Businesses, organizations, and teams are made up of people. While LinkedIn is currently filled with posts about the importance of people, it’s always been true that business initiatives fail unless the humans doing the work are managed well and equipped with the right tools.
One of the core ways to manage people well is to clearly define their role in your organization. What are they responsible for and held accountable for? Who are they working with to achieve success in those areas? While it may seem that the answers to these questions limit your employees’ potential, they actually empower them by allowing them to take ownership of their responsibilities.
Roles and responsibilities for every employee should be clearly described in a written job description and discussed regularly at meetings with their managers. They should also be clearly defined for business initiatives involving multiple employees, teams, and departments. For example, digital asset management (DAM), while involving technology platforms, is a cross-functional program that needs clarity around who owns what responsibilities. In this article, we’ll outline some examples of these roles to help you define them for yourself and your employees.
The 5 Most Important Digital Asset Management Roles
1. Program Governance Team
The team governing the entire program is where the buck stops when it comes to DAM. They're accountable for the ultimate success or failure of the program, even though they likely aren't responsible for its day-to-day operations.
- High-level reporting on key performance indicators to other business units
- Development and implementation of high-level DAM program initiatives
- Development of governance guidelines and DAM standards, processes, and core workflows
- Change management throughout the life cycle of the DAM program
- Ownership of budget and decision-making around special projects and procurement of DAM-related technology and services
2. Digital Asset Administrator
Working down the corporate ladder to the day-to-day operations of the DAM program, the digital asset administrator (sometimes called the DAM Manager, even though it’s redundant) is accountable for the execution of the strategy and projects set by the program governance team. In organizations where the DAM program is newer or smaller, these first two roles are often combined. However, the roles will outgrow one person as DAM initiatives expand to other business units.
- DAM workflow and standards creation, refinement, and management
- Creation of user training materials and core DAM-related documentation
- New user onboarding and training
- End-user management and user insights
- Certifications in DAM platform (if relevant)
- Identification and scoping out of special projects, including integrations with other platforms and expansion to other business units
3. Digital Asset Librarian
Digital asset librarians usually hold the most important role in a successful DAM program since they do the day-to-day work that makes the program function and grow effectively. The number of DAM librarians in an organization depends on the size and complexity of the program. The governance team and digital asset administrator should meet regularly with the librarians to hear about their issues and concerns and ensure they have the resources they need to get their jobs done.
- Regular asset ingestion, enrichment with proper metadata, and publication to the DAM platform, including newly-created content, archival assets, and special collections
- Final asset approval and curation
- Library auditing, cleansing, and asset archiving
- Certifications in DAM platform (if relevant)
4. Digital Asset Creators
The last two roles apply to the people using the DAM program every day, reaping the rewards of the hard work of the previous three roles. It’s important that they’re aware of their role in the DAM program since how they use it impacts the other employees working in the system. They need to be properly trained and have the resources to know how to operate within their lane. This minimizes the number of fires the DAM team has to put out.
- Asset creation according to brand guidelines and content strategy
- Asset submission through an outlined approval workflow
5. DAM End-Users
DAM End-Users access the front end of the program to find and use digital assets to achieve their specific business objectives, whether they be marketing, sales, customer service, or something else. These people should be aware of what DAM is and how it helps them, as well as who to go to if there’s a problem related to digital assets.
- Response to feedback requests related to DAM program usability
- Identification and elevation of DAM-related issues through the proper channels
- Adherence to DAM-related guidelines and documentation provided by the DAM team
Understanding these five roles and grouping the people in your organization into them will help in the proper development and implementation of your DAM program. These roles look different in execution from brand to brand and team to team, but the importance of defining and communicating them is critical for every organization.
If you or your team don’t have the people in place to fill these roles in the right way, contact Stacks! We work with brands on a fractional basis to fill gaps and act as their DAM administrator, consultant, and librarian, often at a lower cost than hiring someone.