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Building Your DAM Team

Leveraging Skills to Create Your Best Opportunity for Success

Whether you are changing Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems, optimizing the one you have, or working on a governance and maintenance plan for the long term, it is critical that you assemble strong teams. You need to mold a team of high-level DAM champions and foster another team of ground users. The first team will address strategy and budget, while the second team will work daily to get things done in the DAM. Both are critical to the success of your DAM, and you should take certain considerations into account when building these teams.

DAM Champions

The high-level team, your DAM champions, will be decision-makers and strategy-setters and will likely control the project's purse strings. You will want to find individuals from departments like IT, marketing and communications, creative, budgeting and finance, and legal, with authority to speak on behalf of the department. Their willingness to champion the DAM to their departments will help ensure the system's adoption. 


These voices will determine the adoption and reputation of the DAM. You will likely need to engage with these stakeholders to explain the value of the DAM to their department and the organization's mission. It’s essential to get complete buy-in and understanding from your champions to engage with the rest of the organization. The more people with clear reasons to advocate for the DAM, the better it will integrate with the organization.

GROUND USERS

Maybe you have already procured a DAM system and need to assign or refine responsibilities for management and use of the system. This team is critical–their daily work ensures long-term success, so the building of this team needs special attention. Core members will be responsible for project management, day-to-day work, and communication across the team and beyond. Some of these roles can overlap, but it is vital to ensure that individual strengths and energies can focus on where they can best be applied.

 

COMMUNICATORS

Someone with oversight of the whole team can function as a communicator. The role of the communicator will entail a lot of meetings and discussions at various levels, and this person will likely need to be a representative on the high-level team. Communicators serve as a bridge between the expectations and requests of the system, the teams, and the reality of what can be accomplished by the project managers and facilitators.

 

PROJECT MANAGERS

Individuals with a strong logistics and planning skillset should be tapped for the project management role. The project manager will direct needs and resources and set up long-term goals and short-term plans. This person may have to manage people from different departments, so it’s crucial to establish this role openly and constructively to establish trust and initiate buy-in.

 

FACILITATORS

Project managers will largely be directing the work of the facilitators—your day-to-day users—individuals who have excellent attention to detail and the ability to consistently and intelligently create and apply processes for the success of the DAM. Facilitators take on roles such as creators, editors, catalogers, etc. Your facilitators will become your experts from working in the DAM and using it daily. It can be a common mistake to undervalue the work your day-to-day users are doing and attempt to diversify their responsibilities, but this can dilute the strengths they bring to the table. Allow everyone to concentrate solely on their core job without burdening them with additional work and responsibilities.

 

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

A tech person involved in this team helps ensure no communication or functionality breakdowns between what end-users want and what the system or IT team can deliver. Does the DAM meet the internal requirements of your organization's infrastructure? How can the system be integrated into existing systems and processes in a manageable way? Technical support can answer these questions and provide a realistic direction that complies with your infrastructure.

ENCOUNTER RESISTANCE AND EARN BUY-IN

It is common to encounter resistance when you are building your teams. Resistance occurs for various reasons: someone not being mentally ready for the change, having tried a similar new system before that didn’t work out, or concerns that their needs will not be met or even heard as the new system is implemented. The first thing to do is to determine their motivation. What is the concern that is driving their resistance? Asking this question also allows you to compile pain points and issues that may not have come up previously that you can incorporate into your plan. Their input may also help you address issues you had not been aware of previously. 


There will be compromises in the new system, but by helping people feel that their issues and needs are taken seriously, you will be able to earn trust in a much stronger manner than if you ignore dissenting voices. At the minimum, acknowledging and validating raised issues, even if it is impossible to address them fully, will alleviate concerns and build better buy-in. 


Wherever you are in your MAM or DAM journey, it is crucial to build strong teams at every level to champion, lead, and craft the system. Having a solid core of supporters on your oversight and the day-to-day teams will set you up for success across the entire organization. Your teams will be creating a media library that is easy to use, adopt, and provides efficiency and value enterprise-wide.