Some of the things we have done

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A few of our Clients

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Here are a few of our clients and partners for whom we have delivered bespoke research and change initiatives all of them realising demonstrable organisation, social or individuals’ betterment. But then, you wouldn’t expect us to cite projects that didn’t go exactly to plan, would you ? However, we do believe things can only truly progress if we all “fail quick and learn fast” so we are obliged to share this learning with you in our reflections section of the narrative
A few of these examples are revealed in the following sections. This is merely stimulus, being a simple and easy to read list of the kind of the initiatives we deliver and, maybe, show how we can help you with the problem you are about to wrestle with. 

 If you want to know more, then please do contact us.

-Master Panning              

-Spatial/Workplace Review – Private Sector

-Project delivery methodology

-Project Delivery reviews             

-Delivering a Client’s Brief -  Public Sector

-Project Start up – Private Sector             

-Project Start-up 3rd Sector

-A FM restructure – Public Sector

-Workplace readiness for change interventions

-FM Restructure – Private Sector

-FM Operating Models and Opportunity costs

-Procurement and Client:Suppier relations

-Spatial Review – Public Sector

-Changing Carbon and Energy Consumptions

-Critical Friend; change management, coaching and mentoring

-Learning and development – nontechnical training

-Learning and Development – technical training 


Some of their Tricky Problems


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Master Panning


Our strategic metamodel forms a research framework to structure organisational centric workspace statistics and then evaluate the impact of the workplace upon the organisation. At the heart of the concept is translating the business mission and vision into workplace objective and then comparing these with the research observations revealed by amalgamating people, production and property data, this will then begin to define the current strategic position. Only then do we add further data to research aspects such as customers, demographics and connectivity which will then expose the strategic choices available and so reveal the options and allow a robust business case to be generated. This then leads to a considered and result orientated action (or indeed inaction) which can be measured and evaluated.

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The results we have delivered

We deliver bespoke and boutique research and change programmes because we recognise that all clients have bespoke characteristics and needs. So, we have used variants of this model with many clients. Some successful outcome includes:

-Refresh the UK estate strategy during the merger of two financial services organisations this resulted in a programme which was aimed to support the business change required by the merger and secondly realise a 20% saving in workspace, whilst at the same time improved the quality of workplace

-Design of a masterplan for a service provider whom had won a large government contact, this resulted in relocation within three UK cities aimed at workplace rebranding to support the humanistic aspect of the change along with modern ways of working and a large reduction in property cost to meet the financial challenges of the new contract.

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Post commission reflections

It is amazing, when amalgamated data enables an organisation to “realise what it already knows”. It is astounding when an organisation evaluates data to understand and “know what it doesn’t know”. But the real magic only occurs when this knowledge is converted into wisdom to realise positive change which is designed and crafted from a declared possible future

 

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Spatial/Workplace Review – Private Sector 


Working with an international technology company we were asked to inform their “better ways of working” programme. This involved, amongst other things, detailed survey and analysis of data from; building opex and KPIs, Great Place to Work, Employee. We also generated further data from; survey of employees, interviews with senior managers and workshops with individual teams. This provided our client with a fresh detailed understanding of the workplace requirements

The results we delivered

The output from our consultation was a robust evidence base insight that informed and underpinned the next stage of detailed design and space planning of their head office. This was also used during the procurement and appointment of a workplace designer/contractor to ensure the contracted outcomes where robustly detailed, articulated and understood, getting the project off to the best possible start. Our work was then used to empower our client to carryout workshops and internal conversations with teams about how they could increase productivity and user satisfaction more effectively in the future.

We were retained by the client for the duration of the fitout project and change programme as a Trusted Advisor and mentor to ensure the business benefits were realised.

Reflections

The work exposed how easily the FM/Estates department can be perceived as a service provider to the organisation and over time how a organisational barrier can develop.


  

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Project delivery methodology


This brief was to design and sets out a clear mechanism to significantly strengthen the engagement structures supporting the strategic relationships within a councils Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Local Strategic Partnership. The principles on which the engagement mechanism to be developed were focussed on maximising investment opportunities within the locality.

To deliver we appraised; the current funding backlog, project delivery methodology and then held interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders.

The results we delivered

The research revealed the areas requiring change included;

  • The methodology was total Prince2 and the robust nature of the methodology was being used to delay project progress past the mandate stage. The changes we delivered included simple tailoring and retraining
  • The funding selection criteria was crude with an heavy reliance on IRR. This lead to stakeholder friction (all parties held richer but differing selection criteria). Workshops were held to gain consensus on a sensible selection and scoring criteria which included wider economic benefits, project fit, impact and readiness.

The new process was created and embedded which freed the funding backlog and lead to speedier and more efficient project delivery. 

