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Our Tips for Making Your DAM Implementation a Seamless Success

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It’s no secret that implementing a new software platform is a big job. It entails gathering feedback from numerous stakeholders, meeting a range of deadlines, and managing expectations for everyone involved! But with the right approach, it can be a seamless success. Here are our key strategies for navigating the digital asset management (DAM) implementation process with confidence and ease.

Know the why

Articulating why your organization invested in the Widen Collective® — or any software, really — is the first step in designing an effective implementation strategy. Your “why” creates alignment across the organization, encourages system adoption, and charts the evolution of your DAM system. It can guide decisions before, during, and long after implementation. 

It’s possible for an implementation strategy to have multiple “why” statements. For example, McCormick & Company had two: one for the creative team and another for senior leadership. The statement for their creatives outlined how specific DAM tools would improve their workflow. And for senior leadership, they focused on how the system would create cost savings and a return-on-investment. 

Every Widen implementation includes a strategy session to help customers identify these goals and position their DAM investment for long-term success.

A seat at the table comes with great responsibility

Being part of the implementation team doesn’t mean simply completing a list of tasks. It requires a great deal of vision — not only to align your DAM goal with business objectives, but also to gather and implement feedback from the right stakeholders. 

For example, Autodesk shared that during their implementation they involved key content producers by conducting usability testing and soliciting ideas for possible metadata schemas. Coordinating these efforts involved careful planning, but helped ensure that their system configurations were on the right track. And Progressive Insurance worked with their power users to define their roles and permissions. 

Governance is not a dirty word

Some people assume that a DAM system just runs itself...but this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want to maximize the value of your DAM system, you must have a thorough governance document, or set of guidelines that direct and control how your system should be used and managed. 

Before implementation, this entails thoughtful configuration of your backend structure, including your metadata and permissions. And after launch, it requires regular system maintenance. Autodesk summarizes the importance of governance by saying, “If anybody is thinking about implementing a DAM [solution], they really need to have an ongoing plan for maintenance, metadata control, asset control, user engagement, or else it will just be a failed piece of technology.” 

Although this means a lot of planning and support, the good news is that your governance policies can flex and evolve with time. McCormick advises, “Have a plan and keep it simple. You can always expand on it, so keep your security and your roles simple and organized, and you can always build that out as you go through your implementation.”

Knowledge is power

An effective user training program is an essential part of any successful software launch because it fosters system adoption. And post-launch, ongoing training makes users aware of new features and keeps them engaged.  

You can use a variety of resources to build your training program, including manuals, on-demand videos, live instruction, and Widen University courses. Each format has unique benefits … an interactive group setting allows participants to learn from each other, while on-demand content accommodates busy schedules and global time zones. 

The importance of continual learning extends to DAM admins, too! There are advanced courses in Widen University that focus on specific Collective apps as well as system administration. Our online community, Widen Connect, allows admins to connect with and learn from their peers. And our annual Widen Summit showcases how other organizations have solved their DAM challenges and offers ample opportunities for professional networking. 

Reflecting on her Summit experience, the admin at Autodesk shared, “I love seeing how other customers implement their system and DAM program activities, and how they get adoption and governance going at their companies. It’s all been very fascinating and worthwhile.”

And if you’re still hungry for more implementation advice, consider spending some time with these resources:


We are better together

Although software implementation might not be for the faint of heart, it can be tackled with great success…if you have the right approach. And we’re here to help! 

We offer a range of implementation services to meet each customer’s unique needs, as well as consulting services to help with related technology and change management strategies. Our Advisor team is willing and able to discuss all of these options, as well as your unique DAM needs. Contact us, today!  


Note: This article was originally published in October 2014 and has been refreshed to include updated information and new resources.

Topics: DAM Implementation, Change Management

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