100+ Top Move Management Risks – Episode 1, Scheduling

Everyone discusses a relocation project in terms of risk, but you would be amazed at how many clients fail to manage risk in a structured fashion. I take a ghoulish pleasure from the itemisation of all the dreadful things that could befall the project, but many do not have such a perversion. For some clients, it’s an abyss that they really don’t want to look into and as such, they go into ostrich mode. This is the first in a series of posts that are written to provide ideas around the types of risks affecting a move. Subscribe to the blog or pop back next week for the next instalment.

Facing the project demons head on is one of the best ways to fully understand the complete project. It’s important that the risks faced by the full range of key players in the project are incorporated, then classified according to an agreed risk matrix. I would then work through the risks from high to low, establishing and owner and suggesting ways to mitigate. This is always quite nicely done in a workshop environment, provided that your contributors are not overly distracted by the pending vampire vs werewolf world war / prophecies of Nostradamus / forthcoming Rapture.

If your move is part of a bigger construction project, I would add your risks to their main risk register, which is likely to be substantial. Below follows a list of potential problems and points that should be considered in relation to relocation risk. Obviously, not all of these risks are applicable to every project. This is particularly the case with some of the more dramatic items. For example, earthquake risk in Edinburgh UK would be extremely low and not worth exploring / including. But if you’re sat in the middle of Christchurch NZ, it will be a risk that will be extremely high on the radar and subject to a sub-project of its own.

The following list is not exhaustive and there will be far greater levels of detail to be added by specialists, particularly in the IT space. We would love comment to help create a comprehensive starter list that helps to inspire busy FMs and move managers. Each week we will issue risks according to a different topic and we will launch this series with risks related to scheduling.


1. Delays to construction – delays to move schedule
2. Delays to cabling installation or infrastructure works
3. Unexpectedly long lead times i.e. furniture and ‘design features’
4. Industry closures i.e. Italian Furniture industry in August
5. Changes within the business impacts upon schedule i.e. dependencies, adjacencies, headcount, critical dates etc.
6. Business HR changes impact upon schedule i.e. restructure announcements
7. Change of leadership impacts upon approach/schedule
8. Last minute need for staff to work through the move weekend – high possibility within law firms
9. Impact of holidays and celebrations i.e. Christmas, Chinese New Year, Eid etc
10. Impact of local beliefs i.e. move only on auspicious days
11. Working days and hours for local office – particularly important if managing a project remotely i.e. Sunday to Thursday working week in Dubai
12. Unforeseeable events and emergencies i.e. accidental damage or natural disaster

About Michelle Morss
Michelle has been managing moves and workplace transition projects for the past twelve years and is still not really sure how that happened. Friends and family generally consider it the result of extreme masochism. Having graduated from the University of Oxford with an MA in Modern History, Michelle has a fire in her belly for feminist issues, independent travel, modern literature and the value of a well-crafted knitting pattern. Currently working in a regional consulting role based out of Hong Kong, but ex London, via Sydney.