Relocations are one of the most complicated projects. Whether you are moving 5,000 sq. ft. or 500,000 sq. ft., there’s a lot of work and detail that goes into a successful end result. Over the years we have documented lessons learned, best practices and sought feedback from clients and our colleagues on project teams. The following list documents the seven most common pitfalls:
Without question, we heard from both clients and professionals “we wish we had started earlier.” Depending on the size, complexity and real estate requirements – start 18 months to a year in advance of your expected occupancy date.
2. Space Planning
Set up an effective process to capture the details. Look not only at the aesthetics and form the space will take, but also at other factors such as a business strategy, organizational needs, functionality, operations, maintenance and future needs.
Change is hard. Relocations involve all sorts of change – where will I sit? Where will I park? Where will I eat?
We can say for certain that relocation projects that involve a comprehensive and engaging communications program are more successful than the “they should be happy they have a job” approach. The more the staff is prepared, the less disruption you’ll experience.
4. Information Technology
The number one aspect of an organization that needs to be carefully planned is the technology. It is the most crucial component of all businesses. Very few can experience any unplanned downtime. Key to the success is the early input by the IT staff into the design. Clear understanding of the tasks as well as lead times is also important.
Planning for small things like coffee, paper and vending machines before the move will help minimize stress and complaints on Day One. If you think it might possibly be time to change vendors, complete your proposal/award process well in advance of your move so you can have service stop and start dates established to coincide with your move.
Failure to create efficient and manageable way to capture move metrics is a common pitfall. It’s a good idea to post a move survey, evaluate and close out change orders and review the move costs compared to the budget. Develop a detailed logistical plan that clearly shows the move activities every step of the way. You don’t want your movers, construction and furniture vendors fighting over the elevators and loading docks.
The last thing on your mind during your planning process is the decommissioning of your old space. Once you’ve moved what goes to the new office, what will happen with the stuff that didn’t move?
For more comprehensive information, including Quick Tips, download the Seven Deadly Relocation Pitfalls document.
Helen Dennis is the President and co-founder of 300 Decisions, a strategic, full-service business relocation management company specializing in helping organizations transition into new work environments without disrupting business operations.