Tents rather than palaces


The scope of services of M&P

  • Development of an interdisciplinary and cross-divisional location management method
  • Processing of strategic and performance-critical projects in an agile working model
  • Combination with day-to-day business in a hybrid model of agile and classic project work
  • Development of fast, customer-oriented solutions through workshop-based prototype and blueprint creation with immediate trialling

Almost every large company is struggling with the question: how will we deal with the management of our locations in the future? M&P Düsseldorf has developed a different approach together with a global player in the automotive industry: strategic and performance-critical projects are handled across divisions in an agile working model. The basics (governance) and services are each found in different clusters of the real estate business model. It’s not a question of agile or not agile, but rather a question of orienting real estate performance in the right way.

Globalisation and digitisation have given the company an impossible task: how should just under a dozen strategically important real estate projects be processed at the same time with the limited resources of the central real estate team? The spectrum commissioned by the executive board ranged from master planning of the global location presence to the establishment of a network of experts that will largely be self-organised when it comes to technical and commercial problem solutions. The originally planned consolidation path of building up and expanding real estate management was not suitable for the end goal: it was too slow, too convoluted, too dependent on the silo mentality of the stakeholders.


Real estate as an agile programme manager

More than half of the real estate experts at the headquarters moved as project managers, general managers and sponsors to new, agile real estate programme management. It assumes responsibility for the project results, reporting to the company management and divisional management. The projects are staffed across divisions and disciplines with experts from real estate and the individual divisions. In total, more than twice as many employees are working temporarily on important future topics as are active in real estate.

At the same time, day-to-day business has been decluttered: in the future, the departments will focus on governance services coordinated with top management. The processing of the programme and the projects will be submitted to the top-level REM board (board members, division heads) for decision making. The results will immediately become binding for all divisions. In the classic model, generations of real estate and site managers as well as teams of experts worked themselves to the bone on that point alone.


Project work as a success factor

A key success factor for the speed and customer proximity of the project results is that the teams divide their work into agile and classic project work, such as the decentralised processing of work packages. Agile project work focuses on the development of prototypes and blueprints in workshops. These are immediately trialled and shared as a blank with relevant colleagues outside the team. The teams have the implementation managers for pilot solutions on board from the very beginning. This means that they do not lose sight of the added value of the solution. They present the results to each other and develop them further in intensive project meetings up to the point of implementation planning.

After just a few months, results that would have taken years in the classic processing method are available: a blueprint for the global introduction of new office work, the systematic interlocking of production and location planning, the establishment of a global network of experts for the life cycle of real estate – to name just a few.

The appreciation of the company management for real estate topics is perhaps the most important point of this hybrid model of agility and a clear focus on the necessary day-to-day business of foundations and services. The courage to rethink real estate has created the prerequisites for real estate to create clearly defined added value for company development with every project – and to do so faster than has been customary in the industry up to now.