Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I got a call from a customer of mine a few weeks ago. "Hi Tim we're selling our building and will probably be moving sometime before the end of the year, less than 3 weeks from the call." Moves are relatively easy to coordinate and plan. A checklist, good communications, capable workers and some coordination are the key aspects of a successful move.
As soon as a move date is know, and move location are know contact, your ISP, Phone company, Electric company, locksmith, Security company, moving company and computer company, set up a meetings, and or assign tasks, and pass out contact information for those parties that are expected to work together. Get estimates for all activities, budget for overages and unexpected expenses and plan for contingencies.
It can be tempting to plan several large changes to occur while the move is happening, this is both a good thing and a bad thing, as employees & customers are expecting change. However, too much change can over complicate the move and cause unnecessary delays or problems. Good changes are new furniture which can be delivered before the move and set up in the new location. A new phone system, in another option, which can also be installed & tested in advance of the move, however if the new system is overly complicated staff training can cause extra stress. New computers or servers can cause problems during a move, especially if the old machines are not properly tracked. Changes to computer systems where logins and changes need to be made on every machine will quickly compound the time that is required during a move. For example a change that requires 15 minutes of time on each computer will quickly swell to hours when multiple computer need the same additional time. If there are 12 computers a 15 minute change will require an additional 3 hours of time.
Plan for problems, no matter how much planning you undergo plan for problems. Expect at least 1 computer & 1 printer will not be operation after the move. Expect some furniture to get lost or broken. Head these problems off at the pass, authorize people to make purchases (with limits) with out approvals to speed resolution. For instance the wheels get broken off a chair and a computer monitor gets broken, document the occurances, and resolve them, it does not good to cause keep easily resolved problems around. When possible pick on 1 person or workstation. When resolving issues it may be necessary to take cables or spare parts from 1 broken workstation or computer, or printer to get another one working. Two broken computers that can be cannibalized and combined into 1 working computer is advisable.
Don't sweat the small stuff. During the move look at the problems as the occur and decide weather your time should be spent addressing them now, or putting them off to a later time. Make a list of items that you need as the crop up ie, broken chair, new computer monitor, mop & bucket, extra what ever, then send 1 person (2 if necessary) to go pick up the items, when it makes sense, be sure to send them with a cell phone so extra items can be added to the list after they have left. During the later stages of the move address problems that arose, that are still issues, prioritize them, in terms of impact on the bottom line and or based on the amount of stress that will be caused.
Finally during the move, feed the people moving & helping out, provide drinks soda, coffee, tea, energy drinks and water, have some snacks around. After the move thank those involved, have a luncheon, and possibly award some time off.

-- Tim Krabec

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