to decision paralysis, which may negatively impact your project timeline.
Don’t have a DAM admin identified yet? Get one! Check out our essential guide to what successful DAM administration looks like.
Governance is not a dirty word
Some people assume that a DAM system just runs itself. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want to maximize the value of your DAM system, you must have a thorough governance document, or set of guidelines that direct and control how your system should be used and managed.
Before implementation, this entails thoughtful configuration of your back-end structure, including your metadata and permissions. And after launch, it requires regular system maintenance. The DAM admin at Autodesk summarizes the importance of governance by saying, “If anybody is thinking about implementing a DAM [solution], they really need to have an ongoing plan for maintenance, metadata control, asset control, [and] user engagement, or else it will just be a failed piece of technology.”
Although this means a lot of planning and support, the good news is that your governance policies can flex and evolve with time. The Head of Creative Operations at McCormick advises, “Have a plan and keep it simple. You can always expand on it, so keep your security and your roles simple and organized, and you can always build that out as you go through your implementation.”
Knowledge is power
An effective user training program is an essential part of any successful software launch because it fosters system adoption. And post-launch, ongoing training makes users aware of new features and keeps them engaged.
You can use a variety of resources to build your training program, including manuals, on-demand videos, live instruction, and online courses (such as those Acquia offers in Widen University). Each format has unique benefits: an interactive group setting allows participants to learn from each other, while on-demand content accommodates busy schedules and global time zones.
The importance of continual learning extends to DAM admins, too! Widen University has advanced courses that focus on specific Acquia DAM apps as well as system administration. DAM admins can share use cases, problem-solve, network, and learn from their peers through the Acquia DAM community, as well as at our annual Acquia Engage Conference, where organizations showcase how they’ve solved their DAM challenges.
And if you’re still hungry for more implementation advice, consider spending some time with these resources:
- Our Digital Asset Management Implementation Playbook, which offers implementation tips and best practices
- And words of wisdom from other Acquia DAM customers
A seat at the table comes with great responsibility
Being part of the implementation team doesn’t mean simply completing a list of tasks. It requires a great deal of vision — not only to align your DAM goal with business objectives, but also to gather and implement feedback from the right stakeholders.
For example, Autodesk shared that during their implementation they involved key content producers by conducting usability testing and soliciting ideas for possible metadata schemas. Coordinating these efforts involved careful planning, but helped ensure that their system configurations were on the right track. And Crayola prioritized user training to ensure successful adoption across their organization.
We're better together
Although software implementation might not be for the faint of heart, it can be tackled with great success – if you have the right approach. And we’re here to help!
We offer a range of implementation services to meet each customer’s unique needs and share ways to ensure teams set attainable goals for success. When you’re ready, our Advisor team is available to discuss your options and unique DAM needs. Request, watch, or click through a demo of Acquia DAM today!
Note: This article was originally published in February 2021 and has been updated to remain current.