Business moves come in all shapes and sizes. A corporate office move is different from a hospital move and both are different from an industrial relocation. Even corporate office moves can differ depending on the size and type of business being relocated. When dealing with a large office project that cannot be completed in one evening or weekend, one must take into account many variables to develop a comprehensive move-phasing plan.
Unfortunately, many businesses create their move-phase plans based solely on the construction schedule and when their new space will be finished. This sounds logical at first until you realize your facilities and support service departments won’t be completed until last. Many construction schedules, especially when dealing with high-rise facilities, target a top down approach for completion. This usually means the executive areas are completed first and the support areas are completed last.
Putting together a move phasing plan can be like putting together a complicated puzzle. What may be right and line up with the construction schedule may not line up with the business needs. Specifically, looking at the departments relocating and how the move will impact their business will help determine how the moves should be phased. This means identifying the size of each department, if they can be split up for move activities, which departments interact with each other and if they need to move together, what type of equipment do departments share with each other and does it mean that they need to move together?
The list of questions can go on and on and the answers may not always align with how your new space is being turned over to you. It’s a good practice to begin thinking about your move phases in conjunction with construction phases to make sure everything is factored into the plans. Simply making the IT closets and data room a priority may not be enough to accommodate the overall business needs.
We previously discussed approximately how many moves can take place over a move weekend. Other factors that need to be considered when developing a move-phase plan include the number of origin and destination buildings, lease end dates at origin buildings, special use space required for occupants and input from the various support providers such as IT and facilities. They are typically supporting multiple buildings during a phased move approach, so it is important to make sure that the phasing lines up with their support capacities.
If you think about your move and relocation planning early enough in the design and construction process, you can accommodate your businesses needs in line with your move plan. The last thing that you want are completed floors sitting empty because you’re not ready to move executives without having support teams in place.
This downloadable Relocation 101 infographic is available for more information on the move process.
Matthew Dennis is the COO and co-founder of 300 Decisions, a strategic, full-service relocation management company specializing in helping organizations transition into new work environments without disrupting business operations.