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

Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
4 Most Difficult Camera Installs (Statistics) on Jul 12, 2018
Heavy housings, cumbersome brackets, heavy ladders required, and tricky field of view requirements will cause difficulties no matter the camera...
Installation Hardware for Video Surveillance - Indoor Fasteners on Jun 22, 2018
As part of our Installation for Video Surveillance series, in this note, we cover drywall anchors. A key part of installing security hardware is...
Four Major Outdoor Camera Install Problems on Jun 14, 2018
Over 140 integrators told us the top four camera installation mistakes that lead to unexpected problems and failures. Their comments often...
Introducing Effective PPF (ePPF) - Improving Video Surveillance Designs on Jun 11, 2018
Pixel density (PPF / PPM) is the best metric the industry has to define and project video quality. It allows simple communication of estimated...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial on Jun 07, 2018
H.265 support has improved significantly in 2018, with H.265 camera/VMS compatibility increased compared to only a year ago, and more manufacturers...
Worst Features for Camera Installation (Statistics) on Jun 07, 2018
4 clear worst features for installing were identified by 140+ integrator respondents to: What feature(s) make a camera hard to install? The...
Top Features For Easy Camera Installation (Statistics) on Jun 05, 2018
Camera installation is the most fundamental and common task for video security technicians. Because of this, camera manufacturers market their...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Free 100+ Manufacturer-Customized Camera Calculator Released on Jul 19, 2018
Now, any manufacturer has a customized IPVM Camera Calculator, free. The goal is to make it easier for companies to help their customers better...
Improved Security And Surveillance Bidding - 2018 MasterFormat Divisions Examined) on Jul 19, 2018
Navigating the world of system specifications and bidding work can be complex and confusing, but a standard format exists, and understanding it...
Last Chance - Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 19, 2018
Today is the last day to register. Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security...
Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...
Hikvision Wins Chinese Government Forced Facial Recognition Project Across 967 Mosques on Jul 16, 2018
Hikvision has won a Chinese government tender which requires that facial recognition cameras be set up at the entrance of every single mosque...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...

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