How much time do I need to commit to DAM?

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punch clockHow much time do I need to commit to DAM? 
This is a common question we often get in the context of managing the implementation process and DAM administration duties ongoing from those new to DAM.
The truthful answer is “it depends.”
The “General Rules” that our Project Services team typically provide include:
1) Your implementation commitment to be twice the amount of Widen time, estimating Widen time to be:
  • ~8 hours for the standard implementation process (not including training)
  • +18-24 hours for additional services & optional enhancements that require PM/Dev time and time on the customer side in getting it all together
2) Your ongoing time commitment for DAM administration is recommended ~10-15 hours per week for the primary admin

Customer Snapshots

Read a few of the customer snapshots below to get a better understanding for the time allocation across a variety of Widen customers.
Kristy Smith, Senior Specialist, Creative Services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital says that her job description actually states that DAM should take up about 1/3 of her time. In a 40 hour-week she spends approximately 13-15 hours per week with DAM administration tasks. She estimates her time spent during implementation was around 20 hours spread out over a month’s time. 
Valerie DeCleene, Marcomm Graphic Designer and BradyLibrary Administrator at Brady Corporation estimates she spends four hours or less per week administering the actual DAM and userbase, but probably spends another 8-10 hours per week cleaning up metadata, uploading and tagging assets. 
Michael San Filippo, Assistant Director, Digital Strategy and Web Operations at Institute of International Education (IIE) spends 10% of his week on DAM administration (and wishes he had the bandwidth to devote more time). The implementation took one part-time person approximately three months at 20 hours/week as well as an additional 100 man hours spread out among four stakeholders to evaluate, review, deploy, test, etc.
Kevin Powell, Digital Asset Specialist at Brown University manages the DAM full-time. When it comes to doing active quality control, he spends two or three hours each week with asset and user-related tasks in addition to reviewing asset groups and reaching out to asset group administrators. As for implementation, there's been a team of nine working on the DAM system since late 2012, but it picked up with the development and documentation of standards and workflows when Kevin started in June 2013. Brown’s DAM is intended to serve the majority of administrative departments on campus and soft-launched in September 2012, and officially ended the implementation phase in early 2014.
Check out our DAMster interview series for more customer stories.

How to Estimate the Time Yourself

Over many years, we have interviewed and surveyed global administrators to better estimate this moving target of resource management. What we've learned is that the following ingredients are common, but add up differently for each customer. They will help you to better estimate your own situation, in any case.
For existing assets (Widen to perform the bulk upload, categorization and metadata mapping):
  • How many individual assets do you have now?
  • Have you decided on a preliminary metadata structure? How many metadata fields are needed for each asset? Do you plan to have different schemas for different asset groups?
  • Do you have any metadata for the existing assets? Is it custom from another system, or embedded image metadata? How many fields?
For new assets:
  • How many assets are you adding per week or per month?
  • What percentage of your assets are images with embedded metadata fields, and how many of these fields should be searchable in DAM? 
  • What percentage of metadata fields would be added during upload, and what percentage added after upload?
  • What is your approval process for uploaded assets? Are the assets reviewed and commented on by content managers prior to release (approval)? Do you have a separate collaboration and review tool used before the assets get uploaded to DAM?
For all assets:
  • What percentage of your assets expire each year?
  • What percentage of your asset expirations are renewal based, vs. shelf-life based?
  • What percentage of your assets will be restricted and require approval before download?
For user communities:
  • How many global administrators do you expect to have?
  • How many business units or departments will use the DAM?
  • If using Single Sign On (SSO), can you pass role assignment information with the user credentials?
  • How many users will need to register outside of SSO? How frequently? 
It may be much easier to estimate ongoing resource management than startup resources needed. Startup would be defined as everything that leads up to getting into the groove of regular daily tasks. Daily tasks include uploading, tagging, approving, updating assets, expiring/renewing rights managed assets, managing users & asset download approvals, and making any changes to the site.
We can help you put some time estimates to these tasks, based on which ones you want to identify as most important. That would be much easier than figuring out who you should talk with, because all the questions posed above will differ substantially from customer to customer and completely skew the results. If you have the ability to hire a library manager on an LTE basis, do so. Having someone who can focus on the startup tasks and help set and document procedures for ongoing use of the DAM is invaluable.
Check out the Widen Implementation Steps to learn more.

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