Why Successful AV Integrators Need Great Project Managers

14 Dec 2017 | Guest Blog

AV system integrations involve many moving parts. While AV integrators are focused on making sure the technical pieces are working properly, a project manager takes a lead role to ensure client satisfaction.

Project managers act as the liaison between the AV company and the client, clarifying expectations, organizing a timeline, and identifying pain points that need addressing before projection completion.

While a number of factors contribute to a successful project, the client is likely to remember the overall experience based on how well the project manager did his or her job to keep the installation running smoothly. The end client will likely associate the AV brand and the finished results with the project management experience.


Combine Project Management and AV Integration for Communication Success

Miscommunication is a major concern in any integration project. AV integration requires careful collaboration between building construction and/or maintenance, end client IT teams, end client managers—including internal project managers—billing departments, AV company integrators, AV company sales and account representatives, and AV company project managers.

With so many people working on a project, miscommunication can completely derail the timeline and leave end clients upset. A great project manager takes control of communications, acting as a point person for the project. When one person knows what all the different parties need to get the job done, he or she can quickly resolve issues, provide well-constructed explanations, and keep the project moving forward.


Avoid These Project Management Woes

In theory, project management bridges the gaps between different project roles. In practice, however, project management can quickly run aground. Project management hindrances that can completely change a client experience include:

  • Lack of communication hierarchy.
    When workers bypass the project manager to do something quickly or without thinking, the whole project may suffer. A great project manager sets clear communication guidelines at the start of a project to avoid miscommunication problems.
  • Lack of technical experience or resources.
    Most project managers are great at working with people, but they may not always understand the technical details of the project at hand. Well-qualified project managers will maintain strong relationships with AV integrators and others who possess the deeper technical understanding needed to answer client questions.
  • Lack of people skills.
    On the flip side, some companies promote individuals to project management without thinking about their client-facing communication skills. A great project manager needs a blend of technical savvy and people skills.


Find a Project Manager Who Supports AV Integrator Needs

The right project manager for your AV company will partner well with AV integrators. While project management requires a certain degree of oversight, the role also involves friendly and effective collaboration. To succeed, project managers must focus on the client’s needs but ensure the technicians also have what they need to get the job done, which may include cooperation from the other trades involved in the project or realistic expectations from the client based on the existing budget and timeline.

For the AV integrator, a well-placed project manager streamlines the project. AV integrators deal with technical issues that differ from client to client. Technicians who manage their own projects often have to work in a reactive manner, leaving clients unsure about the project direction or even questioning the integrator’s competency. Project managers schedule time for inevitable hiccups, prepare clients for realistic challenges, and proactively address issues early in the process.

Without established project managers, the AV integration process becomes much more stressful and the outcome of the project, uncertain. . Building trust amongst everyone involved and proactively managing a project from end-to-end improves client satisfaction and reflects well on the AV integration firm as a whole.

Find out more about Involve’s Engineering team on our installation page or watch the video below.