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2 min read

How to Avoid HQ Launch Failure

How to Avoid HQ Launch Failure

Picture this: you have been working with a design firm for months on your dream headquarters project. They have designed an office space that is ready to fulfill your current and future needs based on your predictions. And it's beautiful. Your brand is clearly defined and carried out through the design, there are plenty of conference rooms and places to expand your quickly-growing call center, it has everything any millennial could want, and it all falls within the budget.

You’ve got the project approved from your board and you are ready to hit start. As you get farther along, your construction crew quickly tells you that some of your design features can’t be done at that price. Maybe you try to bid out the project or take some of the design features out so you can stay on budget. But the timeline gets further and further away from the projections you set—even though you factored in a buffer.

Quickly the project starts falling apart and you are left with an HQ project that is 18 months late, doesn’t meet half of the vision you originally had, and it’s $2 million over budget. Even worse? Instead of lasting the 10 years as planned, you've run out of space in 5 years and now have to go back to the board and go through the entire process again.

This sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but this story is actually true and can easily happen to any experienced executive. But avoiding these terrors is possible. 

Much like launching a rocket, your HQ is massive project that has a lot of moving parts that need to work together or the risk of failure grows. You don't get the change to it wrong again.  Another danger? Not shooting for something great enough. Would you want to be the person that launched a few feet off the ground or the one who got to the moon? Same goes for your HQ delivery.

Here’s what you need to do to make sure HQ failure doesn't happen to you

  1. Assess the risk | What happens if you do nothing? What happens if you just change a few things? The best way to approach any project is to start with the why. If you understand why this project needs to happen and why it is important it will be easier to get supporters on the same page.
  2. Identify the barriers to success | Think critically and ask questions to department heads, employees, and your C-suite. Gather as much data as possible so you can make the right decisions when it comes to building your plan
  3. Build your plan | Use all of the data you have gathered to build a plan for your headquarters. Don't go into this step alone. You will need expert advice to make sure everything is feasible on location and with your budget.
  4. Perfect your budget | Experts will help guide you but take note from our tale of caution, add in a buffer and make sure you can trust the number you give to your board.
  5. Bring it to the board | This is the moment of truth. After your hard work and with your trusted advisors, this step should be a breeze.
  6. Execute to perfection |This step is why it is so important to hire a design-build firm that specializes in financial institutions. There can be some differences in opinions from design to build which can be costly unless both sides are housed in one place. Make sure you are confident in the agency you hire to stay on time and on budget. Once the space is built, there is another step that too many forget and ultimately leads to the failure of the project —train to the space. A good great company culture won’t appear out of thin air.  

Need More Help?

Download our guide for a more in-depth assessment of how to do a headquarters project right. True to form, we want to level this project up. We don't want to just improve the HQ process we want to radically improve the process and the end result. Initiate the launch sequence to learn more about how you can perfect your HQ project process. 

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