Manage handover

You’ve just started delivering the project on site. Plenty of time before you hand over the final project to the client and end user?

Not really!

You should already be planning for hand over from the day work commences on site as the actions you take during the course of the project will ensure that the hand over is as smooth as possible, that the client and end users have a good experience during the hand over process and the project team are able to demonstrate yet another example of the good value they bring to the project.

If you leave it until the last few weeks (or even later) you will fail – at least in the eyes of the customer!

You should consider:

Plan ahead for handover

Handover is not a single day in the calendar where the works complete and the keys are handed over or the ribbon is cut. Handover is a process that can and should start many months before the completion of the project. Planning ahead will allow the designer, the contractor and the rest of the team to understand what the client’s expectations are and tailor the delivery process to help them receive the asset.

Work together to discuss and develop the handover process and consider such things as:

  • Bear in mind the client and / or end user may not be experts in buildings or asset management. The delivery team have this expertise and they need to translate this as far as is possible to the receiving parties
  • Speak to others who have gone through a similar process. You may find problems that they encountered can be avoided
  • Agree targets for the various stages as opposed to focussing only on the handover date
  • Compromises may have to be made within available budgets. Don’t be afraid to identify which items are at risk but preferably make them the “added extras”. Furniture can be purchased at a later date but compromises on such things as M & S services will create an issue for the lifetime of the asset
  • Consider setting up “planning for handover” workshops with the whole team
  • Agree the fit out programme and migration plan as moving furniture, products and more importantly people into the building can be an onerous task
  • Pay particular attention to the building services and new technology aspects. It is likely that the person responsible for the day to day management such as a head teacher or caretaker may have limited experience of such systems

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Implement a “soft landings” system

Make it as easy as possible for the customer:

  • Set up appropriate training sessions with potential occupants and facilities teams responsible for the asset well in advance so they understand the systems and the Operational and Maintenance (O & M) manuals
  • Consider providing a building user guide which will draw attention to the important items from the technical manuals in a pictorial, easy to follow, format for the management team.
  • Embed the commissioning of the systems into the process if possible

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Involve customers/end users in the commissioning process

We are awaiting information for this section

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Prepare effective operational and maintenance manuals

We are awaiting information for this section

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Deliver a Health and Safety File

If all other stages have been followed this should be a relatively simple process of handover to the customer. Just make sure you spend enough time going through all the documentation with the customer and all relevant stakeholders. This is such a valuable document – if it’s well prepared!

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