Widgets Magazine

Standards and Procedures

It is continually amazing how much we can learn from others in this industry. As director of operations for Innovad, an independent programming and design/consulting house, I am responsible for managing the designers and programmers. They are a very talented group who have decades of experience. The one drawback of working with such a team is they all have their own way of doing things. Others in my position have talked about the necessity of standard procedures for their team. The more I learn, the more it makes sense. This is not to stifle any programmer or designer’s creativity. It is more about making certain that several people can work on the same project, pick up where one left off, and it all have a consistent flow.
Documentation
This is where everyone from the sales engineer to the programmer are all on the same page as far as document flow and symbol usage. If you are in the position that we are some times where you didn’t sell the job but are a sub for programming, then once you take it in-house you would make these changes to fit your mold.
Nomenclature
There are several schools of thought on what to name your “button presses” versus automation tasks. Some programmers always put the “$” symbol after a serial string, some have never heard of such a thing. The idea here is to be consistent throughout your programmers. This will take some conversations and compromise. However, it will be worth it in the end as anyone should be able to open any of your programs and have a good sense of where things are and where they are going.
Feedback versus Touch Panel Automation
This is really about how you drive the various pages and sub pages of your touch panel. Some believe in not giving the touch panel file any power at all when it comes to the driving force of the pages. There are others who think it is perfectly fine to incorporate page flips and driving directives with buttons. Again, this is a conversation and compromise on your team. It is essential you are all on the same page.
The bottom line is not to make everyone the same. It is a realization that these employees will not work for you for ever. You will not work for this company for ever. You are putting systems in place so that the next programmer, or director of operations, can slide in as seamlessly as possible due to the programs and standards you have in place.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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