Audio/Video Integration Best Practices
This is not a comprehensive list of things you need for your unique project, but instead, some things we have found helpful in the successful implementation of A/V integration projects in the past.
Things to do before your start. Although it is not recommended, a single person may hold multiple roles. Make sure the person is qualified and experienced for each role as defined below.
Each position should have a clearly defined role and allocation of hours
- Assign a Project Owner. This will be the person with the ultimate say on project scope, schedule and budget and should have the authority within your school/department to authorize spending, construction or any other related functions.
- Assign a Project Manager. This is the person responsible for the day to day implementation of the project – scheduling meetings, managing the project schedule and budget, authorize overages and delays (within a range set forth by the Project Owner).
- Assign a Technical Project Manager. This is the person within your school or department who will own the AV Integration after the project is completed. This person should be experienced in AV integration and have an active role in participating in decisions made throughout the process since they will have to support the project after installation.
- Assign a Subject Matter Expert. This is where OIT ITS can assist. This person should be vendor and department agnostic, advising the project team on industry and University best practices. Will review vendor proposals and make recommendations for modifications and vendor selection, but ultimate selection decsions will be by the departmental project team.
- Define Project Stakeholders. These are the people that will be using the facility. Key stakeholders should be identified and consulted throughout the project process.
Once the project team is assembled, they should:
- develop a written set of functional requirements agreed upon by all relevant groups to use the space
- develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) (details below)
- identify at 2 A/V Integration companies invited to submit a proposal. 3 companies would be preferred
- Complete review of each proposal by Project Owner, Project Managers and Subject Matter Experts. Review should narrow the proposals down to the best two if a single proposal does not stand out above the rest. Results of review should include a clearly worded list of questions to pass to the remaining two A/V integrators with a deadline for answers to be submitted. Ask for “Best and Final Pricing”.
- Final review of proposals and additional information from questions.
- Award project to winning integrator
Request for Proposal Authoring, Review and Acceptance
A well written Request for Proposal will
- include technical requirements for each space and specific capabilities
- indicate that there will be an open meeting at the halfway mark of the proposal period for a Q&A session for all integrators to attend
- dates for submission, review and approval
- specifically indicate level of detail that needs to be included in proposals from integrators. Examples include:
- Detailed summary of functionality to be enabled in each room broken out by audio and video systems
- A detailed scope of work to be performed by the A/V Integrator by room
- Contact information for proposed A/V Integrator Project Manager
- Specific equipment list to include quantity, cost, extended cost, model # and part # separated by room
- Proposed timeline of work to be performed (upon acceptance, a detailed project plan and timeline will be required 2 weeks after signed agreement)
- Detailed explanation of maintenance/service contract to include warranty coverage
- Detailed explanation of service procedures for a standard service call as well as service escalation procedures
- If Crestron code is to be utilized, a Crestron code release agreement will need to be included. This agreement will indicate transfer of ownership of the Crestron Code and associated modules at the completion of the integration.
- Explanation of User training that will be provided (# of hours, # of people to be trained)
- Expectations of Owner Furnished Equipment (OFE)
- List of Documentation to be included at completion of Project (EX: wiring diagrams per room, equipment serial numbers, equipment operation manuals)
- Schedule weekly meetings with AV integrator, Project Managers, SME and Duke Facilities (if engaged in your project). Architects may need to be included depending on scope of construction. Attention to timelines and project schedules to be a repeating area of focus.
- Schedule regular site visits to space with Facilities, A/V Integrator and SME by PM to coordinate placement of conduit, cable pathways, equipment racks, mounted displays and additional equipment.
- Periodic (every other day, 2 hours a day) site visits by Technical Project Manger during A/V Integration process (with SME if required) to conduct quality assurance checks and check timelines
- Site visit by SME and Project Manager to conduct functionality and systems checks at conclusion of implementation. Report bugs and concern to AV Integrator
- Follow-up site visit to run the system thru its paces in a real world environment. Will require participation by PM, SME volunteers of stakeholders and designated IT staff. No AV Integrators on site. Will require a dedicated person to log any and all issues or concerns as they arise. Punch-list will be submitted to AV integrators with a deadline for completion.
- Repeat previous step until Project Owner is satisfied the project has been completed
- Participation in Integrator provided User Training and review documentation provided by PM, SME, Local IT staff, admin staff and stakeholders expected to use the systems.