Vodafone wanted to relocate one of their service department from Egypt to their Newark site in the UK. The move involved the integration of new staff (effectively doubling the size of the existing team) into a service environment which had its own well-established working practices and expectations. The project also had to be fulfilled within a very limited timeframe in order to minimise downtime in and disruption to the Newark operations.
Ray collated the substantial staff lists which comprised full-time, part-time, field and home workers. He made clear plans for the accommodation of the 100-strong team, as well as integrating 40 new desk spaces alongside an existing technical team. By negotiating sensitively and clearly with local managers and staff and discussing sound, practical facts rather than ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’, he broke down their barriers and fears about the impending changes.
Ray’s plan grouped working teams into specific areas, which not only made it easier for teams to collaborate more efficiently and effectively but also freed up valuable desk spaces for the incoming staff. In addition, his plan could be achieved in a single ‘out of hours’ period, saving time and money for the client and avoiding any disruption to their normal daily operations.
Known, respected and trusted to deliver
Ray Thain is a familiar figure at various Vodafone sites, having managed a variety of relocation projects for them. More and more managers and leaders at this huge multinational corporation know that when they have a tough, challenging project to complete within a very short time period, then Ray is a safe and professional pair of hands. When he delivered his plans for this important and sensitive move, Vodafone’s Workplace Strategy Manger’s words were telling: “It’s good to have you back, Mr Thain!”
The Royal Wolverhampton Hospital Trust needed to move its entire Emergency Department (ED) into new, larger accommodation within the hospital. This huge project (from planning and procurement to ‘Go Live’ status) had to take place within a four-week period. More specifically the move itself (equipment, patients, staff and administrators’/doctors’ offices) was to be accomplished and the new ED fully operational in a fixed 4-hour window in order to avoid depleting the ED’s response targets.
This was a huge, complex and life-critical task which held consequences for staff, patients, visitors and the Trust as a whole. The preparation involved a great deal of work liaising with various departments to confirm the inventory of equipment and its condition, as well as identifying existing orders and sourcing, receiving and checking new ones. The new ED had to expand the number of bays and treatment areas to comprise:
|Seven resus bays||31 treatment bays|
|Two brand new paediatric high care spaces||A 48-bed medical ward|
|Six paediatric treatment rooms||Therapy rooms|
|CT Scanner room||GP referral unit|
|Clinical Decisions Unit||ED X-ray dept|
|Administrative offices||Clinical staff offices|
Ray spent a great deal of time understanding the hospital’s relevant departments, functions and teams, and developing the trusting relationships that would be crucial when the ‘Go Live’ transfer took place. Throughout this complex operation, staff felt confident that Ray was managing the risks and smoothly easing people and events to a safe and efficient conclusion. By the time the 4-hour deadline arrived, everything was fully installed in its new location, equipment was checked, calibrated and ready for use, and patients were being treated without any disruption to the service.
With the ED transfer seamlessly completed, Ray was asked to continue working with the ED team on a ‘Soft Landings’ programme which he designed to help staff acclimatise to the new facilities, equipment and patient monitoring systems. He also led staff, members of the public and other stakeholders on ‘patient journey tours’ through the department. The Trust was delighted with the entire project, completed on time, on budget and with absolute customer satisfaction. Ed Callaghan, the Trust’s Estates Development Team Manager, was happy to declare that, “We chose the right man for the job!”
NSL’s former accommodation was becoming too small and fragmented for the needs of its mission-critical, multi-disciplinary call centre. Ideal new offices were located but these required complete refurbishment to meet the company’s objectives. NSL tasked Ray with securing buy-in for the move from key stakeholders, monitoring the refurbishment, managing the relocation, ensuring FCA and ISO compliance as well as supporting the production of a continuity plan.
Following his feasibility study and Board presentation, Ray created a Project Initiation Document to guide this challenging process. As CDM-C, Ray worked with all parties to allay any fears and concerns about the move and meet everyone’s requirements. Indeed, Ray managed the complete refurbishment and relocation process without any disruption to NSL’s service. He ensured that this much improved working environment was fully FCA and ISO compliant and produced a Welcome Pack giving employees all the key information they needed on the new premises’ layout, facilities and emergency procedures.
To help protect the future of this thriving business, Ray also worked with an NSL Team Manager to devise a comprehensive business continuity plan, which included increasing the resilience of the company’s voice and data communications.
