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Best Practices in Deploying and Managing DAM in The Enterprise


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Best Practices in Deploying and Managing Digital Asset management (DAM) in The Enterprise: A hands-on guide for global marketing operations by Charlie Gray, Owner of Gray’s Digital Consulting, LLC.

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Best Practices in Deploying and Managing DAM in The Enterprise

  1. 1. Best practices in deploying and managing DAM in the enterprise: A hands-on guide for global marketing operations By Charlie Gray, Owner of Gray’s Digital Consulting, LLC DAM Empower your digital media. Copyright © 2013 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Best practices in deploying and managing DAM in the enterprise: A hands-on guide for global marketing operations TABLE OF CONTENTS The focus of this paper is to help you understand how to develop buy-in and adoption from your peers and executive team for the use of a DAM system. Introduction Governance 3 Specific Business Needs 5 User SLA 6 Summary 6 Examples 7 About the Author Copyright © 2013 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. 3 8 2
  3. 3. Best practices in deploying and managing DAM in the enterprise: A hands-on guide for global marketing operations Introduction As technology speeds the rate at which change happens in the world, businesses have to keep up. This means, in part, using new software to work smarter, faster, and more effectively across the entire marketing organization. Leveraging a digital asset management (DAM) system helps an organization adapt to — and even stay ahead of — the evolving digital landscape. How does an enterprise effectively launch a DAM solution, and what are best practices for operating an enterprise-wide DAM system? The old days of managing digital assets using email or leveraging shared hard drives are long gone. Today’s pace of business simply will not stand for it. My experience consists of eight years using a DAM system and three years of managing one with over 4,000 users and 50,000 digital assets at a $30-billion dollar global business, Motorola Mobility. The first and potentially most important thing is to always remember and communicate regularly that a DAM system cannot work by itself. It takes people, processes, and time to make a DAM system an effective tool for meeting your business needs. This requires that the business own the responsibility of maintaining and managing the content and users of a DAM system. When you buy a car, you know you have to maintain it so that the car will provide years of reliable service. It is the same with a DAM system. All too often, companies forget to recognize or provide the proper ongoing maintenance. While there is a variety of best practices dealing with metadata, and organization of assets, I will share my experiences and some suggestions associated with launching and ongoing operation of a DAM system within a large enterprise. The focus of this paper is to help you understand how to develop buy-in and adoption from your peers and executive team for the use of a DAM system. Governance One important step you can take towards buy-in and adoption is to create a DAM governance team that has clearly defined authority in maintaining the DAM system, managing your asset library and training users to interact with it properly. It is, by far, one of the most significant things you can do to affect the success potential of DAM software. Before we go through the details of what a governance team should manage, let’s take a moment to go over who should be part of the governance team and why. At the highest level, you can describe two types of members: enablers and blockers. So what exactly is an enabler and a blocker? Enablers are people that help enable the goals of using the DAM system. Blockers will stand in the way and block efforts to expand use and adoption of the DAM system. You need them both on the governance team. At a functional level, you need to include managers, power users, and people from functional groups that could benefit from using the DAM system, but are not using it today. If you have customers or external users accessing the DAM system, they need to be part of the governance team as well. So why should you define governance team members as either enablers or blockers? And why should they be on the governance team? Because at a functional level, anyone could act as an enabler or blocker; even the best power users can be blockers and you need to know why so you can develop a plan to respond appropriately. Copyright © 2013 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. 3
  4. 4. Best practices in deploying and managing DAM in the enterprise: A hands-on guide for global marketing operations Including customers or other external stakeholders on the governance team can bring civility and cooperation that otherwise would be difficult to achieve with politically motivated internal users. It can also help the governance team to focus on helping the customer achieve their goals. After all, isn’t that the real goal for everyone. And don’t forget to include the DAM vendor. No matter how well you think your team knows DAM, the vendor will know it better and will have seen other customer solutions that your team can benefit from. The whole point is to understand the needs of enablers and blockers and develop a plan to respond appropriately. Ultimately, you want a governance team that is empowered, passionate, and focused on getting the most from the DAM system. The governance team should manage the organization, categorization, and the metadata structure. The team should also make decisions about features and other options made available by the software provider. Make sure that this team’s involvement with the governance process is supported by their managers, and becomes part of their yearly job review process. Part of my role within Motorola was to build a digital marketing team. I worked with HR and senior management to define digital marketing job descriptions and hire people to fill