Reflections

Large public-sector organisations are designed to last, they have robust and very onerous procedures along with all those authorisation protocols. Being part of this system, it sometimes becomes difficult to appreciate the real cost of this burden. It is very human trait to build a strategy to survive within these systems constraints rather than reflect and challenge how effective (or current and relevant) the processes are. It is only when the key stakeholder has undergone this paradigm shift that newly streamlined processes and technology will be adopted.

  

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Project Delivery reviews


We were appointed following the catastrophically failure of a change project to migrate a print/post solution to a 3rd party provider during an estates reconfiguration. The brief was to recover the migration, but the challenges were complicated; technology, processes, products and a client:contractor:supplier relationship.
We introduced a short “taking stock” period and applied a simple project health checker. This began to expose a structural difference between client and contractor and a mismatch in resourcing and planning levels. This learning informed several workshops and planning sessions with all parties.

The results we delivered

We exposed flaws in the project methodology and the prevailing conventional wisdom. The perceived technical complexity of the project was sound and proven, and not the supposed root cause of the issue. Instead, project plans were weak with different versions of project control and product descriptors being used by different parties.  Exposing these project and technical issues also revealed a contractual issues and a cascading blame culture (client to contractor and contractor to supplier)

We introduced sensible delivery and change procedures and re-programmed the testing, acceptance and transitions timeline of the products. We also introduced a restructure to the project delivery team, this removed the blame culture and guaranteed the original contractual commitments and migration programme could be met … indeed it was bettered.

Reflections

All the parties had created slightly different realities based on their differing context, positions, power and technical knowledge. Simply put, the fog needed to be lifted to enable the genuine insight to be exposed. With great insight the technical and procedural issues can quite easy be defined to reveal the true wisdom. Armed with this fresh wisdom then the generation and application of the remedies required became speedy and simple.

 

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Delivering a Client’s Brief -  Public Sector

The brief was to assist a large university who had won a partner role in a large international research project.
The universities existing estate was large with surplice space available for the new research team. However, the research space being made available to this new project was obsolete, isolated and poor-quality.
Appointed by the research Project Lead we were commissioned to review the space available with an external and somewhat critical eye.

The results we delivered

Surveying the space we generated a robust weighted option matrix based on the Purpose, People, Processes , Place and Price. From this we could gain consensus on the preferred option and then build a conceptual layout, size the workspace requirements, and build a business case to deliver the workplace.

Reflections

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There were many learning points from this assignment, the main points we have taken are away from this gig are;
Workplace in the broadest sense is an enabler to organisational ways of working, change and success. Workspace is different to workplace on many levels, a useful way to articulate this is to consider came from this assignment;

  • Space as an input cost burden and liability
  • Place could be considered as being an essential component of the organisation’s output, be this profit, realising objectives or change.

This organisation was world class at delivering capital projects and the physical space. However, over the years this had become somewhat of their winning strategy and therefore evolved ways of working , ways of thinking and ways of problem solving.  When these ways of working are questioned and challenged then the organisation and people who own them feel threatened and become defensive. This is major obstacle to overcome and should receive the same amount of design and planning which is awarded to all those drawings, Gantt chars and costing models.

 

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Project Start up – Private Sector


A leisure park had recognised that the 750M2 glazed roof covering an essential and iconic feature of their offer, need to be replaced. A similar project at one of their other locations resulted in high cost project, which over run and had negative operational impact causing considerable guest dissatisfaction. So, they were eager to do this project differently.

The results we delivered

We were engaged to take the project through the start-up phase and to ensure the project was set up for success ensuring that the disruption and cost consequents of the previous project were not replicated.
Armed with a business case for the project we engaged with the executive team and the park management to ensure the internal roles and accountabilities were appropriate by design and understood by all. We then challenged the design, technology and external supply chain.
The organisation and owners were brave enough to then embark on a two-stage tender to facilitate the testing and engaging of a principal contractor early. With all the stakeholder then enrolled and the new environment of innovation and problem solving established we delivered a solution which was
* 50% of the cost of their pervious project – by area
* Delivered on time
* Minimal guest impact   
* Became and high-profile project used to positively engage staff and guests
* Resulted in a feature that is loved by guest and staff alike! 

Reflections

It was very refreshing to work with such a forward-thinking organisation, who were keen not to replicate the problems from the past.

 

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Project Start-up 3rd Sector


A children’s hospice had decided to take the bold strategic decision to raise the age ceiling of the children they support. The consequences of this decision revealed the need for a “transition service” for children/young-adults to flow into the adult palliative care system. This transition service needed to be quantified and understood.

