Closing Out Surveillance Projects

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 29, 2012

Closing out projects can be surprisingly difficult. For what seems to be simple process, gracefully concluding work and leaving a jobsite can prove challenging. Despite devoted efforts to bring work to an end, loose ends and lagging issues can stretch the end of a job for weeks. In this note, we address the process of successfully closing out installations.

Overview

The final phase of an installation project is often called 'Close Out'. Successfully managing this work phase will leave customers with a great impression and high degree of satisfaction with the install project. Observing the following steps will ensure that closeout is a positive experience for the integrator and customer alike:

  • Closeout Conference
  • Gross Error Checking
  • Motion Detection Optimization
  • Developing the Punchlist
  • Conducting Enduser Training
  • Obtaining Final Signatures

Closeout conference: The size and scope of the job dictate how formal this step is. For small jobs, it may be a quick phonecall to the owner letting them know that work is soon to wrap. For larger jobs, this may be a formal meeting with customers that outline the close out schedule and communicate dates and enduser involvement. This exchange should clearly identify the dates you intend to bring the system online and start recording, plan to hold enduser training, and the day you intend to leave the site. By having this conversation, no confusion or doubt remains with the customer of what comes next. When the integrator clearly defines these milestones to the customer, it goes a long way in avoiding the reputation of being 'shifty' or 'leaving in the dead of night'.

Gross Error Checking: Just like a proofreading process, make a point to step back and observe system operation as a whole. Confirm that all major elements of the system are operating and accomplishing their intended tasks. This step includes confirming the following operations:

  • Cameras stream video properly: Check that CODEC selection and framerates match specifications (e.g., a camera was not incorrectly set up for JPEG rather than H.264, causing storage inefficiency)
  • System devices remain online and are stable: Cameras and servers are not randomly 'dropping off' the network.
  • Networked storage locations are available: Confirm video is written and recalled properly when stored remotely.
  • Network Access is sufficient: Admin/security policies should be provisioned to avoid issues with VMSes.
  • Incorrect network/device settings are not impeding operation : Common examples include switches not optimized to flow video traffic, cameras improperly time/date synchronised, or DHCP unexpectedly reassigning IP addresses.

Performing this check early in project closeout prevents nasty surprises at the last minute. When major errors are found, they still can be remedied before the turnover date.

Motion Detection Optimization: One of the core functions of surveillance is recording video when expected. As we discussed in our previous 'Optimizing Motion Detection' note, confirming that cameras are recording when expected is fundamental to system operation.  Our experience has shown that this is a multi-stage process, where initial optimization is set and followed up on a few days later. The passage of time will reveal excessive recording in cameras where final tweaks need to be made. Final camera positioning and focus should be a part of this process, 

Developing the Punchlist: This concept borrowed from the construction industry simply means to develop and address a 'to-do' list of loose ends. Example 'punchlist' items include:

  • Touch-up painting
  • Patching holes
  • Labeling equipment
  • Organizing and bundling cables
  • Tidying up work areas

In general, the punchlist is composed of many small details that are easily forgotten on their own. Developing a punchlist with the customer present may be prudent, as it allows the customer to point out small details of significant importance to be addressed. This walk through provides the opportunity for the customer to critique work or express concerns well in advance of formally ending the project. Sucessfully working the punchlist is evidence of the intergrator's attention to detail and indicates a high level of installation quality.

End User Training: See our previous 'Effective End User Training' post for complete overview on this topic. This step allows the customer a chance to learn their system so that the system's value and utility are obvious. Properly managing this step establishes 'customer satisfaction' and allows the integrator to demonstrate value or explain functions that the customer may not otherwise understand. The tone is set for repeat business opportunities, and good integrators are keenly aware of this.

Obtaining Final Signatures: While self-explanatory, this step is much more than simply ritual or symbolic in service industries. When the customer signs the final approvals document, it indicates a level of acceptance and satisfaction with the job. This signature also may contractually begin the warranty period for the installed equipment. This provides one last opportunity for the customer to address any unresolved issues, and allows the integrator the opportunity to end the job on a high note.

At some point, if completeness or acceptance is disputed, the integrator can produce the signature as proof that they left only when the job was finished. Keeping records of these signatures can disarm accusations or clear up confusion should future questions be raised.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Amazon Ring Spotlight Cam Tested on Sep 17, 2018
Amazon's Ring has released their latest camera entry, the Spotlight Cam, which we bought and tested in our Consumer IP Camera Analytics...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Door Fundamentals For Access Control Guide on Sep 12, 2018
Assuming every door can be secured with either a maglock or an electric strike can be a painful assumption in the field. While those items can be...
IP Camera Cable Termination Guide on Sep 06, 2018
Terminating cables properly is critical to network performance, but it can be a tricky task with multiple steps. Fortunately, this task is easy to...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 04, 2018
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet it is commonly ignored. The drain wire offers protection for readers...
IP Camera Cabling Installation Guide on Aug 29, 2018
IPVM is preparing the industry's first Video Surveillance Installation book and our upcoming Video Surveillance Installation Course. We have...
Exit Devices For Access Control Tutorial on Aug 28, 2018
Exit Devices, also called 'Panic Bars' or 'Crash Bars' are required by safety codes the world over, and become integral parts of electronic access...
Inputs/Outputs For Video Surveillance Guide on Aug 24, 2018
While many cameras have Input/Output (I/O) ports, few are actually used and most designers do not even consider them. However, a good understanding...
Backup Power for Large Security Systems Tutorial on Aug 24, 2018
Choosing the right backup power system depends on system size. While small and medium systems greatly benefit from using UPS battery backup...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Chinese Government Praises Hikvision Following Xi Jinping on Sep 17, 2018
The Chinese government council responsible for managing China's state-owned companies praised Hikvision’s obedience to China’s authoritarian leader...
Amazon Ring Spotlight Cam Tested on Sep 17, 2018
Amazon's Ring has released their latest camera entry, the Spotlight Cam, which we bought and tested in our Consumer IP Camera Analytics...
European Mega Security Firm Verisure Pushing Security Fog on Sep 17, 2018
The European mega security firm Verisure (Securitas Direct), with a reported 2 million customers, is pushing security fog, as shown in this BBC...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact