The two biggest company expenses are typically facilities and staff. Whilst a relocation project initially appears to be about the space itself, Gab Aghion warns companies on the perils of ignoring change management.
Relocation projects are demanding and stressful.
They are a black hole for company time and money.
Project owners are expected to navigate the minefield of site selection and negotiation, oversee the design, meet budget and timeline requirements, deliver the fitout, manage the move including IT systems and deal with the existing premises make-good... all whilst holding down a full time position.
So where does change management fit into the process? How important are staff considerations, compared with the risks of relocation downtime, missed deadlines and budget blowouts?
The answer is crystal clear. A project that flawlessly executes the logistics but fails to consider the human element is destined for disaster. The repercussions are far reaching yet sometimes delayed - like an earthquake, the shockwaves spread out from the epicentre and through the organisation with catastrophic effects. Companies often create work environments that drain productivity, demotivate staff and increase turnover. Handling the staff needs poorly leads to feelings of resentment and even project sabotage.
And on the flip-side there is a further complication – running a project with excessive staff involvement risks delays from indecision, information overload, choice fatigue, exposing the decision process to personal agendas, departmental squabbling and your project being held hostage to minority opinions.
The key to a successful project lies in finding the right balance between project demands and good change management practice.
There are six crucial stages of a relocation project and each stage presents a unique set of opportunities to involve, excite and lead staff through the relocation process.
The remainder of the article can be downloaded from Human Capital magazine, December edition (Page 46).