Things to think about: Implementation edition
Implementation. Defined as “putting into effect, fulfillment”, in the context of digital asset management (DAM) systems, it’s about getting your DAM set up.
The word and the act of implementation are both feared and cheered when it comes to marketing technology. Good implementation involves a lot of work (that’s where the fear comes in) and in the end, can make a huge difference in how useful and usable a system is (this is the cheering part).
Regardless of your personal feelings about implementation, you can’t escape it and if you want to get the most out of your DAM system, you should embrace it. To help you here is a list of eight things to think about as you plan or execute a DAM implementation.
- Educate yourself. If you have been asked to implement a DAM system out of the blue, or without being part of the search and selection process, take the time to learn where the project began, what solution was selected, and what problems are expected to be resolved post-implementation. If you were part of the decision-making team during system selection, make sure to keep these key points in mind, especially the problems that are expected to be resolved.
- Define the end goal. Knowing the problems your DAM is solving is an important element of determining what is required for the DAM to go-live. These goals must be clearly stated and committed to paper. Often starting simple is the best method to ensure the long-term success of a project is accounted for.
- Identify key stakeholders. There are many different stakeholders when it comes to a DAM system. There are often IT pros, managers, and financial people with an investment in the system, as well as the users in marketing, creative, and sales roles. As you implement, carefully consider who should help and/or provide input on how the system is set-up.
- Confirm administrative support. You must have support for implementation and ongoing DAM maintenance. Without long-term administrative support, it will be hard for your system to stay useful. Ensure you have support to spend time, invest in any other resources you will need and prepare for when new administrators transition down the road.
- Determine benchmarks for success. Little wins = constant satisfaction. Make sure your implementation is comprised of multiple little projects that create the end goal. Having a large, non-specific goal like “get the DAM system up and running” is what you are ultimately aiming for, but to get there you need to have small, concrete steps.
- Prepare for hiccups. Notice we didn’t say plan for hiccups…because you can’t do that. Just be prepared that there will be some snags and hangups. Give yourself enough time to get everything done and make a few mistakes. On the upside, it’s also likely that some things will go better than planned, so you may have a few unscheduled successes as well.
- Take the plunge. Start, stay committed, succeed. Your DAM will always be a work in practice, so don’t get hung up on having everything perfect before you begin implementation. You have to try, test, evaluate, and adjust.
- Debrief. Enjoy your success, acknowledge areas for improvement, and ensure things transition to long-term maintenance mode. Once implementation is over, you move right into maintenance mode. Ok, you can take a little break, but don’t think that organizing your DAM is done for good.
So there you have it. A tidy list of things to think about when you implement a digital asset management system.
If you are looking for more information on DAM implementation, see our resource “Streamline your DAM Implementation”. The focus is on how an information professional like a digital librarian can help you with implementation, but it offers concrete suggestions for everyone on what to pay attention to before, during, and after implementation.