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A Better AV Punch List: Collaborative Acceptance Testing

Ben Shemuel

Acceptance testing is a critical part of every audiovisual project. During audiovisual acceptance testing, the AV consultant examines and tests a project’s nearly completed audiovisual systems to ensure that they perform as intended and are installed professionally. Systems that work well but have visible flaws aren’t accepted, and neither are systems that have operational problems, even if they look good.

Acceptance testing, often referred to as “punching” because of its similarity to an architect’s inspection and generation of a punch list near the end of a construction project, is often performed just like the architect’s punch process. That’s not always the best approach.

With the cooperation of our colleagues at Salesforce, and as a way of meeting Salesforce projects’ accelerated schedules, TEECOM came up with a different model of acceptance testing we call Collaborative Acceptance Testing (CAT).

Standard Audiovisual Acceptance Testing

To understand Collaborative Acceptance Testing, you first have to understand the standard audiovisual acceptance testing process. Here’s a flow chart illustrating the standard process:

Process Diagram – Standard Acceptance Testing

Standard audiovisual acceptance testing

Collaborative Acceptance Testing

In Collaborative Acceptance Testing (CAT), the process looks more like the flow chart below. The main difference between the conventional and CAT processes lies in the work TEECOM does alongside the audiovisual contractor.

In conventional acceptance testing, after the consultant reviews the work and creates the punch list, they’re off site while the contractor resolves punch list items. The contractor’s resolution of installation flaws may be perfectly in line with the consultant’s design intent, but it might not be. If not, when the consultant returns to the site days or weeks later for their final walk through, they’ll often discover that the system still isn’t completely finished. At this point, with no more time to correct problems, the contractor will often have to turn over incomplete work to the owner — not an ideal outcome.

In a CAT process, as we discover issues, we work with the contractor to resolve them. The result: AV rooms are made available to the client much sooner and better completed.

Process Diagram – Collaborative Acceptance Testing

Collaborative audiovisual acceptance testing

Collaborative Acceptance Testing establishes a mutual respect between the audiovisual designer and the systems installer, and benefits the client by rapidly identifying and resolving problems. After all, installation is a continuation of the design, and should be treated as such.

Read about how to resolve other project completion challenges in Ben’s previous blog, “Why Isn’t the Audiovisual System Done Yet?

 

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Ben Shemuel
Ben Shemuel, Principal, Vice President

Ben's passion is engineering creative ways to integrate AV systems into facilities’ common networks to keep them as technologically green as possible. He especially enjoys finding solutions for educational environments. An outstanding communicator, Ben intuits his clients’ needs and helps them define, design, and realize their audiovisual visions, from simple to complex.