3 Perspectives on Leveraging DAM to Manage Work in Progress

ConceptShare has worked with over 100 enterprise marketing and creative services teams. By peering over their shoulders we have acquired a deep understanding of their work in progress (WIP) process, which they describe as moving from “I need an asset” to “I have an asset.” WIP is a process with a broad range of stakeholders working together to route,review and make decisions on work in progress.

Over the past twenty-four months WIP has become top of mind for marketers,creative teams and Digital Asset Management (DAM) system owners.Marketers and creative teams are demanding a solution that is designed,developed and optimized for managing the WIP process. As a result, they are asking, “Can our DAM system support the WIP process?”

What organizations have determined is that there is no single, perfect solution to manage WIP. Instead, the solution is a moving target based on an organization’s current goals with respect to workflow, available technology and process maturity.

Many of the organizations we work with are what we refer to as DAM-centric,investing a significant amount of time and resources into a DAM system.The DAM system is often thought of as an enabling or foundational technology that can and should support all phases of an asset’s lifecycle.

We have observed DAM-centric organizations work through three common options before selecting the option that will best support WIP. Below we have outlined the three options we most often see enterprises consider, how the options meet their requirements, and our observations on why they select one option over the others.

Option #1: Use a DAM System to Manage WIP

Requirements

We want a single system that manages the entire lifecycle of an asset – Yes
We want a system (with functionality, UI, UX) that is designed and optimized for WIP – No
We consider WIP to be a critical process requiring support and investment – No
We are committed to developing a strong WIP process – No

Our Observations

We see organizations adopt this option when they already have a DAM system in place. They want to leverage their investment to deliver support for WIP to benefit from having a single system for managing the entire asset lifecycle.

Organizations that choose this option don’t deliver functionality that is becoming a standard expectation for users involved in the WIP process, such as the ability to annotate an asset to communicate clear and actionable feedback.

DAM systems also have a UI/UX that was designed for storage and distribution. For the vast number of non-technical users involved in the WIP process, the DAM system’s UI/UX can complicate and slow down the overall process.

Option #2: Use Two Systems Operating Independently

Requirements

We want one system that manages the entire lifecycle of an asset – No
We want a system (with functionality, UI, UX) that is designed and optimized for WIP – Yes
We consider WIP to be a critical process requiring support and investment – Yes
We are committed to developing strong WIP processes – Yes

Our Observations

We see organizations adopt this option when they are seeking to deploy a“best of breed” WIP solution. WIP solutions are designed, developed and optimized for enterprise marketing departments and agency account teams to route, review and approve WIP.

These solutions are designed for teams that have a narrow window of time to capture stakeholder input, react to change requests and deliver approved assets. The benefit of this option is that organizations deliver functionality that is becoming a standard expectation for users involved in WIP, such as the ability to annotate an asset to communicate clear and actionable feedback.

Equally important these systems have a UI/UX that was designed for WIP and the broad range of users involved in this process.

However, organizations give up the benefits of having a single system that manages the entire asset lifecycle. By using two stand-alone systems,organizations risk creating information silos and disconnected workflows. Based on our observations, these organizations usually resolve this issue by integrating their DAM and WIP systems.

Option #3: Use Two Systems Operating Interdependently

Requirements

We want one system that manages the entire lifecycle of an asset – Yes
We want a system (with functionality, UI, UX) that is designed and optimized for WIP – Yes
We consider WIP to be a critical process requiring support and investment – Yes
We are committed to developing strong WIP processes – Yes

Our Observations

We see organizations adopt this option when they are seeking to deploy a“best of breed” WIP solution and tightly integrate it with their DAM system. These organizations believe that users should be able to work in applications designed for their role or current task, and that information and workflows should be synced across their DAM and WIP systems.

The benefit of this option is that organizations deliver functionality that is becoming a standard expectation for users involved in WIP, such as the ability to annotate an asset to communicate clear and actionable feedback.

Equally important these systems have a UI/UX that was designed for WIP and the broad range of users involved in this process. Organizations benefit from having a single, integrated system that manages the entire asset lifecycle.

John Price

John is a product marketing manager primarily focused on Customer Experience Solutions and Digital Asset Management. In today's consumer and customer oriented culture, organizations and brands with relevant, strategic and on-message communications and marketing content win the day. Clearing the path for your customer's journey leads to greater success and rewards.

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