Start to plan your move as soon as you know about it. Or even as soon as you know about the possibility. This is not rocket-science: we’re not talking about getting into detail or booking arrangements before you need to, which can be counter-productive; we are talking common sense.
It still amazes me that some organisations leave it to the last minute to look at how their move will work. Sometimes, of course, they are just too busy. But in my experience, people who don’t look at this typically haven’t organised a move before, underestimate what is involved, or have very low expectations. Maybe there are issues about who is responsible, getting budget approval, or securing new premises. Bear in mind that you do not need confirmed dates to start planning anything – and the chances are that your dates and requirements will change anyway.
So – why should you do this? Well, you’ll start fleshing out some of the key actions and associated lead times – which will give you a good idea of when you really need to get on with things and who needs to be involved. From that you’ll start developing more precise budget headings. This will help fine-tune your strategy. You should identify what some of the issues might be – and that will give the heads-up on avoiding them. You might find that some things are less of a concern than you first thought. But until you’ve thought through what’s involved, you’ll never know. You might also find it useful to brainstorm this with someone who has done it more often than you have.
Most major moves are known about at least 12 months before they are due to happen. Do not waste the opportunities that time gives you; your move will work better as a result.