10 Pitfalls of the DAM'd
Digital asset management projects do not figure in the long and inglorious history of failed information technology projects as often as ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) initiatives; they are typically smaller in scale.
But failures exist. There are many ways to get a DAM (digital asset management) project wrong, and only one way to get it right. By 'getting it right', we mean that the organization enjoys a reasonable return on its investment within a year of going live.
Here are some pitfalls we have run into over the past decade:
1. Project scope is too broad. Choose a high-value and well-bounded problem, in which a 'win' will have good visibility within the organization. This ensures management will support the next phase, and the project team will have an internal 'reference customer' to help sell the changes in workflow to new users. The first phase of any DAM project is building a repository of useful asset files, and rolling them out to the users who need them most, creating a model of 'self service access'.
2. Poor leadership. All major projects need two kinds of leaders: a senior management champion whose commitment of energy, political capital, and resources provides 'air cover' for the project team; and a project manager who orchestrates the project resources to ensure goals are met. No senior champion means a project manager might find his work blocked by entrenched interests. No strong hands-on manager to lead it means a DAM project can degenerate into expensive over-reliance on the software vendor.
3. False expectations about benefits. There are typically four constituencies with expectations about what the DAM project will achieve: senior management looks for financial returns and strategic advantage; middle management looks for operational improvements, satisfied customers, and financial returns; internal users look for greater autonomy; external customers want better service. Be sure to solicit input from all stakeholders.