these roles. The typical skills and abilities I focused on when hiring someone were focused more on personal traits, like perseverance, negotiating skills, being customer centric, and their desire to learn, rather than specific knowledge of DAM and DAM systems. If you’re deploying a DAM system, reach out and engage with HR and other managers within your company to clearly define the skills these positions will require. If you still find managers unwilling to have members of their teams be part of the governance team, make those managers part of the governance team. Getting managers to support the governance process — by getting either them or people they manage to participate — can be done in a variety of ways. Focus on making them aware of the value DAM provides to their specific team. Sharing information on how often the manager’s team members use the DAM system can be an eye opener. I spoke with a manager who did not realize that his team of 25 employees spent two hours per day on average using the DAM system. Helping managers understand how, when, what, where and why their teams are using your DAM system helps sell them on involvement in governing the system. Another approach is to show how the DAM system can solve a problem for the manager’s team. Controlling access to different versions of product images is an excellent example. Many of Motorola’s stakeholder teams were producing product images that were branded for specific customers in great detail. The DAM system was configured in such a way that customers could only see their specific version of any given product image. This process virtually eliminated the risk of providing the customer the wrong product asset. I even engaged our security and legal teams to endorse the processes we used as well. Be aware of the size and culture of your business when you define how detailed the governance process needs to be. Large organizations are often governed by larger processes or government agencies. For example, an ISO (International Standardization for Organization) 9000 or FDA (Food and Drug Administration)- regulated businesses will require different or more detailed governance than a creative agency working with consumer packaged goods. Build the governance organization and processes appropriate to the business size and culture. Make sure the governance team has the following authority and responsibilities: Copyright © 2013 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. 4
  5. 5. Best practices in deploying and managing DAM in the enterprise: A hands-on guide for global marketing operations • Define the yearly budget for operation, training and system improvements. • Define user service level agreements (SLAs) and measure and report against them. • Define, measure and report the return on investment (ROI) value of the DAM system either quarterly, monthly, or annually. • Develop metadata standards and operational processes. • Train the end users of the system. • Socialize the benefit of the DAM system to other departments and managers. • Ensure the governance team represents a cross section of all different users of the system, including external customers. Specific Business Needs Focus on how the DAM system can address specific pain points or business needs. This is particularly important when the system is new. I chose solving a security issue as the key driver for securing a full-time administrative resource for our DAM system. At Motorola, leaking information about a product before the official launch can cost the company millions through loss of competitive position. There are also legal concerns, which often relate to the cost of legal procedures. While I could not make any guarantees that a product leak would be prevented, I was able to receive the funding I needed to hire a full-time administrator and define and manage operational processes that drastically reduced the risk of a product leak occurring. If a product leak did occur, the DAM systems analytics features allowed us to trace the leaked assets back to the user who was the source of the leak. As part of the process, I defined success metrics around security issues and how leveraging a full-time admin of the DAM system would alleviate this pain point. We reported the success metrics based on security issues on a monthly basis, confirming the value of having a full-time Administrator for the DAM system. Of course, I included the security and legal teams for support and guidance. Another potential pain point is addressing the business’s ability to properly deal with the rights management of digital assets. Clearly defining how the DAM software will solve this specific problem makes it simple for management to give their support. For example, I requested $25,000 to train users on digital rights restrictions. The justification was timely since the company had previously been sued — for more than $500,000 — for violating the rights of a restricted photo. Initial findings revealed that many employees were unaware of the meaning of, and restrictions associated with, rights-restricted assets. We required all users to go through a simple training on what rights-restrictions were and implemented specific metadata fields for rights restricted assets. If your company uses rights-restricted assets, make sure that you train the users and take advantage of the system’s capabilities to help you manage these assets. Some systems can add a message on a given asset’s preview page letting users know that the image has rights restrictions (and what the restrictions are). Don’t wait to actually get sued. Given the legal and liability benefits of DAM software, you might be able to get support for the project from your legal team, so ask for them to back up your efforts. Copyright © 2013 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. 5
