“Summertime … and the living is easy”

As the lyric of the famous 1935 George Gershwin song, from the opera Porgy and Bess goes.

 

It depicts a season when you have time to plan, and (for some) a time when the facilities problems are slightly less dramatic.

One of the major problems facing facilities and estate managers is that of providing the optimum amount, of the correct type of space for the organisation to perform at its best.

 

If you’ve ever tried to find space for you and your friends and their families (and friends) at an outdoor music festival or on a beach, you’ll be totally familiar with how ‘your space’ is marked out with towels, blankets, bags … in fact whatever you have to hand.

 

The cells of space are then ‘infilled’ and some incursion occurs if members of your space haven’t arrived yet … and so it goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At an organisational level, for the Space Manager, a similar process goes on. Success for them is determined by the optimum use of the right kind of space for each of the occupants, which is no mean feat!

 

Organisations worldwide face the challenge of balancing real estate costs with the selection and utilisation of facilities in a manner that best contributes to their overall objectives.

 

All too often unpredictable internal or external forces frustrate this challenge.  


For instance, a facility obtained two years ago on a five-year lease might not meet the organisation’s target space utilisation rate of 85% if the organization cannot meet its hiring targets.

 

Lease costs for the unused space now represent a sunk cost if the lease cannot be renegotiated without penalty. Similarly, a facility that meets the location and gross area requirements for a move from one campus to another might require extensive refitting that could delay the move beyond an acceptable timeframe.

 

These examples describe just some of the challenges facing organisations as they make facility selection and occupancy decisions to execute on larger organisational objectives.

 

The answer lies in strategic space planning …

 

The link between an organisation’s strategic plans and its allocation of space to satisfy the needs of such plans is best explained as follows.

 

An organization such as an academic or financial institution, government agency, manufacturing company, or real estate management company may decide, as part of their business strategy, to introduce a new client program, develop new products, or serve new markets. Doing so requires that the organisation plan space allocations for the new initiative.

 

In simple terms, strategic space planning can be defined as the process of identifying the space needs for one or more of these business initiatives, exploring space allocation options to meet those needs, and prioritizing the acquisition, disposition, and allocation of space in a manner that aligns with the organisation’s strategic priorities.

In particular, strategic space planning takes into consideration the ramifications of project-specific space allocation plans on enterprise-wide space allocation, utilisation, capacity criteria, and other factors.

 

 

Strategic Space Planning Phases and Attributes Strategic space planning may take place over three phases as shown below. In some instances, the long-term and mid-term phases may be combined in a single phase.

 

 

This consolidation of phases may be driven by factors such as the size of the real estate under consideration, how closely corporate real estate plans and business strategy align, the rate of change of macroeconomic (external) and microeconomic (internal) conditions, and the decision-making model adopted by the organisation.

 

Long-term plans set the context and direction for mid-term plans, which in turn provide structure for near-term tactical plans and implementation.

 

To read more of the ARCHIBUS White Paper: ‘Strategic Space Planning Simplified - Novel Tips & Techniques for Today’s Space Planners’, you can download it for free here 


If these ideas sound familiar you can call Mass on 0118 977 8560 or you can email us at news@mass-plc.com to discuss your particular space planning requirement.



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