The People You Need for a Successful DAM Initiative

In my last post, I reviewed David Diamond’s new book, DAM Survival Guide . A major strength of this book is that Diamond emphasizes the critical importance of the non-technological aspects of a DAM initiative. In his view, a successful DAM project requires a combination of people with the right knowledge and skills, well-designed business processes, well-conceived business policies, and finally, the right technology tools.

On the people side, Mr. Diamond identifies six positions or roles that are essential for a successful DAM project.

  • Initiative Owner — This person is responsible for planning and managing the DAM initiative. He or she is the public face of the DAM project and one of its chief evangelists. The Initiative Owner should be conversant with DAM technologies, and he or she should ideally have sufficient authority to obtain and commit the financial resources that will be required to complete the project.
  • Systems Manager — This is the individual who is primarily responsible for the technical IT aspects of the DAM initiative. In most cases, this function will be performed by someone in the organization’s IT department. The System Manager’s main job is to ensure that the DAM system has an adequate technological infrastructure.
  • Librarian — The Librarian is the person who provides the information organization expertise for the DAM initiative. He or she typically leads the process of developing the taxonomies, metadata structure, and “controlled vocabulary” that will be used in the DAM system
  • Technical Developer — The Technical Developer is the person who handles the technical configuration of the DAM software and any custom programming that is required to make the DAM software fit your organization’s specific needs. The Technical Developer is also responsible for integrating the DAM software with other enterprise IT systems.
  • Database Managers — These are the individuals who make sure that the DAM system will meet the specific requirements of individual departments within the enterprise. For example, the marketing department and the legal department are likely to have different DAM system needs, requirements, and priorities. Database Managers provide the input that’s needed to ensure that the DAM system will meet these diverse needs.
  • Metadata Editor(s) — Metadata Editors are responsible for ensuring that all assets ingested into the DAM system are properly tagged and otherwise described via metadata. Without proper tagging, digital assets can be practically invisible to users. In a large enterprise, each relevant department may have one or more metadata editors.

As Mr. Diamond writes, it is possible for one individual to perform more than one of these functions, and it can be possible to outsource some of these functions, especially during the initial implementation phase of a DAM initiative. However, all of these functions need to be addressed in some way to have a successful DAM project.

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Author:Jan Dejosse

CMO - ADAM Software

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