Relocation projects are incredibly stressful. They can be 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, relocate the IT systems and deal with the existing premises make-good, together with tackling change management and environmental opportunities… all whilst holding down a full time position!
To help navigate the minefield with confidence and deliver a flawless project, be aware of the these ten common project pitfalls:
1.NOT BEING INFORMED
Office search, fitout and relocations operate in a niche industry and companies do not move often - approximately once in every ten years. Where should you focus your time? What is a realistic timeline? And budget? When should you start searching and what is the process? What are current design trends and who are the leading suppliers? Spend time at the project outset to gather information both externally (industry related) and internally (company requirements).
2.DIVING IN TOO EARLY
Many organisations start searching or designing before knowing what they need. Think about what is important to your company: environmental initiatives? change management? engaging design? budget needs? Set up project goals to steer the decision process. Create a detailed fitout brief before any designs are undertaken.
3.NOT THINKING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT EARLY ENOUGH
If you are thinking about sustainable design after you have selected your building, chances are it is too late. The majority of resources consumed by a commercial building are used by base building services such as air-conditioning, lighting, plumbing etc. Green rated carpets and loose furniture is nothing more than a token gesture if your building is has a low environmental rating or is not accessible by public transport. If sustainable design and the environment are important to your company, then make this a primary objective in your project goals.
4.NOT ALLOCATING ENOUGH TIME
Compressing the timeline is usually possible but it often compromises the project. A rushed property search jeopardises strategic negotiations. Tight timelines inhibit the design process. And a poorly planned relocation can quickly turn into a nightmare move. Start early. Include time for property and lease negotiations. Include contingency in the timeline and allow for comprehensive tendering.
5.NOT ALLOCATING THE RIGHT BUDGET
Undersized budgets underwhelm. And a bloated budget is also a common project pitfall. The design industry can deliver fantastic projects but have a reputation for using fantastic amounts of money. What is a reasonable and what is an unreasonable amount? Investigate and allocate the financial resources to steer your project and avoid future hot water.
The remainder of the article can be downloaded from Facility Perspectives, December edition.