Predicting the space needs of your organization years—or even months out—can be tough knowing a single mistake could cost millions of dollars. This makes the FM:Interact Scenario Planning capabilities of the Strategic Planning Module essential for the planning of your organizational changes.

Scenario Planning allows you to proactively plan for and manage change in your physical space inventory. You have the ability to create, visualize and “try on” potential space situations, such as build-outs, expansions, reorganizations, consolidations or reconfigurations—so you’ll be prepared no matter what happens.

There are a few key aspects that every Scenario Plan should take into account in order for your best laid plans to be successful which are:

Flexibility – Scenario planning should enable you to master the “What-if” and should provide the flexibility to manage all sorts of possible scenarios such as expansion, contraction, space reconfiguration or possibly even the un-planned loss of a facility.

Multiple Options – Planning for multiple approaches to a specific scenario problem is a necessity and your solution should have this capability.  Figure 1 below portrays three possible approaches to an expansion scenario as we grow our facilities portfolio.  Should we build, lease or optimize what we currently have for instance?

Multiple facility scenarios

Multiple Phases – Because moving people within our organizations is never an easy task, scenario planning needs to handle multiple phases so that we can create plans that are the lease disruptive to our operations.  Figure 2 details a potential scenario that runs across 3 phases of a departmental expansion which involves moving people from multiple departments to accommodate growth.

Multiple facility scenarios

Space suitability, space standards and space adjacencies – When moving people with different operational requirements in your organization, you need to make sure to provide them with the appropriate space to meet their needs when they finally land in their new workspace.  Scenario Planning needs to accommodate space standards such as ensuring a Senior Director is assigned space suitable to their position vs. a junior accountant who may be assigned to a more flexible space and possibly a neighborhood as part of an overall alternative workplace strategy your company or institution maybe implementing.

Scenario suitability

Associated costs – Every plan has a cost and planners should be able to see the potential cost impact to each of the scenarios that they are researching or proposing.  If you refer back to the basic scenario for an expansion in Figure 1 you can see that each of these possible outcomes can have differing cost impacts based upon the cost of moving employees and equipment, leasing or not leasing and renovations required to reconfigure space to accommodate these moves.

Scenario costs