June 20, 2011
3 Things to Consider About DAM Consultants
When is it in a company’s best interest to work with a consultant on digital asset management projects? Being a former consultant myself, I’m in a unique position to provide some insight to help you decide. Many DAM projects are implemented successfully without a consultant, especially projects involving only a handful of users. However, no matter how large the project or the number of people involved, here are 3 simple things to consider:
#1 Digital asset management technology is 1/3 of a solution
DAM projects involve people, processes, and technology. Good digital asset management consultants are experts in all three. Somebody needs to map out who will work with the system and how they will work with it. Otherwise you might be left with an expensive digital paperweight. Good DAM consultants are skilled at enabling collaboration between stakeholders, defining workflow processes, and managing technology needs to provide comprehensive solution.
#2 The Installer Illusion
Installing software is not the same as configuring it. Don’t be fooled into thinking that digital asset management is a magic bullet that will solve problems as soon as you hit the “Finish” button on the installer wizard. Somebody needs to translate what the users need to do into options and features in the DAM. This is where having an expert on workflows, schemas, taxonomies, and graphic file management comes in handy. If you’re not already an expert you could spend time studying documentation and reading internet resources, or you could spend that time doing something else and hire a consultant.
#3 Don’t reinvent the wheel
With a digital asset management implementation you may be tempted to experiment, try some things out, and see what sticks. Experienced consultants have “been there, done that” hundreds of times before. They already know the undocumented tips, what works, what doesn’t work. They may have already worked with someone in a similar situation with similar problems and can offer tried-and-true solutions. Instead of spending time on figuring out what works, you can skip straight to the finish line. Learning from someone else’s experience (and mistakes) can save time, money and frustration.
One organization I worked with had excellent IT resources, but little experience with digital asset management workflows. I was brought in after the software had been installed for over a year but was not being used. Although the right stakeholders were involved during the initial implementation, processes were not well defined and people were unsure of their roles. While we were able to get everything sorted out, the whole project had to be redone – a waste of time and money.
For most people, hiring a consultant is all about saving time and money by getting everything right the on the first try. For others, it’s about just getting something done that otherwise would never be completed. Good consultants know what to do and how to do it, so projects get completed- quickly and correctly. This means benefiting from the DAM sooner than later and freeing up time and resources for other projects and work.
Of course, professional services and consultants are not free. Professional services can save time and money, and often the time and money saved is worth much more than the cost of services.
What do you think? If you’ve been involved with a DAM implementation, did you work with a consultant? Did you go it alone? Would you have done it differently? Let us know in the comments section below.