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Operational Readiness

What is Operational Readiness?

The Operational Readiness Plan ensures that the needs of the stakeholders/users have been put in place early on in a project. To sustain business continuity, the organization has to be fully operational after move-in and beyond. Simple right?  Unfortunately, historical data has proven that’s often not the case.  It takes a strong team, lots of research, much planning and many meetings to develop a plan robust enough to ensure that the move in and startup are a success!

When do you need it?

Operational readiness plans are not just for large projects nor are they only for lab projects.  Any project that requires moving people or equipment into a different space should have some level of a readiness plan or strategy. Regardless of the type of project, whether you are moving from an incubator space to your own fit-out space, moving internally within your own space, or about to take on a whole new build, an operational readiness plan is essential. Operational readiness plans should be started at the onset of any project. They must also be assessed and reassessed throughout the life of the project.

What items are addressed in it?

Each Operational readiness plan is unique and must be carefully thought out and planned to be successful.  Depending upon the needs of the business, users, and the space being renovated or built out the operational readiness plan can vary widely. Things that need to be considered for example, is the space leased or owned?  Is the client moving into a new location for the first time, i.e., coming from an incubator space where all essential services are included as part of the rent?  Is the client moving into a new space where some of their existing operational function can be leveraged?

There are many considerations in a successful operational readiness plan.

  • What services are needed and when, such as:
  • internet provider, café, vending, IT support, copiers, permitting, utility accounts, etc.
  • What resources are needed (both Internal & External)?
  • What vendor service agreements need to be in place beforehand?
  • Who is performing the preventative maintenance and calibration services on your mechanical systems and lab equipment?
  • Who is servicing your laboratory equipment?
  • What training is required?
  • What Standard Operating Procedures are required, and who is responsible for creating and maintaining them?
  • Security requirements.
  • Space planning.
  • Asset management.

Who is involved in the creation of the Operational Readiness Plan?

In thinking of terms of operation be sure to invite anyone within your organization who would have an active role in any of the above. All stakeholders who will be affected by the project should have input into the plan. Forming a strong team early on in the project phase.  It is vitally important to incorporate the concerns of management and approval of the final plan from the senior team. Communication is key and regular meetings to reassess the plan will be important to the success of realizing the client’s goals and expectations for the project.