Ready, Set for Final Installation?

By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO & Co-Founder, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University

You’ve put weeks, maybe months, of thought and planning into the project, and now the big day is here when it all has to come together.  What preparations have you made to ensure everything goes well?  Do you have a contingency plan in case something goes wrong?   If you have a process in place for managing final installation, you can be confident you have everything under control.

Like design, successful project management hinges on being methodical and paying attention to detail.  You start by envisioning what is going to happen, step by step, and then considering what is needed at each step to achieve the necessary result.  You are constantly moving back and forth between the big picture and the minutest details.

I’ve found checklists to be indispensable tools for ensuring nothing gets overlooked.  I recommend creating checklists for each part of the process and then have different members of your team check them and re-check them.  For an installation, you want to ensure that all the furnishings, materials, accessories, etc. are available, undamaged, and confirmed for delivery. You need to check that the space has been properly prepared and will be accessible, and that service providers, tradespeople and delivery people know where they are to be and when.  This is especially important if certain steps have to be accomplished before others can occur.

As tedious as it may sound, don’t take anything for granted.  Talk with delivery and service personnel in advance to find out if they provide mats or other coverings to protect floors and furniture.  Make sure everyone at the site wears protective booties, even if you have to provide them yourself.  No detail is too small to consider.  For example, who is in charge of clean up, and who will provide brooms, dustpans, mops, trash bags, and other supplies for that purpose? In my firm, we always bring a toolbox along with us in case the need arises for an extra hammer, screwdriver or wrench, as well as hooks, fasteners, tape, etc.  And of course, we have a checklist to make sure the toolbox is fully supplied in advance.

Your goal is to make final installation as seamless and stress-free for the client as possible.  It all comes down to preparation and anticipating the unexpected.  What I’ve learned after years in the business is that when you’ve mastered the small stuff you no longer have to sweat it.

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