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8 Keys to a successful DAM implementation

Published on 2nd January 2014 at 20:02 by Jason Janicki

8 Keys to a successful DAM implementation

If maximizing the value of your digital assets by implementing a DAM system is at the top of your to-do list, you may be wondering how to get started. With over 500 clients, we've learned a thing or two (or 8) about DAM projects. Check these boxes and you will be well on your way!


1. Know your R & R’s (Roles and Resources) - From the beginning, it’s important to determine the resources you can dedicate to the implementation of your digital asset management system. You need one owner/champion who will be responsible for driving the implementation, as well as achieving your vision and goals after the initial setup. A small, dedicated team should be assigned to help with the implementation. If you don’t dedicate resources to the implementation then you’ll never realize the value in your DAM! 

2. Establish goals and milestones - Setting deadlines and goals for completion of the various implementation stages is crucial. What is your deadline for rolling out to core users? What is your goal for launching firm-wide? What portion of your files need to be in the DAM in order for you to engage core users? What does the overall success of your DAM look like? Outlining these goals and meeting the desired deadlines is a great way to keep up the momentum of the project, and will ultimately result in a faster implementation.


3. Dedicate resources to uploading files - Congratulations, you have a DAM! Kind of. Actually, you have the opportunity to have a great DAM. Now you need to add content. Taking advantage of a Data Migration service can be very helpful and drastically shorten your implementation timeframe (here is some more information about OpenAsset's Data Migration service). Data migrations take planning, but they can also be a great way to get the majority of your content uploaded (with some keywords assigned as well) quickly. If you decide to manually upload all content, be sure to dedicate time to allow staff to upload files. The initial upload of content is the hardest part of the implementation process!

4. Keep your keyword structure simple - One goal of your DAM will be to quickly search and scan through a manageable view of files. Since the goal is not to find any one particular file with a single keyword, you don’t need a huge keyword structure right away (if ever). OpenAsset’s project-based search requires minimal tagging to find your files. And for non-project related metadata, be selective when creating your keyword structure. The more file keywords you create, the longer it will take to tag. Keep your resources in mind. If you only have one person who can help tag files then you may decide on a smaller keyword structure from the start. We recommend between 25-50 total file keywords.

5. Keep your content current - The initial upload/migration of data into your DAM is the hardest part of the implementation, but it isn’t the end of the project. You’ll need to establish a process for new uploads moving forward. Having an owner of the DAM is important to ensure new content is uploaded and tagged appropriately. Use features like reports and saved searches to easily keep track of any content that needs to be keyworded or reviewed and approved.


6. Rolling out your DAM - The more active users you have, the more you will get out of your DAM investment. Whether it’s sharing collections of files with colleagues, syncing content to mobile devices, integrating with your company intranet, or housing images of company events that everyone can access, there are plenty of ways that people outside of your core user base can take advantage of the content you’ve curated in your DAM. To get the most out of your investment, continue to make sure users know how to use the DAM and highlight the features that will make their jobs easier. Also, don’t forget to get their feedback! If they are struggling working the DAM into their workflow then you need to know about it and address it. Otherwise they’ll just stop using the DAM.

7. Publicize success - Implementing a DAM software is no small task. Share this success with colleagues and management so they can recognize your hard work. Give them statistics on the number of files in the system, keywords, etc. trust us, your colleagues will be very impressed when they all have access to the company’s digital assets.

8. Don’t maintain two libraries - A goal should be to archive your old folder structure. This will push people to adopt the new workflow of adding content to the DAM, which will end up saving loads of space on your servers, and ultimately time and headaches for your colleagues. It is never easy to convince people to use a new tool, but you need to force the move so that you are not maintaining two libraries. One method is to start by making the old folder structure “read only” for a period of time before you archive it completely.


8 Keys to a Successful DAM Implementation from OpenAsset
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