As organizations grow and become more complex, it becomes necessary to implement a project management solution to effectively distribute resources and meet deadlines. But, while a project management solution can help to assign tasks and coordinate people, it doesn’t offer an effective way to manage work-in-progress and final files. This often results in files being stored on individual creatives’ desktops or unorganized in disparate storage solutions.
This is where digital asset management (DAM) comes in.
Recently, digital asset management has developed from a final asset repository to a full content lifecycle management platform. This change in functionality has made it an increasingly viable option for creative teams managing work-in-progress assets and, by extension, made it an increasingly necessary integration into project management solutions.
Here, we highlight 4 reasons that DAM and project management are better together and how integrating the two can improve your creative workflows.
1. Ensure brand consistency
A successful creative project is often contingent on the perfect coordination of both people and resources to ensure the project is on-budget, on-brand and on time. While this can cause complications with even isolated, small teams, the challenges quickly multiply as teams grow, projects get more complex and organizations develop more content.
While a project management solution can help you navigate the coordination of people – ensuring work is distributed efficiently – it often lacks the ability to effectively distribute resources – the actual assets you’re using to build any given piece of content. This can cause issues with brand consistency, especially if you have multiple projects under the same campaign.
A DAM helps you ensure this brand consistency, giving your project managers instant access to a pick-list of relevant assets and logos that are approved for their project, without having to leave their work management solution. They can then associate these assets with relevant tasks, campaigns and users to ensure everyone has what they need.
When multiple teams working under the same campaign are given access to the same assets it’s easier to ensure everything has a similar look and feel. It gives individual teams more flexibility to select from a bundle of images or graphics, while still ensuring the visuals are on-brand with the overarching campaign.
2. Streamline the review process
Few large projects follow a straight path to the finish line. They often have twists and turns, as project scopes change and visuals get submitted for feedback. It’s an ongoing process that needs systems and tools that allow teams to quickly pivot in reaction to changing needs.
In a traditional creative workflow, even something as simple as swapping out an image on a digital ad can be a lengthy process. Your graphic designer needs to reach out to their project manager, who then connects with the marketing team to get a new image approved. It’s a process that can often leave a project on hold for anywhere from minutes to hours.
When your project management system is connected with a DAM, your creatives can access on-brand assets on their own, without having to reach out to the project manager or learn a new system. It allows them to quickly build content and apply feedback while remaining confident that all their working files are pre-approved.
3. Accelerate time-to-market
After a final piece has been reviewed, re-reviewed and, eventually, approved, it’s time to prepare it for distribution. Without a DAM in place, it can be a challenge to ensure that your final assets get to the appropriate people. Often this process is dependent on unorganized, catch-all file management solutions or, even worse, lengthy, multi-email threads to send out large files for distribution. Even when you have both a DAM and a project management solution, when the two don’t communicate, you face similar challenges.
This is because, even with a seemingly strong process in place, multi-step processes leave your assets susceptible to human error. You’re reliant on an individual or team to download the final assets from the project management system and upload them to the appropriate storage system. If someone misses a completed project notification or thinks that a different team member has already shared the assets, finals don’t make it to the right people and you miss your deadline.
When your project management system is connected with a DAM, distributing your final assets with the right teams is done with a single click within your project manager’s workflow. They can add relevant categories and keywords to ensure that the assets can easily be found and distributed by your marketing, social and digital teams, ensuring you nail your deadlines.
4. Extend the life of your content
Too often, final assets are forgotten moments after the campaign is completed, left untagged in a file management solution or on a manager’s hard drive. In this case, even if a team did want to use them in the future, they'd have no effective way to find them.
When your final assets are pushed to a DAM, they’re properly categorized and keyworded for discovery in the future, even after years have passed and employees have turned over. Past campaigns can be accessed and attached to projects as inspiration or templates, extending their use and saving your creatives’ time.
Connecting Project Management and DAM
MediaValet has recently partnered with Wrike to bring together the best of digital asset management and project management, maximizing the impact of your assets across projects. Ready to get started? See how the integration works.