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What do we mean by "Zero Defects"?

People say all the time that it is impossible. You can’t do a project with Zero Defects! There is always something, like shipping delays, product availability, insufficient staff availability and so many additional factors. All those things are legitimate problems and of late, they are becoming more and more of an issue.

When we talk about Zero Defects, we aren’t saying there are no problems, or that everything will go according to plan, but if you follow the AV9000 Standard, and implement each checklist available, you will be able to find defects either on paper or before they become a major problem.

When the initial group first sat down to talk about the Standard and what they wanted it to provide, they said they wanted it to be a guide for anyone to follow and to take the guesswork out of what’s next.

When you first look at all the checklists it might seem overwhelming, and your first thought is “I don’t have time to do all that work!” This makes sense, but then again, do you have the time to do it twice? Do you have the time to keep sending people back to the job site because the system isn’t finished or isn’t working?

The checklists are designed to cover every possibility. To help you remember all the thousands of things that could go on in a project and prevents you from forgetting to review something. Some of the items will need to be answered, depending on the scope of work, and other items will be not applicable. Each time will be different and each time it will save you the hassle of having to remember did I do that or did Murray?

The AV9000 Standard process gets easier to implement with each job. It is designed to provide Quality Assurance, a review of each step of the project, not just at the end. When you accept a new job and you sit down to do a Contract Review, you are acknowledging that you have the resources to move forward with the project and complete the job. You have set the time aside to work with a client to make sure the client’s performance specifications have been acknowledged and that the system they are looking to install is what you are providing, and that it does what they think it will do. Now you are both on the same page. If someone comes back to you later saying I thought, it will do A B & C, you have a signed acknowledgment of the scope of work and can do a new proposal for an add-on to the end of the project.

Once you know what is needed and that the client has made their needs apparent, the Design Review will allow you to address any issues before anything is purchased and is performed by a Certified Quality Designer, CQD. It allows you to do a deep dive into the requirements of the system on paper, allowing you to do the math required to see if the system will perform the way it is expected to perform. That the hardware that is to be purchased is available and/or the right model and so many additional variables reviewed. At this point, you have the information you need to keep your client in the know. You can provide feedback on the timeline of the job, including any delays in equipment. Having weekly Milestone meetings and generating reports allows you to adjust schedules and redirect manpower where it is needed. The report will also help to keep your client from wondering what is happening.

One of the next steps in your journey is Site Ready Review. The Site Ready checklist is one of the smallest checklists, but it covers the items that are required for the installation but is the responsibility of others. This review confirms all the items that need to be completed before the AV system is brought into its new home. This review confirms where the building is, where the room is located, what the room number is, and what still needs to be completed by other trades before you can complete your installation and so many additional factors.

The Staging checklist is completed by a qualified Certified Quality Technician, CQT. This is the step in the process where you put the system through its paces, and find any possible defects. It is that moment in time when you take a step back and let someone else review your build. A new pair of eyes will review your build and check to see that it is built to spec and that it works. What this stage in the standard does, is it allows you to do a complete review of the functions of the system, check all the equipment, and make sure it is all working properly and if it is not, you can take immediate action to rectify the situation.

This is where Zero Defects come in. You have implemented quality assurance at every step of the project and once you have acted on any issues that came up during the Staging, you are ready to deliver a Zero-Defect System.

Once the system has been installed, there are two (2) final steps. First, you will have your CQT perform the Commissioning Tests. This checklist is performed to confirm that all exceptions found at the Staging have been completed and will review that the system functions with all other trades. The report generated from this checklist shows that you have delivered the system the client expected and that it works to the specifications requested. If the client requires a third-party Commissioning, you can be confident that the system you installed is working properly since you have already put the system through its paces.

The final checklist is our Readiness checklist. These tests focus on what the User experiences, and taking the time to see the system from their perspective can be invaluable to the completion of the job. Once everything has been reviewed and your final report has been completed, the last thing for you to do is Client Acceptance. The client acceptance can be added to the end of your report. Once the report and the system have been reviewed with the client you can get your sign-off.

You have successfully turned over a Zero Defects system to your client and you are DONE DONE! The client is satisfied, and you can get paid in a timely fashion and can move on to your next project. At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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