Closing Out Surveillance Projects

By: 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 : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Help Security End Users Facing Coronavirus Improve Remote Access on Mar 24, 2020
Many end-users and integrators are struggling with the impact of coronavirus...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all...
"Fever Camera" Online Show June 2020 - On-Demand Recordings on Jun 03, 2020
IPVM has successfully completed the world's first "Fever Camera" show....
Free Online NFPA, IBC, and ADA Codes and Standards 2020 on Sep 03, 2020
Finding applicable codes for security work can be a costly task, with printed...
Convergint Coronavirus Cuts on Mar 25, 2020
One of the world's largest security integrators, Convergint, has made a major...
The SIA Board Strongly Supports ISC West October 2020 on Apr 23, 2020
The SIA Board strongly supports the upcoming October 2020 ISC West, amidst...
Dedicated Vs Converged Access Control Networks Statistics 2020 on Sep 10, 2020
Access control is a crucial system where the network used can impact life...
Bottom: Integrators Start To Stand Vs Coronavirus on Apr 20, 2020
Good news - IPVM integrator statistics show that while coronavirus has hit...
Hikvision And Dahua Now Blocked From Conforming ONVIF Products on Apr 03, 2020
Dahua and Hikvision, sanctioned for human rights abuses, are now blocked from...
Dedicated Vs Converged IP Video Networks Statistics 2020 on Sep 10, 2020
Running one's video system on a converged network with other devices can save...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Exit Devices For Access Control Tutorial on Aug 25, 2020
Exit Devices, also called 'Panic Bars' or 'Crash Bars' are required by safety...
Emitted Energy TempScan Thermal Screening System Examined on Apr 28, 2020
Emitted Energy has specialized in temperature measurement using FLIR cameras...
ZKTeco Body Temperature and Mask Detection Reader Tested on May 26, 2020
While dedicated fever cameras emerged first, now tablet/kiosk fever detectors...
Dahua Profits Surge Due To Fever Camera Sales on Aug 25, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue is down, driven by challenges within China, the...

Recent Reports

Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...
Chilean Official Investigated for Motorola And Hikvision Contracts on Sep 17, 2020
A corruption investigation is underway in Chile after a crime prevention...
Huawei HiSilicon Production Shut Down on Sep 17, 2020
Huawei HiSilicon chips are no longer being manufactured or supplied to...
Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...
X.Labs Sues FLIR on Sep 16, 2020
X.Labs, the maker of Feevr, has sued FLIR, the publicly traded thermal...
Video Surveillance 101 September Course - Last Chance on Sep 16, 2020
Today is the last chance to sign up for the Fall Video Surveillance 101...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Costar Technologies / Arecont H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 16, 2020
Costar's financial results have been hit by the coronavirus with the company...
Startup Cawamo Presents Live Alerts With Edge AI and Cloud VMS on Sep 15, 2020
Cawamo, an Israeli edge-to-cloud analytics and VMS startup, presented its...
Favorite Access Control Credentials 2020 on Sep 15, 2020
Credential choice is more debated than ever, with hacking risk for 125kHz and...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Screening Marketing In Africa on Sep 15, 2020
A multi-national African Hikvision distributor is marketing dangerously...
New Products Show Fall 2020 Announced - Register Now on Sep 14, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show will feature New Products from over 25...
Hanwha 8K / 33MP Camera Tested on Sep 14, 2020
Hanwha Techwin has released an 8K / 33MP resolution camera, the TNB-9000 with...