Harvard University – Relocation, Consolidation, New Ways of Working

  • Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) supports over 42,000 students, faculty, staff, researchers, and affiliates. Harvard reached out to Stegmeier Consulting Group when they made the business decision to consolidate 800 IT staff spread across 13 locations on Harvard’s campus into a new HQ in the former Polaroid Headquarters Building, in Cambridge. While the new location was a quick shuttle-ride away from main campus, staff were very resistant to moving away from the perceived sense of “brick and ivy” prestige that comes with working directly on campus. Add in employee concerns about working in a shared-space environment, which necessitated new ways of working, and HUIT was faced with a cultural revolution.
  • SCG began the engagement by conducting a Discovery & Applications Workshop™, which included exercises to identify, prioritize, and gain consensus on the specific change management activities and events which would best align with the Harvard University culture, design & construction timeline, and budget. SCG also worked with the HUIT team to identify staff concerns and offer ways to mitigate risks throughout the change management process.
  • Workshop findings revealed that HUIT employees would have difficulty adjusting to an environment where they would have a variety of workspace settings from which they could choose. Most team interaction had been observed in conventional conference rooms. There was little interface in more casual, collaborative areas. Break rooms and coffee areas were not drawing in staff members to linger and hold casual business conversations. 
  • SCG developed a comprehensive communications strategy, implementation plan, and timeline to support HUIT’s workplace transformation. Collaborating with HUIT’s communications group, SCG developed communications content and materials. For all HUIT change management activities, events, and milestones, SCG identified and drafted timely, engaging communications for the targeted audiences.
  • SCG designed a Leader On-boarding Campaign to accelerate the adoption of workplace change, cascading consistent messaging down through each level of the organization. The campaign included a “Leveraging Local Influencers Guide” to help excite managers about the forthcoming changes. SCG also created a Countdown-to-the-Move Campaign, a repeatable process with actionable tips to prepare each move phase for the final 3 weeks leading up to their relocation.

Leave a Comment