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Tip #3. How to Avoid The AV Project From Hell

Man in the office thinking about the project

Now that you know how to pick the right AV Integrator, you need to know how to get the best possible work out of them.

1. Time your project just right

Project Managers frequently wait for the summer to start their installation or integration projects. But kicking off a project between January through early March—when there’s significantly less demand for contractors, equipment and materials—could allow you to land some good deals.

2. Scope your project right, the first time

A project with unclear goals and objectives is destined to fail. It’s vital to have a clear and complete definition of the project’s scope before beginning! Be clear from the start about what you need in your project. Detail your requirements. The little things count immensely towards a perfect result. Be specific with deadlines. Be realistic. Put all contract agreements in writing . Read everything multiple times and leave no stone unturned! Communicate with your AV Integrator via email so you both have a clear reference and written record.

3. It sounds obvious, but read the Proposal carefully

A proposal sets the outline for how the Integrator will work to achieve the results you want. It includes the amount of work needed to complete a task, time estimates for everything that will be worked on, and the AV equipment list. Your costs will go up as the project proceeds if you request additional services or select more expensive products than specified in the proposal.

4. Organization saves time and money

Plan for the work ahead. After the proposal has been accepted, a detailed work plan is a great next step. The more time you spend planning the project, the less time you will spend trying to manage a project that has spun out of control. Break the project into multiple smaller tasks. This helps to estimate the time required more accurately. If in doubt, over estimate.

Check, monitor and check again. Make sure everyone is up to speed on progress. A lot of times AV installations are integrated into construction projects. The AV contractor can often start work after everyone else is already established on site or after the construction phase of a new build or remodeling is finished. Costly delays can occur if the building site is not secure or dust-free enough to install AV equipment, as can easily happen when the schedule is thrown off course.

Review your work plan on a regular basis in order to stay on schedule. Check work progress regularly. Keep an eye on your timelines. If things aren’t going as expected, act sooner rather than later.

5. Avoid last minute changes

Each change after the fact is costly and can veer the AV side of the project far off budget.

6. Avoid ‘Add one more thing…’

Occasionally you could be tempted to add this and change that and modify the other thing. In addition to being annoying, it throws off the workflow by adding one or few more requests to the list. Your project will never end. Document additional features you want to include, and consider them for future phases of the implementation.

7. What You Know Can Hurt You

You are sharp, knowledgeable professional. You have successfully finished projects before and learned a lot. Don’t allow what you know to keep you from moving forward.

Hopefully you’ve hired an AV Integrator for more than just their ability to take orders. Ideally, they’re bringing years of expertise to the table along with unique and creative ideas for your project. Assuming that is the case, you need to be open to hearing what they are saying and treat the relationship as a collaboration. Professionals know what they can and can’t do, and they understand the limitations involved. Take their advice seriously and give it proper consideration.


Like any relationship, creating a healthy and productive collaboration with your AV Integrator takes work. But if you select the right company and follow the strategies listed above, you should be able to form a lasting partnership with the company of your choice.

Related Links

What to look for when hiring AV Integrator
The key to finding an Audio-Video Systems Integrator


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