Moving an entire office requires many people, tight deadlines and very specific requirements. Using project management tools, such as the project charter, can balance the expectations of your project stakeholders and the abilities of your project team: by defining your scope early you can maintain the integrity of your project and set reasonable, achievable goals. While most charter templates are designed for construction or software projects, it only takes a few adjustments to make them work for your relocation.
- Skill level:
Explain your business case. Include the reasons for the move, for example: regulatory, financial or expansion constraints. Name the project sponsor and project manager. Additionally, introduce the document and its structure.
Define the project scope. This is the most important section in your charter: be very specific. List whether your team is responsible for assigning new office spaces for people, reconnecting the communication network, establishing facility management plans, or just moving furniture.
List stakeholders, team members and responsibilities. Stakeholders care whether or not the project is a success but may or may not be performing project tasks. Include internal as well as external team members, such as any moving company or utilities personnel, who will be needed to finalise the move. Establish which teams are responsible for each component listed in the scope section.
Create a high-level timeline for your project deliverables. Your project schedule will define specific dates, but use this space to give the stakeholders a general idea of what to expect. They will be signing off on your estimates, so be as realistic as possible.
Summarise project risks and dependencies. A large project will have a separate risk management document, however you should highlight any known factors that could delay or derail the move. These issues could include failed inspections, damages to assets en route, or late network technicians, for example.
Get sign off on your project. Your charter should conclude with a list of any additional documents that will be created as part of your project planning. Leave space for all of the stakeholders defined in Step 3 to formally sign off on your project.
Tips and warnings
- Re-purpose the traditional "testing" section in a software project plan to do a quality assurance test on the new space, for example: does the security system work, are all of the phone extensions routing correctly, among other factors.
- Keep external team members in mind when creating project dependencies. For example, the desks can't be moved until the new carpet gets installed.
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