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January 2017

Keeping on track Major AV installation projects are complex and wide-ranging, involving a large number of partners and numerous risk factors. How can integrators ensure that projects don’t get derailed? Steve Montgomery reports


rofessional AV integrators are well aware that installing a large AV project is fraught with problems. The more they need to work with and depend on third parties, the greater the potential for complication. Communication, trust and reliance on external contractors, architects and clients means that there are a multitude of ways in which a project can go wrong – usually at the last minute – but often the onus to recover from issues falls on the AV integrator. In many cases AV integration is the final part of a major new construction of office or education facilities or entertainment or sporting facilities. “The majority of large-scale projects suffer delays along the way, yet the final go-live date is often fixed, either by a scheduled event, like the Olympics or World Cup, or because of client commitment,” says Roland Hemming, consultant at RH Consulting. “The AV integration task is nearly always compressed; it is usually the last in a very long chain of jobs, and if everyone else is late, it falls on the AV integrator to recover the situation.”

Documentation Documentation is needed on all projects as a fundamental requirement: if it is not submitted to a satisfactory level, this will generally prevent final project sign-off and payment. It therefore makes sense to prepare it early, before the installation team arrives on site, and use it for guidance as well as a communication tool with other trades. “Good documentation is critical to every project,” continues Hemming. “It specifies exactly what is proposed in visual and written form and provides the basis with which to communicate with all other parties. “Another complication is that at the end of the project some of the AV team will have moved on to other projects and lost interest. So the motivation and commitment to providing good documentation at that stage is low – another reason for doing it as well as possible earlier.” Paul Stevens, senior project manager, Reflex, agrees: “Keep your customer and supplier relationships in mind when it comes to documentation and communication. I don’t just mean the overall client and suppliers. Everyone

Key Points „ The AV integration timescale is nearly always foreshortened by delays in prior building services „ High-quality documentation aids communication and is a prerequisite of every project „ The project manager is the lynchpin and must have good managerial skills to co-ordinate all parties as well as manage problem resolution „ Value engineering enables changes to be made between original project specification and final delivery, to accommodate changes in desire, equipment obsolescence and functionality enhancement „ Problems and issues must be recognised and dealt with at the earliest opportunity and with a realistic approach to prevent escalation and final project failure

Installation January 2017 Digital Edition