Sometimes creating a baseline of current operations is harder than building a new operation.

I work with a lot of real estate organizations looking to move from a decentralized organization to more centralized control.  One of the universal traits I have had to deal with is the fact that every organization has bad data at some level.  Either headcount information doesn’t tie to buildings (or doesn’t exist at all) or seats aren’t tracked or organizations simply don’t know all of their locations.  Sometimes the data is years out of date because no one kept it up.  Often finance keeps a very different view of costs than real estate needs.  The list of potential issues goes on and is exhausting.

However, to undertake real estate transformation it is necessary to understand the current state of the business.  Actually completing the projects that improve the portfolio can be easier and less politically charged than getting the data necessary to show such changes correct.  This is the irony of transformation: it’s easier to actually do the work than measure the work.

When seeking to undertake something big you have to measure.  To drive change without knowing why you need change or what you are trying to improve is folly at best, counter-productive at worst.

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