Blog | October 20, 2011

We’ve Answered Your DAM Questions

by Jody Vandergriff in Digital Asset Management

There were a lot of great questions in our last digital asset management webinar on User Adoption and we’d like to share them with you, along with their answers.  As always, the webinar recording and slides are available for download here.

Q:  How many people need to be on the DAM team?

A:  It isn’t really about the number of people but rather who is represented.  If your DAM is just for the Communications team, then you may only have a couple of people on your DAM team.  But if you have an enterprise implementation across teams, you will want to include representative from each of those teams.  Especially if you have geographically dispersed teams, it is important to include their feedback.

Q:  When you talk about gathering feedback and integrating it back into your digital asset management system, what kind of feedback are you referring to?  We have a vendor that we work with for our DAM and can’t easily make changes to the software.

A:  Whether you work with a vendor or have a home-grown system, software isn’t easy to change.  But remember, DAM isn’t just software.  It is also about people and processes.  The feedback that will likely be collected from users will be things like their ability to find the assets they need, issues with any of the workflows you have built-into the system, incomplete controlled vocabularies or metadata schema – information that users would like to be able to search on – availability of certain assets, and so on – a lot of the “business process” type of feedback.  And keep in mind, many systems are highly configurable so even software-related feedback make be able to be incorporated easily.

Q:  We have a really public DAM – available for any guests on the web. How do you recommend communicating changes to so many users?

A:  This question is probably most applicable to Webdam users since Webdam provides a way to setup your account for public access.  Speaking specifically about Webdam, I have seen customers build custom pages right in their DAM with FAQs, best practices and terms of use – all of the important information that users need access to.  In this scenario, it would also be important to make contact information readily available should users have questions or issues.

Q: We launched two years ago, but have continual adoption problems. What tips are good for adoption issues when your system is not brand new?

A: If you’re having adoption issues two years later, have a re-launch.  All of the tips and ideas we provided in the webinar about launching your DAM are just as applicable to a re-launch.  A re-launch can get people excited about the project all over again and get you thinking about ways to make improvements.  Gather feedback from both active users and the inactive ones to see if you can identify a source of the adoption problems:  Are there usability challenges, have people been properly educated on the system, do you have a means of communicating easily with your users, and so on.

Q: One thing we do is to send a weekly email to our main users listing the new assets added to the sytem in that week. Is this a good way to handle keeping users active and involved?

A: Absolutely.  Engagement of any kind is key to getting users coming back.  Repeat communication is incredibly powerful.  You may also want to explore RSS feeds in Webdam which allows users to subscribe to feeds at the folder level and be automatically updated when new assets are added.

Q: What suggestions do you have to encourage DAM use by vendors who belong to companies outside of my own?  The situation is made more challenging because new vendors are brought on after DAM implementation.

A: For vendors, you will want to create a brief training or vendor guide, specific for their roles and responsibilities with the DAM since they will likely have limiited functions in the system and won’t want to invest much time in sifting through training materials. When you bring new vendors on, communicate to them that this process is required and have them complete the brief training as part of your on-boarding with them.  It is often actually easier working with new vendors than ones that have used the old system because you don’t have any old habits to break.  Just be very concise in your instructions to them and be sure to train them right from the start.

Q: We are still having some problems getting our agency partners to remember to upload new images and assets to the DAM system.  They rely on their own FTP to send files to our printer and don’t seem to post to DAM until specifically requested.  Any tips to change that behavior?

A: Breaking old habits is always hard.  If possible, the best thing you can do is remove the old process from their options.  As Leigh Ann mentioned, this is a Big Bang launch.  In your example, this may not be possible since it involves another vendor.  However, the next best thing is to correct the behavior everytime it happens (ie – nag).  Repeat communication is incredibly powerful.  As we covered in the webinar, it is often important to communicate very clearly why you implemented the DAM in the first place and be clear about its benefits in order to get them on-board.  Don’t be afraid to directly ask them why they are not using the system.  They will either reveal an issue you weren’t aware of (don’t know how, hard to use, to slow, etc) or, if there is no issue, you are at least reinforcing your process to them and reminding them that they need to follow it.

Have another question?  Ask away and email or just leave a comment in the comment box.  User adoption does not have to be on your indefinite to-do-list. With some planning, energy, and excitement, you’ll have your DAM adopted in no time.

The overall attendance and participation in the Summer Webinar Series far exceeded our expectations and we got a lot of valuable feedback that will be incorporating into our next series (stay tuned for more information).  Thank you again to all who participated!  See you next time!