Not implementing a digital asset management system successfully isn’t just like burning a big pile of money, it hurts in less tangible ways as well. You can lose respect from people in your organization. You can lose future opportunities for budget. You can even lose valuable time and resources on a project that never gets off the ground.
Here are five high-level reasons why digital asset management projects don't take off, and five ways you can avoid them.
A DAM strategy can help you avoid common pitfalls such as making the project team too large, not inviting the right people in the initial phases of the project (i.e. system selection without involving digital asset managers, librarians or other information professionals in your organization), or even not expertly defining where you're currently at in your DAM maturity.
A DAM champion is your cheerleader for the entire project. This person will have the expertise, social standing, and respect in your organization. People listen when this person talks, and get excited about the DAM project as a result. This person will understandd the true value that a DAM project will bring to the organization and is not put off by past failures.
DAM projects cost money and time. That’s why you have to take into account both people and monetary resources in your budget for a successful DAM project.
If your organization is going to get a return on their DAM investment, people need to be using it. If you have low system adoption among your stakeholders, then you’ll be in for a world of trouble when you’re looking for additional funding. You’ve got to be able to show that the DAM system is being utilized, and is an asset to the organization.
Scope creep isn’t just a problem unique to digital asset management projects. In fact, it can happen in a number of business projects. What's scope creep? According to PMI: "Scope creep is adding additional features or functions of a new product, requirements, or work that is not authorized."
Use data to create an informed, reasonable timeline for implementation (not too long, not too short, not a random guess, but a well-informed, well-researched project methodology backed by data.) Keep out things that aren’t relevant. Hit main objectives, table edge cases and future work in another planning document. Know what your DAM scope is by outlining a mission statement and a framework.
Remember that these are only some of the common reasons that DAM projects fail. There are many other reasons such as not considering metadata, not getting buy-in from senior management, and more. According to McKinsey & Company, "the longer a project is scheduled to last, the more likely it is that it will run over time and budget, with every additional year spent on the project increasing cost overruns by 15 percent."
They suggest that successful software projects have four common factors, which we believe also apply to your DAM projects as well:
Remember, digital asset management projects have a lot of moving parts: scope, requirements, people, process, technology, planning, budget, and more. Now that you know some of the most common reasons why DAM projects fail, check out our package of DAM homework materials to help you to get started on your path to DAM success.