Use this model to improve your digital asset management system

A digital asset management (DAM) system can boost efficiency, break down silos and improve messaging. However, it is not a one-and-done proposition. You must regularly assess its performance to realize its true potential.

The DAM Capability Model (DCM) is an established process for doing this. Corey Davis, digital asset manager for the brand team at Lucid Motors, explains what DCM is and how to use it.

“The areas of focus and strength within the application of DAM differ from organization to organization,” Davis said in his presentation at The MarTech Conference. “As a result, many businesses need to know where they stand in order to set smart, focused goals to get to the place where they need to be when it comes to … digital asset management.”

Dig deeper: Building a DAM (Digital Asset Management) business case

Capability models provide a way to document common experiences and pain points within the organization, a framework for prioritizing actions and a way to define what improvement means. They also help develop a common language and shared vision. For DAM it is a self-assessment tool to establish an ongoing solid road map for continuing success.

Five measures 

“There are the five measures that are applied in DCM to measure maturity and to establish that road map,” said Davis. 

“The initial measure is processes are individual-based and not regulated within the organization,” he said. “Emerging processes are starting to be established at a group level. Standardizing processes are agreed upon and centralized. And operationalizing processes can be measured and controlled. Finally, the highest point that you can reach is the focus on process improvement.”

Five levels

For each process there are five levels determine of maturity.

  1. Ad hoc. when processes are being defined and introduced. There is no organized process and things are done ad hoc at this level. 
  2. Repeatable. When processes are established, basic and consistent, but not documented and repeatable, and roles and responsibilities are aligned to process. 
  3. Controlled. When standards are defined for processes at an enterprise level, creating end-to-end defined documented processes that are available transparent and available to all in the central repository. 
  4. Metrics. Processes are controlled and measured with key performance metrics. Metrics are analyzed to determine process gaps and process owners agree on adherence to all of these touchpoints and processes. 
  5. Optimized. Where the stage is set for continuous improvement. 

Four categories

The DCM also uses four categories.

  1. Organization. The “people” roles, responsibilities, technical know-how, strategic alignment and talent in an organization’s use and management of DAM
  2. Information. The core material and context that enable using an asset.
  3. Systems. The related components that work together to facilitate the lifecycle of an asset.
  4. Process. The repeatable set of steps and operations designed to realize each step of an asset’s lifecycle.

“Within those categories are dimensions which are the building blocks of DAM,” he said. “Each of these dimensions describes different functions in them that are needed for a fully functioning and progressive DAM.”

Within the DCM there is a chart for each category that outlines its dimensions and characteristics. On the top row along the X axis are the measures. The first column along the Y axis are the dimensions of that specific category and within the body of the chart. You have descriptive characteristics of each stage of maturity of these dimensions.

Here is an example of assessing strategic alignment withing the organization category.

“So after looking at all of these details, a big question comes up: How do we apply the DAM capability model?” Davis said. “To apply the DCM, you want to bring the elements of the previous charts together to establish where we are and to set clearly defined goals at each level.”

Choose what to explore

First, choose the categories you want to explore and identify its power users, the people with a vested interest in the success of DAM. Then survey them to evaluate the efficacy of DAM operations. This will tell you where your problem areas are. Once you know that, go back to them and brainstorm possible solutions and pathways to optimization. 

“This is not a checklist or a one-time-around-the-block type of tool,” said Davis. “The DAM Capability Model is meant to be used again and again to make sure that we reach those levels and that we are always staying on top of our digital asset management system’s growth and progression.”

Learn more about the DCM here.

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