Ray’s extensive project management skillset allowed NSL the flexibility of appointing him to additional roles as the schedule progressed, always safe in the knowledge that he could deliver. And deliver he did: Trevor Taylor, NSL’s Account Director, was delighted with Ray’s work which saw the NSL team make a smooth, safe and compliant transition into their excellent new facilities. Add to this the additional benefits of a professional and proactive project manager, and NSL can continue its excellent work knowing that it’s future continuity is protected.
Vodafone wanted to relocate its Didsbury call centre operations to an existing centre, Atlas House. Although large and spacious, Atlas House was a rather dark converted warehouse which had remained unrenovated since its original conversion some 15 years previously. In order to integrate the Didsbury staff into the existing team, a full refurbishment of Atlas House was essential. The project was planned in 14 phases to be completed in less than one year. In addition, the expanded teams needed to be able to adapt and operate normally while the £5million refurbishment was in progress.
Ray was brought in as a trusted, independent and impartial professional to manage this diverse project.
Ray organised and oversaw the removal, storage and relocation of effects from the Didsbury premises and arranged for any necessary repairs so that he could hand back the facilities in good order to the landlord and leasing agent.
The next stage of the relocation presented particularly complex challenges, most notably the fears and concerns of employees facing significant changes in their working practices and environments. Enabling employees to work effectively despite the noise and disruption of ongoing refurbishment was another major hurdle.
Vodafone wanted Ray to create more flexible working environments that would accommodate the incoming staff as well as remote workers working with the existing team. Fitting numerous extra people into limited space meant that people would have to let go of their perceived need for their ‘own’ desks, and accept that new approaches could work effectively for all. Ray negotiated with regional and local managers to manage this significant change. Discovering that many team members frequently worked at client sites, he encouraged staff to manage and coordinate their diaries in order to allocate desk space far more flexibly. In practice, employees soon appreciated that ‘one person, one desk’ was no longer a necessity!
By managing and liaising with the contractor, Ray also recommissioned each refurbished area as it was released with IT and communications networks, new furniture, fittings and equipment.
This exacting and multi-layered project was a great success. Once the client had given a clear brief and specified their goals, the management of the entire relocation and staff adaptation project to Ray, which saved the client a great deal of time, costs and resources. From previous experience, they knew that Ray would deliver everything as required with regular consultations, reports and team location layouts as required along the way. Vodafone’s Atlas House is now a smartly refurbished building and the larger, restructured teams it accommodates are embracing their new, more flexible and efficient working practices.
Following the sale of part of its insurance business to Royal London, the Co-operative Bank needed to identify all the relevant ‘sold’ files, index them for future storage and prepare them for collection by their new owner. The client also wanted its retained files to be sorted into a clear, sequential order, then catalogued and mapped for easy location.
After many years in use, the existing filing system was neither sequential nor coherent. Files had been stored over the three floors wherever a space became available. This meant that a full audit of all [900,000 or 5.6km of) files was essential in order to identify each one. Ray had just one week in which to locate and catalogue all the files before the crews arrived to pack them into crates and move them. He was also keen to ease the packing crews’ job by drawing up clear task plans for them and preparing packing labels which clearly detailed the final bay locations for each sorted crate.
Additional challenges included the tight timescale, and the inaccessibility of the storage site. While the client had nominated a mezzanine floor as the ideal space for temporarily housing the sold files, moving the many heavy files across and between floors involved long walks and very limited lift space (the crews needed to pack and unpack around 300 crates each day, but the lift to the mezzanine floor would hold only two crates at a time)!
By the time Royal London staff arrived to collect their files from site, Ray had also created spreadsheets showing file product type, file numbers and runs per racking system, as well as a CAD drawing of the file runs. This was an enormous time-saver for the Royal London team who used the CAD plan to find their way around the site and file runs quickly and easily. The Co-operative Bank too appreciated a host of benefits. Their file storage was now fully compliant with FCA regulations, and their new filing system was simple, clear and much easier to manage. In addition, Ray’s audit had revealed a number of obsolete files whose disposal released valuable storage space.
This complex and demanding task was delivered on budget and, even with the extra tasks which added value for the client, everything was completed within deadline. The client was very happy and this successful project was celebrated with a coffee, a handshake and plenty of compliments!