Widen digital asset management user stories: What to think about when we ask

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It’s all about the fit. You’re going to hear that from us more than once as we get to know each other. Our relationships are always about "the fit" – technologically and culturally.

If you’re beginning a digital asset management project or evaluating your existing DAM needs, the industry analysts and consultants (and the Widen Adviser Team) will tell you to develop use case scenarios – also referred to as user stories or personas. What kind of users do you have?
 
We realize you often “don’t know what you don’t know” when it comes to evaluating digital asset management solutions and building user stories. You can hire a consultant or dig into the research from the Real Story Group, but the organizations we often deal with don’t have the added budget.
 
So, the intent of this post is to help you start thinking about your user stories (as we see them with Widen DAM deployments). User stories are important because it provides a much greater way to evaluate the fit for potential solutions involving an RFD (request for demo) versus checklist RFPs, which really don’t help anyone assess “the fit”.
 
Early on in the research process, we understand you may not be ready to talk, so that’s why we’ve developed the “DAM Decision Guide” and make it very easy to “take the tour on your own” with a guest pass to Widen’s demo site and get a feel for the functionality. 
 
Eventually, we'll need to have a conversation about your workflows, requirements, and use case scenarios. By developing user stories, your internal evaluation team will have a much easier time getting in sync and it will be more clear as you interact with solution providers.
 
What do user stories look like?
 
User stories involve painting the picture of the type of user roles and interactions involved in all phases of creating, managing, distributing and assessing digital assets management workflows. They can include mention of the toolsets in DAM that help them be more efficient.
 
User stories answer these questions: What is their functional role / job description? Where are they? Are they internal or external? Who do they interact with? What are they responsible for? What types of assets do they produce, manage or use? How often? What training do they have? How should they be notified or kept in the loop of updates? How much of their time is spent in DAM? What “features” would be ideal? What permissions do they need? What other tools do they use? What integrations are needed? What are the dependencies? What are their success metrics?
 
As for the Widen model, typical installations have user roles to include a few global administrators, some mid-level admin roles, and end-user roles representing the widest user base. There may be varying levels in between with partial admin access like the ability to upload and add metadata or to admin asset groups within a specific subset of the complete library.
 
It’s up to you to author your user stories, but here’s a breakdown of the types of users you might have with a Widen DAM solution deployment:
 
 
Kinds of Digital Asset Management Users
 
Global Admins are the key knowledge managers that have the ultimate capabilities to see and do everything with your content, your users, and all the available features of the system. You should only have a few of these. They set up and manage all of the user roles and asset groups, set up and maintain the metadata schema and taxonomy, and are in the know about all activity by making use of the admin and analytics tools. To be successful, these people should be dedicated to DAM as a substantial part of their functional role. In other words, you can’t be a great global admin and only give it 10% of your time.
 
Mid-Level Admins are managers of specific roles and asset groups and have authority / hold the knowledge about users and assets within specific groups under their sphere of influence. For example, these admins may be responsible for a specific department, division, product line or brand. You may be the marketing manager for EMEA marketing operations, so you know all of the assets for the people in the field there vs. the marketing manager for North America, for example. Each responsible for “your own little world”.
 
Contributors have permission to upload content to the digital library. They are photographers, videographers, designers, agencies and other content creators along with marketing coordinators and assistants who help keep the workflow running smoothly and the asset lifecycle in check. These groups have access to upload workflow and metadata entry tools. 
 
Editors have permission to add and edit metadata with digital assets. These knowledge workers possess the details needed to keep content organized, searchable and repurpose-able as they work with other systems and products that influence what they know and how they interact with DAM. They need to subscribe to notifications for assets and workflow actions (like uploading) to stay in the know.
 
Reviewers look at all the content that goes into a digital asset library. They may also be editors who add / change metadata, but they’re also scheduling and managing unreleased, released, expiration and archival settings. They may use collaboration and workflow tools for markup, commenting, approval and version control.
 
Publishers utilize some of the publishing features of DAM to connect and repurpose content with other channels online and offline. Features used include on-the-fly file conversions for print and web use, embed codes for landing pages and microsites, social publishing integrations, collection sharing & galleries, and ad/brochure building.
 
Auditors are managers, validators and decision-makers that want access to the wealth of usage data that can be gleaned from DAM solutions. They take advantage of the data exports and analytics tools to measure and assess user activity and asset consumption for future budgeting and resource planning. Auditors may be looking at security controls for digital assets like release/expiration and watermarking.
 
Developers (as it relates to Widen cloud-based DAM) use the API to connect DAM with other solutions upstream and downstream. They may be feeding data from other systems like a PIM for sharing common metadata / asset details. Or, they may be feeding digital assets to other systems like WCM, MRM or social media campaign management.
 
End Users and Subscribers most often represent the largest groups of users. These users may be divided up across various roles such as field sales, distributors and dealers, media & press, etc. These users just want to get in, find the assets they need, download files in the appropriate formats for the task at hand, and get out to move on to the next thing.
 
We want you to know and understand that with Widen, your digital asset management implementation can contain any combination of users and it’s typical for many of those mid-level users to have many overlapping roles and permissions. Users change over time and your user base will increase as new groups (internal and external) are brought on board. Widen’s flexible governance model and pricing accommodations make it simple to grow as you go.
 
Fill out our form to “talk with an expert” to discuss your user stories with a Widen DAM adviser today.
 
 
Back to “the fit”. Understanding your use case scenarios and assessing “the fit” is important to us for a few reasons that you should know about. 
 
1. We don't do long-term contracts and you always have a 30-day out. 
 
2. We're very careful and specific in understanding your requirements before bringing our project services team on board.
 
3. We want to sustain extremely positive and long-lasting relationships. It’s that simple.
 
 
Check out some of the Widen reviews on Capterra or recommendations on LinkedIn to get a look at real world users and their feedback.

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