Both the HTI+ and CEDIA exams include questions that deal with the organization and management of a home systems project. The project management information in this appendix reflects a combination of the procedures prescribed in the exam objectives of both the Home Technology Integrator (HTI+) and the CEDIA Installer I certification exams.
Whether a project is technical or nontechnical, the project manager must plan, organize, direct, control, and document several activities. In virtually every aspect of a project, the project manager must decide how best to apply limited resources and work within the constraints of budget and time. The project manager is directly responsible for ensuring that all required activities are performed and that the outcomes of the project meet the expectations of the customer.
Often the project manager of a home systems project plays a dual role as both the technician and a manager. However, these roles aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. As a technician and a project manager, you must have the ability to work with the customer and ensure the project activities are performed timely and that the technology is appropriately, effectively, and efficiently installed, tested, documented, and demonstrated. To fulfill these duties, the project manager/technician must also be able to estimate, plan, communicate, lead, and motivate, and be adept at problem solving.
As you proceed through a project, there is no activity more important than creating documentation as you go. Detailed documentation provides not only a reference point for earlier activities and decisions, but a historical record of the events, choices, and activities of the project. The documentation produced and retained should include all of the forms, diagrams, checklists, plans, and other project-related documents.
These project management skills are necessary in most projects:
The activities included in the planning phase of a home technology integration project are:
Once the project is underway, there are certain tasks the project manager must perform to ensure that the project plan is followed and that any deviations from the original plan are documented, presented to the customer in advance, and approved by the customer.
The tasks of the project manager during the work phases of a project include:
After a project completes, the documentation created or gathered during the project should be collected and filed both at the project site, meaning the home, and at your office in a project file. Each time any additional work is performed, for whatever reason—routine maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and so on—both sets of documentation should be updated.
You should maintain some contact with the customer after the project completes for a variety of reasons:
The preceding list is far from complete, but it presents some of the more common reasons for contacting the customer after the system has been completed. Another important reason, especially with a warranty due to expire, is to advise the customer of maintenance or repair programs your company may offer.
It is also important for the customer to understand the issues involved with warranty or maintenance program transfers, should the home be sold while either of these programs is still in force.