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DAM Implementations And The Risk Of Scope Creep

by Naresh Sarwan on December 20, 2011

One of our featured DAM vendors, WAVE Corporation have written a blog post which definitely resonates with my own consulting experience when working with clients who are interested in implementing Digital Asset Management.  They discuss how when they get enquiries, sales prospects can tend to expand the scope of the system to encompass more wide-ranging requirements that frequently end up with lengthy debates and a vastly slower process than if their prospective customers kept to a clear and tightly defined brief:

When we talk to people, we tell them there are solutions that can address their problem, get an understanding of their pain points, and at some point we usually walk though the software to let them know what options are available. During the discussion, invariably it turns from “Wow, that would really be helpful for our most pressing problem. While I have you on the phone, we also have this OTHER problem...” [Read More]

I have to agree this is one of the larger issues I run into also.  As more people become involved in a DAM project, more requirements are added to the wish list and this can take months to pick through often with the original (usually relatively simple) requirements falling by the wayside.  As enterprise budgets become more stretched, unfortunately I think this is inevitable.

Most corporate DAM users know that getting approval for IT implementations, whether they’re implemented as SaaS or installed will involve a procurement process that has to be approved by a bureaucratic purchasing department and potentially other stakeholders like IT also (even if it’s hosted outside the corporate LAN).  They also know that this will probably require an internal project management resource to be assigned and if their department’s own specific requirements are not included then it will be many times harder for them to get it included in another solution later without the same issues occurring.  The result is that the scope for DAM systems often expands rapidly exactly as described in the WAVE article.

As discussed previously, I firmly believe that the process that most larger organisations use to buy software is totally broken and in need of radical overhaul.  This is another example of why the whole RFP/bid approach encourages bloated solutions that stand a high chance of running late, over budget and are typically unfit for purpose.  Although the Cloud has been touted as a method of avoiding these issues (by converting the budget from capital to revenue) I don’t think this is sufficient either and it really does need a mindset change by purchasing organisations so they stop encouraging end users to ‘kitchen sink’ their requirements specifications and favour solutions that are more tightly defined and focussed on a single problem.

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