The Do’s & Don’ts of Colocation


4 Tocci employees looking at 2 monitors, smiling and pointing

Although there are no absolutes in colocation management, Tocci Project Director Jennifer Heikkinen shares a general list of colocation “dos” and “don’ts.”

DO Have an IT planning session to make sure everyone can access each firm’s respective home networks, model-sharing platform, file sharing platform.  A lot of troubleshooting is needed based on various firms’ set-ups so it is best to have the IT guys all talk IT so the project team can focus on the project.

DO Create a project orientation for all colocation prior to colocation kick-off. Consider a DISC work styles activity during orientation to help all team members get to know each other and create communication and work protocols.

DON’T Forget to orient new team members as they come on board. Not everyone will be present at the initial orientation, latecomers need to learn the protocols that the team developed together to keep them present but at arm’s length from the rest of the team.

DO Make sure the space is large enough to have plan tables at the workstation for trades that are used to working with that set-up. Perhaps create a colocation needs checklist for each team member prior to setting up the big room

DO Create a cluster for each major building component: building envelope, structure, interior architecture, MEPs, etc. Establish a cluster leader that is responsible for communicating/following up with other cluster leads on items that require cross-discipline coordination.

DON’T Be rigid with systems. Each team is unique and adaptations to the structure will be necessary.

DO Set a goal of continuous improvement and let that guide your team protocols rather than religiously adhering to the initial plan.

DON’T Expect that everyone will love colocation right off the bat. Your team will likely experience Tuckman’s stages of group development – Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.

DO Make it a goal to address conflicts openly and honestly.

DO Create opportunities for group bonding – sports outings, luncheons, and movie outings. Make the colocation site a great place to work by fostering camaraderie.