You have determined the desired end result of your project, and now must outline the parameters to achieve it successfully and responsibly. This concept is relied on frequently yet only verbalized when necessary… it’s time to create your budget. Let’s talk about budgets related to opportunities in the audio visual industry, and how they empower the successful execution of a project.
During the initial and planning phases of a project is the most important time to define and test your budget. Consider a consultative service partner that has the experience and ability to provide a site survey and/or pilot site test. Once the testing results are received, you will have a gained a realistic grasp of the scope of work, assumptions and timeline, logistic and site readiness expectations, and deliverables that will showcase success. This will help control your spend and resources allocated to a project during the execution phase. By the concluding phase, we can all agree it’s preferred to be a celebration of achieving your desired end result instead of compensating for missed project prerequisites.
Scope of Work
The scope of work should begin as the foundation of your budget with product, skill set, resource, and communication requirements outlined. This should be provided on a site-by-site basis to include any slight deviations that were captured during the planning tests. Attempt to streamline areas through limited number of experiences resources and/or partners. Your budget and bottom line with thank you later for this simplified cost measure. Partner referrals can also go a long way when interviewing prospects for future opportunities.
In a perfect world, every resource involved with a project is on point at all times. Is that always reality? No, but assumptions provides direction for when deviations occur. They should be agreed upon before project execution starts. For example, “if the site contact is not reachable, then follow these instructions”. Or “if the product hasn’t arrived on site by a certain number of days before the scheduled date, then follow this reschedule process”. Assumptions empower your partner to take ownership without you experiencing increased costs from the deviations that occur.
Site Readiness (Site Surveys)
If there is only one aspect that you take away from this, let it be the assessment of site readiness during the planning phase of a project. Just as the education system anticipates that each student will learn in a slightly different way, it’s important to anticipate that each site will differ slightly from the standard. Focus on the tangibles and intangibles, like how the product will arrive and who is responsible for it. Or where the outlets are located and the type of wall mount required. Take accurate measurements and review the installation environment before ordering product to save from costly surprises during execution.
There are a variety of logistic considerations that lead to a completed installation. From warehousing and kitting to arrival and staging on-site, a resource is required to handle the product with expert care. In relation to the audio visual industry, this can be product with significant overhead cost invested at every site. Experience has proven that defining accountability is key when managing logistics and risk of product loss for mishandling.
We know what we want, and we want it now… right? While there are resources that can achieve a rushed timeline, it will more than likely cost more dollars (and sanity) to reach completion. It should start out as a conversation with the involved resources to understand what’s realistic, where you can push, and where it’s best to stay patient. There is a multitude of experience levels to consider. Using providers that have built trust with your brand and product will prove its worth as you conclude a project. Monitor your timeline progression in cadence with each partner involved.
As you assess the completion of each step, you need to determine what information will allow you to confirm success. We recommend a mixed media approach to provide an array of assessment capabilities, like pictures, videos, signed paperwork, serial captures, and more depending on your project’s needs. Capturing this information in real time can provide significant cost control when progressing through the execution phase, to allow for timely conversations and avoid return visits.
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