Governance: How valuable is your site?

Governance is the guidebook for your DAM system. It outlines administration, maintenance and support of the DAM system, as well as defines who is responsible for what areas of the system and establishes rules for proper usage.
A site without governance is like....

…planting a garden and never weeding or watering it. It won’t grow and will soon be overrun with weeds!

Defining your purpose statement

The purpose statement, also known as a mission statement, should answer the question of why the DAM site exists. The goal of the purpose statement is to be clear, concise and specific in as few words as possible.

Some questions you can ask when creating a purpose statement include:

  • What is the core focus of the DAM?
  • Who does the DAM serve?
  • What is important and what is not for the DAM to house?

Your purpose statement will define your governance document, so it’s best to create that first. The governance document guides, directs and controls how your digital asset management (DAM) site is managed and used.

See a sample purpose statement

“Widen Collective® is our single source of truth for assets that advance Garden Market Grocery (GMG) as a retailer. It ensures our brand is represented consistently, increasing the value of GMG in the marketplace. The site serves our employees, vendors, and agency partners and allows us to communicate without email attachments.”

Assigning site responsibilities

The governance document also outlines who is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the site.  Many sites are administered by multiple people.  It’s important that administrators handle all issues the same way.

See a sample site administration statement

“Garden Market Grocery’s Widen Collective® site is administered by two people: Karen Brimley and Colin Jones. Users are directed to send questions about the site to; both administrators receive all messages directed to this email. Administrators rotate on a bi-weekly basis; meetings occur when the term of one administrator ends. Both administrators have the authority to add metadata, approve upload and download requests, configure the dashboard, and add or approve new users. Both administrators must be in agreement before the metadata types or category structure is altered. Each administrator should be cc’ed on any communication with vendors as it relates to content in the site.”

Identifying stakeholders

Graphic Designer, Marketing Manager, Photographer, Videographer, Web Designer, Writer/Blogger

To identify stakeholders, consider all individuals that use the site.  Consider those from outside your organization, too.  Talk to them about how they use the site and try to determine what guidelines need to be in place to help them optimize their workflows. Work with them to:

  • Establish when and how to create users (e.g., will you use registration codes?)
  • Define necessary metadata fields
  • Create procedures for properly storing and use licensing assets
  • Understand search habits
  • Establish expiration and archiving expectations

Other considerations

Governance also defines file-name conventions, indicates procedures for rights management and licensing issues, and documents metadata best practices.  It includes what tasks the administrator(s) will handle and when they will be handled (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually).  Before you document these items, however, you need to ensure you have contacted the stakeholders.  At Widen, we recommend that every administrator request input from stakeholders to create the governance document.

I'm ready! What's next?

Download the Governance Planning Document.  You can type directly on the form or use it as a template for creating guidelines for your organization’s site.  Your Customer Experience Manager (CXM) can look it over, too, once you are finished writing.

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