A poorly executed mobilisation generates serious problems down the line. So what makes one better than another? Mark Newell explains
06 November 2017 | Mark Newell
All clients look for subtly different things in a tender, but mobilisation is always close to the top of the agenda.
A good mobilisation can make the difference between operational success and long-term positive relationships between an FM provider and their customer. It makes sense to be sure you have the detailed knowledge required to deal with what is becoming an increasingly valued deliverable. After all, in some projects 30 per cent of the quality score is weighted to mobilisation. It pays to get it right, so at VINCI Facilities we have invested in a dedicated mobilisation team.
What is the objective of a mobilisation?
Mobilisation brings the contract to life. You do that through critical processes and compliance - writing operational and health and safety processes and procedures and introducing new people into the business through TUPE or recruitment. It is a period of transition and any change can be unsettling, so it is vital that the mobilisation team focuses on relationships. It is critical at the earliest stage to get to know the client and all stakeholders, find out what makes them tick, and what parts of the contract really matter to them as individuals.
Make it easy for everyone
Strive to deliver a soft landing. It doesn't matter if an FM team is inheriting a new building or facility or taking over a project from an existing team. You need to recognise that change equals concern and that leads to stress for people. So we take time to engage with incoming employees during and after the TUPE process, we listen to their concerns, addressing them whenever we can and giving them the information they need to stay in control. A recent example was during a TUPE one-to-one meeting. The engineers explained they were short of tools; we provided emergency packs. The difference is showing immediate understanding and working to solve the engineer's requirements.
Make it a team process
Work collaboratively with all stakeholders, including the outgoing contractor, to collaboratively ensure to close any identified gaps between the outgoing contractor's demobilisation plan and the new mobilisation plan.
Lead by example
What make a good mobilisation manager? A good one requires a detailed knowledge of the business, who does what within the company and, more importantly, know what goes on in each section of the plan. There is no way they will understand all the rules and regulations on, for example, TUPE - but they need to have a good detailed knowledge on the subject so that they may converse with and guide all stakeholders on these topics during and after mobilisation. The skill is knowing the basics and when to call in specialists to deal with an issue.
- Dedicated, experienced mobilisation team
- Collaborative way of working.
- Implementation of Soft Landing techniques.
- Get to know what really matters to the client and stakeholders, adapting the plan and delivery to match.
- Mobilisation managers stay on the contract through transition - until the job is done!
- Commit resources from bid; ensure this resource is consistent.
- Fully understand the requirement - read all documents no matter how abstract.
- Write a bespoke solution and project plan, include reference to the client's documents in your plan.
- Get to know the client - collocate from day one of the mobilisation.
- Get full commitment from all support function, for example, HR, IT, data managers and so on.
- Fail on any promise - ensure you deliver what you say.
- Use standard documentation.
- Fail to deliver an agreed milestone.
- Build early close relationships with the client.
- Be involved in the bid from day one.
- Work collaboratively with all stakeholders.