So you’re implementing DAM. But— *plot twist*—your team is working remotely. Now what?
Well, DAM is all about enabling better digital collaboration, so it’s important to approach onboarding as the first step towards a new way of working for your team.
While onboarding can typically be an intimate affair—a bit more face-to-face hand-shaking and office-based deliberating than a remote environment can typically provide—the success of a DAM implementation ultimately relies on clear communication and proactive preparation, regardless of how distributed your workforce is.
Here at Bynder, we’ve had our fair share of experience in helping to implement DAM for teams both big and
small, so we’ve learned a thing or two about what
it takes to ensure the onboarding process is always smooth-sailing—the majority of which takes places in the digital sphere anyway.
In this guide, we’ll translate that experience and share our key tips, tricks and best practices for onboarding DAM remotely, so you and your team can stay on track from Day 1, no matter where you’re situated.
Best practices for communication
If you’re onboarding your team remotely, it’s important that you lay the groundwork from the get-go on go-to communication channels both internally and with the onboarding team. Miscommunication and slumps in progress can be all too easy when you’re not all in the same building, so consistency and structure is key!
Communicate early and often
It seems like a no-brainer, but it is so important in ensuring a successful launch and high adoption at your company. As early as you can, you need to be DAM’s number one fan internally: let stakeholders know what they should expect, when to expect it, and how DAM can personally benefit them. That way, they will be much more enthusiastic about embracing DAM later down the line.
While working remotely means you can’t chew your colleague’s ears off at the company coffee machine about the benefits of filter-based asset findability, you can certainly be DAM’s internal ‘influencer’ in the digital space too—often more effectively.
With communication tools like Slack or Skype, you can create a dedicated chat channel on all things DAM—both before and after the implementation. This can help spread awareness and knowledge en-masse, while also keeping everyone in the loop on the progress of the onboarding process for better transparency.
Set a weekly schedule for meetings (and stick to it!)
No-shows for meetings can stop a project in its tracks at the best of times, but when your workforce is distributed in multiple locations—perhaps even multiple time-zones—it can be all too easy for meetings to fall by the wayside with key stakeholders failing to show up.
While it can’t be helped sometimes, the key to maintaining momentum and consistent progress is setting up a regular schedule for meeting with both your onboarding consultants and colleagues.
It’s recommended that at the start of the process, you get an overview of all the key stakeholders internally who will be involved with the onboarding procedure, picking time slots that work for everyone—and sticking to the schedule throughout the process. This helps to reduce meeting clashes while making it a consistent habit for everyone’s week.
These meetings should typically be used for key decision-making, identifying potential risks, and updating key stakeholders on progress. Gathering information, testing, and discussions with other stakeholders should ideally be carried out separately in order to ensure the scheduled meetings with your onboarding consultants are always focused and constructive.
Keep the core project team small
As the old adage goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth”, and the same can apply to a DAM onboarding project. While it’s important to champion DAM internally, your key project team throughout the process should be kept small—ideally comprising a variety of job functions to ensure you get a wide range of perspectives on all aspects of the business.
By keeping your DAM taskforce small, meetings are likely to be much more productive, enabling faster decision-making—especially when you’re having to do it via video calls where group communication can be a bit chaotic at the best of times.
Of course, you can also bring in other stakeholders/ project sponsors at key stages throughout the implementation (i.e. maybe it was just your marketing team that originally intended to leverage the DAM, but now HR wants in on it too), but even then, aim to maintain the same core team throughout to help stay focused and on-track.
Use Google Drive for remote- friendly, real-time collaboration
Ensuring “real-time” communication and collaboration comes easy when you’re in an office, but when you’re remote, it requires a bit more proactivity. Aside from video calls and instant messaging tools, Google Drive apps can be great in getting everyone quite literally on the same (digital) page.
For instance here at Bynder, we advise clients to use Google Sheets for fielding questions and feedback on the onboarding process. By using it as a collaborative working doc for both the client and the onboarding consultants, it’s much easier to ensure fast response times and transparency for everyone involved—which is not always the case when communicating via back- and-forth emails.
Bonus points: Once your DAM portal is actually set up, it’s a great idea to get your hands dirty and use the DAM itself for collaborating during the onboarding process. Here at Bynder, we use the DAM to send customers relevant resources and/or how-to videos. That way, users are learning the ins and outs of DAM features and functionality by getting hands-on. On-the- fly training works wonders!
