What are some common pitfalls that can cause integration to go over budget?”
Completing an integration project on time and on budget is essential for success, but can be challenging for an integrator. Often times, there will be circumstances that cause a project to go over budget. Only through experience can you learn how to anticipate those circumstances and avoid them to stay on track and deliver premium service.
The first item to consider is the project scope. It is important to always have a well-defined scope before quoting a job. Without this, it is nearly impossible to ensure that the correct equipment is being specified and that all the components will work together seamlessly to deliver the correct end result. It’s normal for projects to evolve and change, but these changes should be occurring at the beginning of the project during the discovery phase. This is where you define the objectives and goals and review the equipment. The discovery phase is also when you should be discussing the client’s content strategy since that will always affect the hardware and software solutions being implemented.
Another item to consider is possible construction delays. These will potentially cause budgets to go over even though it’s out of the integrator’s control. Construction delays may lead to staff working overtime in order to meet deadlines, but a good project management team will know how to plan for these delays properly to mitigate the impact as much as possible.
The final item to consider for projects going over budget is the budget itself. An integrator with a lack of knowledge will underestimate the amount of work involved to meet the project’s needs. This will lead to a multitude of change orders, but having a solid understanding of the hardware/software technology required will help avoid those issues.