Preparing to Launch – Jane Leuchter

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“Expect that there will be roadblocks and there will be push-backs, but be patient with those because change is hard, and sometimes people are just reacting to the fact that it’s a change rather than the details of the change itself.” – Jane Leuchter, The Institute for Functional Medicine

Preparing to Launch – Jane Leuchter 

The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) produces a range of educational content for a series of events each year. This amounts to a lot of data: over 25 years of recordings, audio files, slides, and documents, all of which was stored haphazardly in folders in a file directory. Jane was hired to select and implement a DAM solution to house and organize all of this content, and make it easily accessible in a sustainable way.

In this podcast, Jane discusses how she prepared for their DAM implementation, and the lessons she learned.

For the full story, listen to this episode of the Widen Podcast. Episode topics include:

  • DAM selection and configuration

  • Implementation planning: involve your stakeholders

  • Launching through a series of pilots

  • Ongoing WAM administration

  • Advice for those embarking on a DAM implementation

DAM selection and configuration

Jane’s digital asset management (DAM) journey at IFM began by figuring out what content they had, what functionality they needed for their workflows, and then finding the right system and vendor. This took about three to four months.

Once Widen was selected, she began tackling the challenge of creating a metadata schema. She drafted a skeleton structure of the metadata and categories, and then shared it with the people who would be uploading or creating the content for their feedback. She felt this approach was really effective.

She also shared that during this process they made use of Widen’s guidance and expertise. She said, “Don’t be afraid to ask Widen for their help. They have a ton of resources, and they also have knowledge about how other customer systems are set-up and how they work, which they can bring to your implementation.”

Implementation planning: involve your stakeholders

During numerous months of planning for their DAM implementation, Jane had several strategies for keeping her colleagues informed and engaged. “I made a lot of project plans and I updated those consistently, and I sent out a lot of status updates. I also held a lot of meetings with pretty much everyone in the organization to show them what the system looks like, how they will be using it, and also how they would benefit from incorporating Widen into their current process. So I just talked a lot to everybody.”

Many of these meetings were with the head of every department, who were able to represent their teams. Others — such as her Widen drop-in sessions — were group meetings that allowed people to see what questions were being asked, and allowed her to answer them for multiple colleagues at one time.

Launching through a series of pilots

“We had more of a soft launch,” Jane said. “What I ended up doing was a series of pilots, where I worked with one team or one department to show the executive team what it would look like and how great it was. By the end of a few those we had gotten everyone a user account and provided training, and eventually I just stopped calling it pilot or implementation and then there we were.” This approach allowed stakeholders to feel actively involved and enthusiastic about the roll-out.

Jane shared that a key part of the launch process was creating a variety of support materials. “I created a series of two-minute videos tailored to particular content types, and depending on my user audience I made them either mandatory or optional, which was really easy to track within Widen, so I could actually see who had watched the videos and who hadn’t.”

She also created a program to recognize — and bolster — DAM engagement. “I started handing out Widen Whales as...awards to people who were adopting or using Widen particularly well. I printed out a bunch of whales and laminated them to sort of show my appreciation of the users who were really taking the time to learn the system and use the system well.”

In addition to the videos and the whales, Jane also created over 70 support documents to answer questions if she wasn’t available.

Ongoing DAM administration

Jane says that now that the DAM is up and running, her days are still busy!  “So a lot of it is making sure that the way I’ve set up the system is still working for all of my users and that using it is something they are able to do easily through their workflow.”

Working closely with her users helps her accomplish this. “I found that it was very valuable for me to watch my users actually use the system, and then adapt the way I’ve set up the system if I find that a particular piece is not working for a large number of them.”

She also has found attending the annual Widen Summit very beneficial. “I work in kind of a vacuum at IFM so it’s really nice to get together and meet other Widen admins and talk about actual admin things with people who are in the system doing the same sort of things.”

Advice for those embarking on a DAM implementation

Looking back on the implementation of Widen at IFM, Jane offers two key pieces of advice to companies that are just beginning their DAM journey:

  • “Hire a librarian, because they are trained to do this whole big, scary ‘organize all the things’ thing. And they actually like organizing things, so it’s really helpful to have somebody who enjoys the job doing the job.”

  • “Expect that there will be roadblocks and there will be push-backs, but be patient with those because change is hard, and sometimes people are just reacting to the fact that it’s a change rather than the details of the change itself.” And on a related note, “Listen to your to your users, but take everything with a grain of salt. Listen when they say they are struggling with something, but don’t listen if they are just mad about the fact that it’s a change.”

Listen to podcast

The Widen Implementation podcast is about helping customers prepare for and execute their DAM roll out. Each episode will involve conversations with people who have implemented the Widen DAM solution. It's our hope that each episode will help future Widen customers by giving them a few tips regarding the implementation process.

About our guest

Jane Leuchter is the content librarian for the Institute for Functional Medicine. The IFM is a nonprofit that educates medical practitioners on incorporating the principles of functional medicine into their practice.

About our host

Bill Banham is a marketing and publishing professional based in Toronto. He is the founder of the HR Gazette and Iceni Marketing as well as the co-founder of the WorkingTech show and the InnovateWork event series. Bill hosts several CPSA podcast shows on topics including social selling and tech, business strategy, and sales strategy.

Listen to more episodes from the Widen Implementation Podcast series.

Topics: Widen Podcast, DAM Implementation

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