Best practices for training
Inevitably there will come a time during the onboarding process where you and your team will need to get hands-on and start learning the (DAM) ropes. Now, you may be thinking that getting everyone in a “classroom” setting as you would at the office could be tricky if you’re all working remotely.
However, with a bit of forward-planning and some creativity, a distributed workforce shouldn’t be an obstacle to efficient training at your company—it certainly never gets in the way for us at Bynder.
As an example, our onboarding consultants recently pulled off a 3-day “virtual on-site” kick-off onboarding program with a company that had to work remotely— training an entire team of 20 people on how to use DAM, from the comfort of their own home. Video conferencing and a can-do attitude really can go a long way.
Schedule training sessions with stakeholders that have similar use-cases
The great thing about digital asset management is its versatility in adapting to your work and your specific needs. For instance, your graphic designer will depend on certain features and functionality that may not be as relevant to the day-to-day work of your marketing manager, and vice versa.
With that in mind, it’s a great idea to take stock of not only who will be using the DAM at your company, but also how they will use it. By scheduling separate training sessions for colleagues with similar use cases—i.e. a dedicated training session for the creative team—then it’ll no doubt be much more efficient. You can recognize the features they will rely on most, and your onboarding consultants can provide a more focused, tailored approach to the training so they can speak to the team’s needs in greater detail.
Offer a choice of time slots for training sessions to ensure high attendance
In an ideal scenario, you’d create a time and place (well, maybe not place...) for a training session and everyone would show up, ready to go. But we all know that’s a rarity in reality: schedules are busy, things come up last-minute, and people fail to turn up. This is usually an inevitability (although not from us Bynder guys of course; we have a strict no-flaking policy we take seriously!), so recognize that fact and be flexible when organizing your training sessions.
After all, remote working is more flexible, so adapt to that: offer multiple time slots for colleagues to attend a training session, so that it accommodates different time-zones, working-patterns, and personal schedules. That way, you’re much more likely to avoid no-shows and ensure higher attendance so no one misses out.
Record training sessions
As an extra failsafe for that one guy who was on holiday for three weeks during the whole onboarding process (there’s always one!), recording training sessions is an easy thing to do that can be invaluable.
Not only can it be used to train those in your team who missed out, but it’s a great resource to use as a reference if you ever forget a thing or two from the initial session.
Bonus points: Upload recordings to your DAM! Aside from it saving you from sending an extra email, it’s a great exercise in putting your DAM into practice for the whole team.
Encourage self-learning for those who prefer to get hands-on
We all have our preferred ways for learning, and the same applies to DAM training. For those who like to get more hands-on, Bynder encourages a self-learning approach via what we like to call the “Bynder Wizard”, which walks users through the main DAM actions— direct from the portal.
Similarly, most DAM solutions have a Knowledge Base, which can be especially useful for the nitty-gritty features you may not be aware of, and serves as a great reference to fall back on when the onboarding process is over.
As an admin, make sure users take advantage of these self-learning tools; you can even get interactive and create games as part of training and boost engagement in a creative way—a DAM “scavenger hunt” is a great example, and perfectly remote-friendly!
Share your DAM success!
Action speaks louder than words, and sometimes, numbers do too. Before implementing your DAM, get an overview of some key stats surrounding your team’s content usage (i.e. asset views, uploads/downloads, average time taken to find files, etc.). These will be your baseline stats that represent the “before” stage.
Then, once your DAM is up and running, you can leverage the “after” stats from your DAM portal to really demonstrate the ROI value of DAM. Particularly during the early stages of your DAM implementation, communicate these stats and quick wins regularly to illustrate the positive impact DAM has had on your team’s productivity. This not only helps keep enthusiasm and motivation levels high within your team, but your C-level execs will love it too.
After all, you can’t argue with quantitative and qualitative proof that your team is better off with a helping hand from DAM—now and in the future.
Interested in kicking off your own DAM project?
From retail giants and financial multinationals to fashion boutiques and not-for-profits, Bynder has helped transform brand operations for over 4000+ global businesses. For every one of them, we’ve created a solution that is tailor-made to their unique use case, needs, and goals. And we can do the same for you.