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Optimising your Estate: The role of Macro and Micro Planning Tools.

February 23, 2021

Now, more so than ever, it is essential the availability of estate is sufficient and can be used in an optimised flexible manner. All large institutions therefore face the same challenge, ensuring that their current and planned resource infrastructure is adequate to meet the needs of their business delivery.  Having an infrastructure oversupply means both capital and operational costs are being incurred unnecessarily, having too little, means unhappy staff/clients and a lack of growth opportunities.

The EventMAP approach to achieving this ‘Goldilocks state’, is to combine macro and micro planning tools that model and provide scenarios accommodating current and future requirements.  It comes down to balancing supply and demand in response to often rapidly changing user and business requirements. This has suddenly become all the more difficult with the new ‘virtual hybrid’ space requirement classification.

What we mean by Macro and Micro planning?

Macro planning provides the big picture view.  It is concerned with identifying and documenting those drivers of future space requirements, including: the number of people, type of services required and delivered, hours of operation and target use rates for various spaces. The macro planning drivers are identified through discussion and analysis of current data sources including usage data (an investigation of the current schedule of activity to understand how available space is being used). In addition, discussions around potential new styles of working and new ways of delivery are taken into account at this stage. Constructing a model that combines these drivers enables identification of the type, and amount, of supply required in meeting ongoing requirements.  Undertaking and validating scenario planning with visual intuitive software at this stage provides a level of confidence that the space model proposed is capable of meeting current and future needs.

The level of confidence in the proposed space profile output can increase significantly through the subsequent application of micro planning tools.

Micro planning is all about the fine operational detail. Having a big picture view of space requirements requires rigour through testing and validation, which is achieved using event scheduling techniques enabled by optimisation software. Generating a timetable/schedule scenario that overlays future activity needs, over a proposed space profile, demonstrates that the space is both efficient and effective in meeting the target activity profile. Moreover, it allows a view to be taken on how to best utilise the space while delivering flexibility to all users.

Micro Planning delivers the ‘art of the possible’ within the broader footprint approach offered by Macro Planning. Combining both approaches ensures that ‘available’ and ‘planned for’ space is configured in the most optimal fashion while ensuring flexibility for all users. This flexibility may relate to student experience within Education settings, collaborative working within office environments, or patient wellbeing within Health settings.

Over the past two decades EventMAP has been involved in a range of projects that employed the macro and micro planning tools.  The case studies outlined here, give an understanding of how utilising macro and micro planning benefits the client. And, just now, we are involved in projects spanning all the sectors we deliver to – more information in upcoming news items and blogs!

At EventMAP, we help to provide optimised estates through use of our research informed OPTIME Platform. Using leading edge algorithms within an intuitive cloud-based software platform, we are able to combine Macro and Micro planning approached to help ensure existing and planned for estates are fit for purpose and deliver against new flexible styles of usage.

Optime Planner is a powerful strategic modelling and planning tool that works on the Optime platform. It is an essential component for organisations considering future estate and curriculum needs, particularly allowing you to ascertain estate requirements for delivering planned curriculum against your current and future student population. In this post Covid era it also provides a powerful addition to the OPTIME Platform as institutions work towards new methods of estate usage. Timetabler is an advanced curriculum scheduling application that also works on the Optime platform, and can utilise the Macro strategic space model generated by Planner. Timetabler is an essential micro planning component for organisations to use in the ongoing planning and management of how activity is allocated within the available space.

If you would like to know more about how OPTIME can help your Macro and Micro Planning, how our experienced team can help, or indeed any of the issues raised in this article, please visit our website and complete the contact form.

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