Building an Effective DAM Team
Leveraging Skillsets to Utilize your Media
Whether you’re changing Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems, optimizing the one you already have, or implementing a DAM for the first time, it’s crucial to have strong teams that maintain the DAM, and/or use the system in their daily work. Your DAM team will really be two sub-teams: the DAM Governance Team, and the Core DAM Team.
DAM Governance Team: DAM Champions
The governance team – your high-level DAM champions – will be decision-makers and strategy-setters, and will likely control the project's purse strings. (Read more about how to establish an effective DAM Governance Plan.)
The high-level DAM team should inlcude individuals from the following areas:
- Marketing and Communications
- Budgeting and Finance
These should be people with the authority to speak on behalf of their entire department. Their willingness to champion the DAM within their departments will determine the system's adoption and eventual success in the organization. The more directly invested these individuals are, the better your DAM will be integrated at every level.
Core DAM Team: Ground Users
The “ground users” are the people who will directly manage the system and use the media archived within. Core DAM members will be primarily responsible for:
- Project management
- Review and approval of team tasks
- Day-to-day work
- Communication across the team and beyond
Some of these roles can overlap, but it’s important to have people dedicated to a few critical areas of expertise: organizational communications, project management, facilitation, and technical support.
Team DAM Leaders: Organizational Communicators
Someone with oversight of the whole team is in a unique position to communicate effectively up and down the organization. Participating in meetings and informal discussions at all levels, they can make sure that the DAM team’s priorities (and the technical realities of the DAM) are part of your organization’s strategic outlook.
DAM Logistics & Strategy Leaders: Project Managers
A project manager will direct resources and set up long-term goals and short-term plans. Logistical savvy and people skills are crucial for this role, which often requires communicating across departments.
Day-To-Day DAM Users: Facilitators
Project managers will direct the work of the facilitators, the day-to-day users who have excellent attention to detail and the ability to create processes for the success of the DAM. Facilitators take on roles such as creating, editing, cataloging, etc.
Your facilitators will become your technical experts from daily working in the DAM. Encouraging your facilitators to dive deeply into this work and, in turn, specialize, can cultivate valuable efficiencies and skillsets. Overburdening facilitators or unnecessarily broadening their responsibilities will only harm your DAM system in the long run.
Technical DAM Support
A tech person dedicated to this team can minimize breakdowns between what the system can deliver and what end-users need. A deep technical knowledge of your organization’s infrastructure is imperative for your DAM’s implementation and continued maintenance.
What if your DAM team encounters resistance?
It’s common to encounter some resistance from individuals while building your teams. Change is hard. Maybe someone has tried a similar system before, but it was poorly implemented and created confusion, so they have understandable resistance. Take it head-on, ask them to describe their concerns in detail, and engage the team in tackling the challenge, together.
Every new plan entails some compromise. Listening to and validating the concerns of your teams will guide your approach in new and fruitful ways, all while earning needed trust.
Building a strong DAM team is vital to its success!
Building the right team is just as important as building the right technical DAM system – maybe more important. A solid core of supporters on your governance and ground-user teams will set you up for success across your entire organization.