  6. 6. Best practices in deploying and managing DAM in the enterprise: A hands-on guide for global marketing operations User Service Level Agreements Service level agreements are typically not related to what end users of the DAM system should expect. When a business looks to implement a DAM system with a vendor, they typically request Six Sigma system reliability, require defined issue escalation processes and procedures, operational support, and more. Most reputable DAM vendors have most, if not all of these. Therefore, focus your efforts on creating a separate SLA to address your users’ needs. This is one way to ensure your end users understand what they should expect, and who is accountable for meeting those expectations. Take the time to talk with the users of the system to understand their concerns. For example, we changed how asset groups were created and how people were given access to these newly created asset groups. The system administrator became the only person who could create and give access to new asset groups. We made this change at the request (or demand) of our security team. The users became concerned about whether tight control over access would result in longer wait periods, and thus an obstacle to completing their tasks on time. We addressed this concern by making an SLA with the users. For responding to requests for access to a specific asset group, our SLA called for 24-hour response times. We trained users on how to make the request so that we could track it. We then produced monthly reports on the number of requests for access to specific asset groups and tracked response times for completing or otherwise responding to each request. Even though this was a manual process to track, it was well worth the effort, as it gave us great numbers to frame the effectiveness of the system to upper management. Creating the appropriate business-user SLA can do more for building morale and support, resulting in higher usage of the DAM system than any vendor SLA. Don’t ignore serving the needs of the users of the DAM system. After all, this is where most of the business value for having a DAM system comes from. Summary As you begin to build your case and structure for supporting DAM in a large organization, I would first concentrate on governance, creating the structure and getting engagement. Without it, it will be very difficult to do any of the other best practices. Focus on working with HR and senior leadership to define roles and responsibilities for the DAM system and get their approval for creating and defining these roles within your business. Once you have that in place, defining a user SLA will have the next biggest impact on your DAM system’s success. Listening and responding to the concerns and issues for the users of the system will gain you credibility and acceptance that should improve user adoption and their willingness to provide you with quality feedback. If you can’t do anything else, at least listen and respond to users issues. If you find yourself in the situation where your management does not see the value in creating a governance team to own the DAM system, focus on solving specific business needs that impacts the largest number of users and that takes the least amount of your effort to solve. Define an ROI for the DAM system and socialize it with the managers and users of the DAM system. See examples of DAM governance and a user SLA on the following page. Copyright © 2013 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. 6
  7. 7. DAM GOVERNANCE Manager/Owner The digital asset manager is the owner. Team Members Members are from each geographic region and functional organizations. An odd number of members will be used to ensure voting does not result in ties. Members will serve for one year and annual job reviews will include involvement on the DAM Governance Team. Team Member Responsibilities • Provide input to the development an application of content operation standards and processes • Review and ensure compliance of management of standards and processes on content operations • Provide recommendations on existing and evolving strategies for asset rights and usage management • Define system level ROI and ensure that it’s measured and communicated to appropriate management • Review, prioritize and oversee the efforts to solve user specific issues • Provide review and approval of asset standards • Support additional expansion of existing structure to meet growing needs • Prioritize system improvement initiatives, define project ROI, and participate with implementation of system improvements SAMPLE USER SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT A monthly report will be generated showing all of these details: • Last month’s request for creation of a new asset group and approval or denial, with a goal of completing within 24 hrs. • Total number of requests • Average time to complete request • Shortest time to complete request • Longest time to complete request • Last month’s request for access to a specific asset group, approved/denied with a goal of completing within 24 hrs. • Total number of requests • Average time to complete request • Shortest time to complete request • Longest time to complete request • List of user issues that have been reviewed and prioritized for resolution. • Schedule for next month’s training sessions about newly released system capabilities. • Schedule for the next month’s meetings to review and prioritize user issues. User attendance is encouraged. • List of new asset groups created in the last month. • Monthly ROI measures.
  8. 8. Best practices in deploying and managing DAM in the enterprise: A hands-on guide for global marketing operations About the Author Charlie Gray is the founder of Gray’s Digital Consulting. Prior to starting his consulting firm, Charlie spent more than a decade at Motorola Mobility. For nine of those years, he led the strategy and management for implementing new web platforms across all divisions of Motorola – one of which was Motorola’s DAM system. The system housed over 50,000 digital images and videos. Under Charlie’s leadership, it became a highly secure and useful tool for more than 4,000 users around the world. Web and digital marketing continues to be Charlie’s passion as he works to help companies achieve great results through the web. Contact Gray’s Digital Consulting at Copyright © 2013 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. 8