By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
Packing up your apartment and moving is pretty simple. Even the most ill-prepared mover can stuff things in boxes, pile them into a pickup, and relocate. What’s a few broken pieces of dishware? Now, imagine moving an entire business department. Think of the chaos in trying to move 10, 20, or 50 people, each with their own boxes. Without a plan, the process can take weeks, causing untold business disruption and no shortage of headaches.
Starting to see the value in a move management consultant?
If you’re asking, “What is a move management consultant?” you’re not alone. Many growing businesses don’t think to consult with an outside expert before moving. How hard could it be to swap around a few desks or make two departments switch places? In theory, we like to think an office relocation is similar to an apartment move. But the reality is that it’s closer to redistricting a city. That’s why it’s worth hiring a professional.
A move management consultant’s role
Move management consultants plan, coordinate, and oversee office moves. They map each phase of a move and ensure it’s executed smoothly, with as few disruptions as possible. They’re typically called in to coordinate relocations with lots of moving parts, and their skills apply to both interbuilding and multi-location moves.
The move manager’s job starts with an overview of the situation. What is the objective or the reason for the move? What does the current workplace floor plan look like and how will it change? Understanding the starting point and the objective helps determine how to get the company from Point A to Point B—often in a literal sense!
Most move management consultants take this baseline data and plug it into an online move management system. This allows them to map out the move incrementally across different views. They can break the move into phases, put it on a timeline, and understand each phase’s relationship to the process. Eventually, the consultant will connect the dots to form a complete picture of the move, with start-to-finish instructions for everyone involved.
With a move plan in place, the consultant’s real job begins. They’re usually the de facto leader in executing a move. This means breaking the scope back down into increments and providing instruction to department heads and team leaders, so they know their roles in the relocation. The move management consultant helps each team leader understand when, where, and how to act, so each phase of the move goes smoothly.
After a move, the consultant performs their last duty: assessment. What went wrong, if anything? Were there any unexpected obstacles? Were any adjustments made mid-move? The consultant provides a status report to key stakeholders that shows how the move progressed and what the end result was.
Map complex moves with software
The more variables involved, the more complex a move becomes. It’s a relationship that’s often exponential. Moving two departments with 12 people to a new location is a difficult task, but it pales in comparison to one involving three locations, nine departments and 150 people.
Coordinating a smooth move on any scale comes down to organization, which is why reliable consultants use move management software. Software doesn’t just map the many variables of a move, it’s also a system of record that ensures no task is overlooked. Forgetting a single person or desk can derail an entire move, and often requires shoehorning them in at the end. It can disrupt the balance and undermine a well-planned move.
For larger moves, management software incrementally breaks down each step. Every leader involved in the move needs to know their responsibilities, as well as when and how to act. Linking decision-makers and leaders via software gets everyone on the same page about their role in the bigger picture.
The process is more involved than you think
It’s easy to think about office moves and space management at a macro level. Just because everything fits nicely into the stack plan doesn’t mean it’s the right solution. There’s a lot in flux during a move, and accounting for it all is paramount. Some key points to consider:
- New desking arrangement vs. old desking concept
- IT and technology infrastructure in the new space
- Individual seating allocation and general space planning
- The physical act of transporting assets and individuals
- Move timeline, phases, and trigger actions
- Team leader accountability
The number of steps required to get a person, department, or entire company from where they are to where they need to be is much larger than most company’s realize. Dropping them into a new environment can cause chaos. Each step demands careful planning.
A move takes full-time dedication and a clear understanding of each variable and its relationship to overall goals. It’s worth hiring a move consultant to make sure things run smoothly and are coordinated, no matter the number of variables involved.
A smooth move is worth the price
Growing businesses are often strapped for cash. Forgoing a move management consultant for what seems to be a simple office move could be a mistake that costs more to fix in the end. Hiring a consultant isn’t just about delegating the task—you’re paying for a smooth transition that’s non-disruptive to crucial business operations.
To put it in perspective, you wouldn’t try to move an expensive grand piano from one home to another. Why risk tens of thousands of dollars when you can pay someone much less to do it for you? Look at your workplace. The same question applies.
Keep reading: Move Management Tips for a Smooth Relocation.