DAM Governance: Why It Matters

You’ve updated your digital asset management (DAM) system, imported all your media, and trained everyone to use the catalogue. Your DAM system is up and running – and that’s great – but to ensure the long-term health and success of your DAM, you need a DAM governance strategy.

What is DAM Governance?

DAM governance is the process of continually working with stakeholders to manage change and adapt your system to your organization’s needs. It establishes and maintains communication between all relevant stakeholders for sustained DAM success.

What does DAM governance look like in action?

In practice, governance takes the form of regular, disciplined meetings of cross-functional stakeholders, to review and address user feedback, changes to processes and policies, and technical upgrades or repairs.

These stakeholders should include representatives from different areas and levels of your organization. This gives all relevant parties a forum to be heard, ensuring that user experience is understood from every angle. (Read more about Building an Effective DAM Team .)

DAM teams should include:

  • IT
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Creative
  • Budgeting and Finance
  • Legal
  • Ad hoc sub-teams*

*Your team may want to establish specialized sub-teams to address specific issues such as taxonomies, metadata application, or ontology.

A note about the importance of IT in DAM Governance

Every organization’s needs are unique when it comes to planning long-term change management for a DAM, but IT is critically important in every organization. IT’s support of a DAM platform is critical, addressing technical requirements and maintenance, so it’s important to include them and develop a good rapport from the outset.

Communication is the Key

Challenges to DAM governance can come from several angles – lack of resources, misaligned expectations, low levels of engagement in the DAM – but the biggest potential challenge, by far, is poor communication.

Creatives often struggle to communicate their digital content needs to IT; IT needs a forum to explain their resource constraints to Finance; and Finance needs clear direction from upper management about future budget needs.

Engaging these stakeholders in regular DAM governance is the key – not only to resolve the individual issues, but also to make sure the stakeholders feel that their concerns and needs are being heard. That’s why a regular meeting cadence, with an agenda that’s developed and understood by everyone on the team, is critical.

How to start your DAM governance plan

It can be difficult to get this process started without someone – an objective third party – to walk your team through the steps of establishing and maintaining a governance plan. At Aldis, we work with many organizations and companies on their DAM governance strategy. We often serve as a translator – an interdepartmental ambassador – knowing which questions to ask and which answers to provide, in language that resonates with each sub-team of stakeholders.

(And we love it.)   

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