DAM champ: Jennifer Pflaumer

DAM champ Jennifer Pflaumer launched her information management consultancy, Paroo, in 2009 after realizing the need for concentrated information management solutions for businesses across all industries. Her expertise includes liaising between key business groups and IT departments to manage digital assets, creating information strategies, and performing systems analysis and design. She earned her Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from UCLA, with a focus on human-computer interaction, digital media, and information architecture.

DAM champ: Someone who supports finding, setting up, or maintaining a DAM system. There’s a wide variety of DAM champions who come from positions in production, creative, management, IT, and marketing.

Jennifer Pflaumer digital asset management champWhat is your role in supporting or organizing a digital asset management (DAM) project?

I provide a number of different services as they relate to DAM projects for my clients, including gathering business requirements, assessing vendor responses to RFPs, creating taxonomies, project management, change management, training, evaluation of current processes, and reporting on best practices for better system management and implementation.

Explain a little bit about how you interact with digital assets during your workday.

Depending on what phase of a project I’m working on, I may be evaluating an organization’s digital assets to determine a plan for ingest into the DAM, or reviewing the taxonomy and metadata in the system as they relate to assets to ensure that the system will work as intended.

How did you find out about DAM systems as a way to deal with digital assets?

When I first started working with organizations to manage their digital assets in 2009, I began exploring the available systems and ways to do this besides typical file shares. I came across DAM systems in my research and began reaching out to organizations that were using them to understand the differences between the systems and how they were being used. It made me realize the immense possibilities with these systems and the great need that they can fill for a number of businesses in a variety of industries.

How do the skills you learned in library school help you with DAM?

The key skills that I learned and developed in school, which I draw on constantly, are systems analysis and design and effective writing and communication. These skills enable me to objectively analyze systems and processes in place and provide clear guidance to my clients on ways to improve their management of digital assets.

Why is DAM important?

The amount of digital assets created daily, monthly, and annually by every organization is truly staggering. The ease with which these assets are created and destroyed has the potential to cause major problems for organizations, from time inefficiencies to valuable assets being lost or rendered unusable. Employing dedicated systems, strategies, and governance for managing digital assets is essential for thriving in today’s landscape.

What’s the best thing about DAM?

It provides the ability to have one central repository that makes assets easily findable by their relevant metadata.

What’s your biggest challenge working in DAM?

Changing the processes that organizations currently use to get their work done is the biggest challenge that I face with DAM implementations. DAMs can greatly simplify and improve those processes, but getting staff to embrace those changes and alter their methods for managing digital assets can be difficult. However, this is one challenge I relish, as I love seeing the aha moment and helping staff to save time and effort, which ultimately makes their lives easier.

What advice would you give to people who are trying to get a DAM system in their organization?

First, evaluate your needs, understand the current pain points, and determine specific use cases for DAM within your organization. Many DAM systems have similar functionality, so having a basic understanding of the requirements to fulfill will help you to better evaluate which system is a good fit. Involve stakeholders in a variety of departments from the beginning to include all points of view and ensure that the decision to move forward with a particular system is shared. This will foster greater adoption across the organization once a system is chosen.

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