Planning your office relocation project

Drawing up project plans

From initial project scoping, developing a project plan, through to execution, delivering and testing – there’s lots of elements to consider when carrying out a business critical project. Whether it’s your first time moving offices or your third, IT relocation projects are typically on the larger scale, which can often be overwhelming. Drawing from our wealth of experience in carrying out IT moves and relocation projects, we have put together a checklist which is useful for any relocation project, no matter the size.

Office Relocation Checklist

Your guide to the perfect move…

1. Plan your move in advance

The logistics of every relocation project will be different, so you should take that into consideration when planning your move. There are lots of different aspects to consider in terms of timelines, especially as certain parts of a move depend on completion of other stages before they can be implemented. We often find that leased lines have long lead times, for example, so proper co-ordination of dates is key to ensure a smooth relocation.

In most cases, organisations need to keep their business running while carrying out the move (it isn’t typically a one day job) so it’s vital you consider how this will work. You should also ensure you have accounted for things not going to plan (especially if you have involved multiple parties at different stages of the move) and we would even suggest having contingency plans where possible.

2. Keep your teams up to date, delegate “Move Champions”

The common goal when tasked with delivering a relocation project is ensuring a seamless “day one” experience for the workforce. We’ve found this works best when the staff are engaged and consulted from the very start of the process. Designating ‘“champions” throughout departments ensures teams receive regular communication, are aware of the logistics and have a point of contact for queries and concerns. Communication is key to success after all.

3. Audit all your current assets (and dispose of old ones)

Moving offices presents the chance to re-evaluate assets and ensure they are best fit for your business requirements, some may need upgrading or replacing. You also need to consider whether they are right for your new environment, especially server room equipment. Consider getting rid of outdated equipment. There are a number of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for disposal of old equipment, which we can provide here at Stephens IT should you require it.

3. Terminate unwanted service contracts

You may also need to consider terminating existing service contracts that are serving your current location. Perhaps you are scaling up or down at the new location and need greater or less resource and support, or adopting new technologies which means old services are no longer required. Consider notice periods and timescales for cancellation, to avoid duplication of costs, or lengthy termination fees. It’s amazing how an office relocation can present the opportunity to save business costs by renegotiating or scoping service contracts.

4. Audit your new location (and equipment) for compatibility

How compatible is the new office space in terms of what you are trying to achieve? You might consider asking your IT provider or ”tech person” to check network compatibility at the new location, as well as things like floor boxes, wireless access points, potential desk locations and the server room.

The same applies to new or different equipment – we often find that simple things are overlooked, such as wrong monitor arms being ordered for monitors. During office moves, ‘aesthetics’ of desks are usually a big factor, especially when it’s a new fit-out or a larger project. An office can have an amazing design and feel, only to have desks with trailing cables and obstructive equipment. With so many different manufacturers of furniture and desk options, each have their own cable management features, which should be considered as part of the design process. To achieve a ‘perfect’ look, it’s good practise to test equipment with a sample desk to ensure you’re happy with the final product, have all internal stakeholders sign off on requirements and inform the installation and delivery teams of the expectation.

5. Consider a disaster recovery plan

Although cloud adoption is helping to improve disaster recovery as data is effectively stored off-premises, companies may have not have fully transitioned to a cloud solution, not backed up all their data or even still have physical paperwork containing important data. You should always consider the possibility of an event in which your data could be could be compromised during a relocation and take the appropriate steps to prevent it, i.e. making back ups of all of your data.

6. Evaluate who you are hiring to move equipment

Hiring a generic moves company to move your actual IT equipment may not be the best idea. Any type of IT equipment should ideally be transported in specialist removal apparatus such as crates, anti-static bags, bubble wrap, protective flight cases and stair walkers – all designed specifically for relocation purposes to ensure nothing is damaged. Delicate equipment should also be transported in specialist air-suppressed vehicles which can be GPS tracked or escorted if necessary.

7. Testing and Post Move Support

It’s important to have your IT provider present upon completion of the move as you’ll need them to check through system configurations and ensure all business systems are operational and tested. Post move support is essential to help users with any issues as they arrive and settle into the new space, and eases the strain on internal and external IT resources.

We offer a number of relocation services, and depending on the customer we are able to provide as much or little help as is required. Whether it’s just the physical move you need, or complete project management through to sign off, our team of experienced engineers are on hand to help. For more information please contact us.