The results we delivered

We qualitatively and quantitatively measured the existing space and ways of working, then we delivered workshop with staff, children and families, along with a review of peer hospices. This enabled the project to be defined to meet the  forecasted growth in the families that the charity would now need to support, and more so the changes in the type of support they would need to provide and how they could provide this support.
We then generated business plans along with new build cost plans with associated layouts. Our work was presented to, and ratified by, the board of trustees and we were asked to take the initiative through the start-up phase.  
We devised a workstream approach to frame the project through, and beyond, the start-up phase. Actively engaging with the fundraising workstream we dovetailed key measurables into the funding agreements.  We then ran a procurement exercise to engage the professional team. With all the project critical success factors devised and agreed with key stakeholders, processes to meet and measure the project deliverables and also the professional team in place and motivated, the project was in the best possible shape for success.

Reflections

The design of the new build and the new service required research, stakeholder engagement and innovation-  it was after all a brand-new service offer for the hospice. However, the most challenging and rewarding aspect of the project was managing the relationship between the trust and the sole funder. Managing the expectation of two organisations from different sectors with procedures, policies, outlooks, aspirations and language which are in some cases diametrically opposed was the key to setting the project up for success, and ensuring that should any future issue arise it would be smoothly resolved. 

 

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A FM restructure – Public Sector

A large university’s new VC along with the Director of Campus Services required an independent opinion on the structure and efficiency of their FM service provision.

The results we delivered

Although the department was performing to expected standard when compared with peer universities in the HE benchmarking exercises, it was clear that the directorate (and their supply chain) had suffered from under investment for several years. Engaging with the senior management team we exposed their true aspirations, this then formed the datum to measure the directorates actual delivery and service outcomes.
The directorate needed to embark on a transformational change and the senior team were very keen to take on this change.  However, the operational environment imposed by the organisation (and the larger sector) made it impossible to adopt true transformational change techniques – to embark on this journey would be a fool’s errand.
We designed a series of “games” (controlled and measurable interventions) which when combined would achieve the transformation required but in a controlled and achievable manner where feedback and learning could be harvested.
Where required and where appropriate, we worked with the university over a number of years to design and deliver;
1 restructure of the senior management team – achieving clarity of accountabilities and 30% reduction in cost
2  consolidation of soft service contracts – refreshing the services and management approach and also achieving >£2m saving over the contract term
3 Generated the business plan
4 a host of minor initiative, including refresh and retender of the digital print offer, consolidation of time tabling controls, bespoke training for customer experience etc.

Reflections

Phew !!

 

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Workplace readiness for change interventions

The starting point with this client was also an ‘orientation’ workshop with their leadership team. After a second workshop with participants from across the organisation we compared and aligned all the workshop data with the Client’s annual Great Place to Work results. This helped to uncover some challenging truths about the Client’s workplace, providing deeper insight to the executive group around the synergy between culture, workspace and workplace.

The results we delivered

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FM Restructure – Private Sector

I am a text block. Click on me to drag me around or click a corner handle to resize me. Click the settings icon (it's the left one, looks like a cog) to change this text. You can type new text into me or cut and paste text from somewhere else. A large tech company was restructuring the internal team responsible for their estates and data centres, this included amalgamating hard and soft services along with H&S, business continuity and environmental management.
Click outside of me when you're done and any changes will be saved.

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The results we delivered

We carried out desktop reviews, personal and team profiling and then designed and delivered workshops with the various teams. The outcomes enabled the desired model to be critiqued and costed along with generating an implementation plan.
We pride ourselves on our professionalism, honesty, trust and respect. Therefore, we could not merely report back what the client wanted to hear – we had to “call out” that this particular emperor had no clothes on.  Armed with the findings of our work we could articulate the personnel, service and financial risk of implementing the desired structure, and offered alternatives. The executive considered our findings and a new approach was selected and successfully implemented.

Reflections

The provision of an organisation’s property can have many operating models – Lease:Freehold, Inhouse:Outsource, Input:Output specifications etc etc etc. Our industry seems to bounce between the extremes of operating models dictated principally by the latest fads and trends. These transitions come at a considerable cost to the organisation , and a cost which is much more that the input financial costs - when will we learn that one size doesn’t fit all. Maybe we should stop being lured by the comfort of copying operating models and be brave enough to leap-frog them

 

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FM Operating Models and Opportunity costs

A merger of two financial organisations had been executed without fully investigating and understanding how the estates operating models could be merged. The procuring organisation’s way of working was obviously the preferred operating model we were asked to validate this approach

The results we delivered

An intensive desktop review was carried out and a review of service quality and performance of the staff occupying the different sites.
The review proved that if the preferred operating model was adopted then there would be a like for like increase in operating costs and possible reduction in quality and occupiers experience. This was contrary to the findings of the pre-merger due diligence exercise. However, our work also showed that if the alternative operating model was applied to the parent’s UK estate then there was an opportunity to reduce property opex by 0.75M pa year on year, and also increase occupiers experience.

Reflections

WOW !!

You have got to the bottom of the page - I thank you and really do admire your perseverance. We have many more examples and we can go a lot deeper into the detail on these and the above. I am sure we can help you with your tricky problem, just click the link and get in touch.