Obstacle #2: Lack of acceptance in the company
Many project managers realize only a few months after the introduction of a DAM that the tool is not used as planned or hoped for. What are the reasons?
We humans are creatures of habit and are reluctant to adapt to change. Why should the editor use a new complex system if he has always stored the required files in a certain folder on his hard drive and supposedly knows exactly where to find them? When the time for learning a new software is missing because there is already enough work on the table? What if others just don’t know that they can save a lot of time in the future because suddenly all infographics or product videos of other departments can be found and used?
The lack of crucial background knowledge and the resulting lack of acceptance for the use of the new technology, which in turn means that the DAM is not used in the intended manner, is enormously detrimental to profitability.
As the person responsible for the DAM project, how can you remedy this?
Generating empathy for the DAM project through change management and communication
To ensure a DAM project is successful, you need to act as a change manager. Get all colleagues who are affected on board right from the start. This applies to the stakeholders who fund the project as well as the people who implement the DAM and those who will later work with it – internally and externally.
Realistic resource planning
Set up an internal project and make a detailed schedule and capacity planning. The selection and implementation of a DAM system requires financial, human, and time resources that need to be planned in addition to the day-to-day business. A clear budget and realistic effort estimates go a long way toward ensuring that the project is approved and that those responsible can achieve the project goals.
Involve DAM users at an early stage
Involve all the people who will later work with the DAM at an early stage. Communicate the goal and benefits of the software implementation so that the affected departments and teams have the necessary knowledge and confidence in the process.
Try to involve employees in the development of project requirements. Ask them for example from which sources the assets need to be migrated to the DAM? Who should have access? Who should have what roles and permissions? What file formats are needed?
The bigger the feeling of safety is among users, the greater is the willingness to perceive the change as positive and to go along with it. It is not just a matter of explaining the overarching project goals. Highlight especially the positive operational impact of the DAM on employees’ workspace, but don’t forget to address challenges. You need to ensure a transparent communication throughout the whole project.
Once the DAM is implemented and the data migrated, you should provide comprehensive training. Only when users are familiar with all the functions and can use the full potential of the DAM, they will save time and see the benefits of the application.
Shutting down legacy systems
Despite all the preparatory measures, there is a great danger that users will still fall back on the familiar systems and storage locations.
Marketing has a “SharePoint” for image and video materials. Agencies deliver produced media to departments via FTP server. In sales, images, presentations and videos are stored on the intranet or on internal drives.
It is difficult to give up these old habits favoring a complex software that you have to get familiarized with first. It therefore makes sense to “help out” with a little push and switch off legacy systems after a clearly defined period of time, or to precisely define when to use them.
We have summarized in this blog post where SharePoint can show its strengths and where a DAM is superior.
Make short-term successes visible
Communicate the successes of the DAM project to further drive change. Regularly show how many people or teams are already working successfully with DAM. Showcase where integrated processes have led to time savings in content delivery or where agencies and other service partners now have faster access to files. Don’t forget to highlight where operational costs have been reduced by eliminating data storage on disparate systems.
If these steps are included in project planning and then followed in the implementation phase, you’ll jump the hurdle of the lack of acceptance and gain key advocates for the digital asset management system project in your organization from the start.
So far, so good. The DAM is up and running, stakeholders are using it – but there’s another hurdle lurking to complete project success: asset maintenance.
In the next and final part of this blog post series, we will show how metadata, tags, and AI can successfully carry your DAM project across the finish line.