Posted by: Tavis Patterson on June 20, 2016 at 11:46 am
After a long couple of weeks, TAZ Networks has moved into a new home. As any business knows, moving can be a major distraction to business operations. For a business like ours, where we have live IT support with a live service desk that operates all day, this especially carries additional concerns — we must continue to give great IT business support to our clients yet move all our operations seamlessly.
Here’s our new address: 9434 Maltby Road, Brighton, MI 48116.
Our key consideration in moving was serving our clients better. We’re happy to be staying in Brighton with close proximity to Ann Arbor, Howell, Wixom, Southfield, Novi and all the other great locations in Southeast Michigan. Our new building is the Lowry Technology Park. We took care to choose an office layout — both floor plan and cubicle/desk design — that promotes better communication for our team so we can service our clients even better.
Business Moving Lessons Learned
So what lessons did we learn along the way? What advice can we pass along for moving your business and IT operations? Here are some key considerations:
- Daily Huddle. We found that little items crept up very quickly. Reviewing the moving plan and communicating about what was up next was vital to include in our daily huddle. You do have a daily huddle, right? This keeps everyone focused on what’s important for today. When things change, everyone can be informed and aware. Our team huddle is usually a stand-up meeting, 10 minutes long, first thing in the morning.
- Moving “Board”. Sometimes digital is great, and other times a simple board with Post-Its works wonders. We labeled each week of our move with Post-It tasks on that board so we could easily move them from week to week if needed. Key personnel were assigned tasks. As items were completed, they came off the moving board. Post your board in a central location where all can see it easily and add items they might deem necessary right away. Remember: we need to keep the entire team involved, and the team probably has a lot more worries than you do.
- Be Flexible. It probably goes without saying, but flexibility is key during a move. Don’t get overly stressed when issues come up — your stress will translate to the team. Also, if something does change, move your tasks around and be up front with folks that things change, possibly quicker than we can communicate in the huddle. When something comes up, address it. Don’t worry or focus on the fact that “I didn’t know”. That will just increase anxiety and frustration.
- Pick a Date but Reevaluate Constantly. We originally picked a date during Memorial Day weekend so that we’d have extra time to move. As often is the case with a move, however, permits didn’t come through and other issues popped up. So we had to adjust on the fly and make sure everything was covered for when the move actually occurred, the week after.
- Hire a Moving Company. We’ve moved in the past without one, and we won’t do that again. It’s much better to have a company move any items that may hurt your employees’ backs. Moving companies know their stuff and are well worth the price.
- Move your own computers. Now with the above being said, all our staff moved their personal belongings and their workspace computers to the new location. This may be a good option for employees who are physically able to move lightweight items. Usually this takes ownership for getting that equipment safely to the new location and lets the moving company focus on specialized and heavy items.
- Split the team. Moving is a project in and of itself, so make sure to give your staff time to do it. You need to be swift, but at the same time let your employees settle in to their new surroundings without pressure. Move half the team or key stakeholders first. Let them get settled and then move the rest. If you’re on a tight schedule, perhaps half can move in the morning and half in the afternoon.
- Buy lunch and have fun. Having some laughs can go a long way during a move. Buy lunch for the staff and acknowledge their hard work in helping everything go smoothly. Have some fun and get settled. This alleviates them losing productivity by trying to find new places to eat or go to on their first day in the new location.
- Coordinate the IT. Your IT support and IT services company needs to know up front — way up front — what your schedule is and how it’s going. Keep them in the loop. Our move caused us to move our backup services along with our phone systems. It also required us to get a new Internet provider since we crossed over a service boundary. With the internet provider, we scheduled 10 days before our move and had to have 2 service calls to get it right. Remember the rule that it usually takes 2 times in a new location to get all items completed, and plan accordingly.
- Try to get back to business right away. Letting things linger is no fun for anyone. So make it a goal to try and get back to work right away. Having 2 to 3 weeks of productivity loss is no fun for any business — or their revenue. So be clear with your team on your goal for getting back to a full functioning load. Set a specific time period, perhaps by the end of the week, and make sure all are informed an on board.
- COMMEND! Your folks are going through change. Commend them for the hard work and sacrifices.
Well there you go. 11 pointers we found with our moving experience. If you are moving soon, we hope it goes well. It is something that all businesses do but only those that plan carefully get through it with limited productivity loss.