Comparatively speaking, I guess its like the Architect overseeing the Construction of a Building --- you wouldn't be needed for the entire construction project, but there must be some involvement beyond just handing over a rolled-up set of Blueprints.
While I don't have experience in Buildings' electrical systems, I do have extensive history in designing electronic products and the associated duties of following the design into the manufacturing stage.
Manufacturing a product always requires my complete supervision during the initial build and implementation. Initially, On-Site (factory floor) Instructions; then supervision; then a little hand-holding; until finally the crew was familiar and comfortable with all the design intents. Without that necessary involvement (usually lasting anywhere from 1-5 weeks), success would always be jeopardized.
Think of it as an investment in the processing of your design. Plus the relationship you build with the people responsible will yield positive results in future design implementations.
One thing you have to know about installers is that they are procedural people. Often they don't follow the procedure. Remember that collapse of a walkway, I think it was in Kansas City, in the 1980s. It was a celebrated case. The architects/engineers designed it properly, but the contractors did not follow the drawings.
I worked at one company where we had complex machines that were installed by field engineers. To ensure that this was done correctly without having to send out design engineers we started having the field engineers work with the development team during design and development. This worked really well. They knew why things were specificed the way they were. Of course, some of the devices were in places like Hawaii and the northern coast of Germany. The design engineers were always ready to go there. Of course, one of the systems I worked on was going to Fort Hood in Texas. That was always dangled as potential punishment (sort of like being sent to the Eastern Front in WWII Germany).
Thanks for a great (but scary) story, Cabe! I noticed the Abort terminals are Labeled "+11" and "12 -". Did the contractors mistakenly think that these terminal name assignments were voltages? (+11 - 12 is a spread of 23). Gosh, this sounds like something I would have done. That is why the Engineers were always certain to keep the wires out of the hands of us Scientists. You should have seen them scramble when I approached a drill press...
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