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​​Considering agency compatibility

​Even though co-location and sharing can be an effective way to support both agency and government goals, it’s not always appropriate.

Before making the decision to co-locate, agencies should assess how compatible they are.

Compatible agencies will have several of the following factors in common. They’ll:

  • work in the same sector (strategic alignment)
  • deal with similar subject matter areas, like housing or child welfare, for example (strategic alignment)
  • share stakeholder groups, such as similar customers (strategic alignment)
  • share similar approaches to service delivery (strategic alignment)
  • have similar approaches to security (operational/cultural)
  • share similar approaches to workplace design and occupancy models (operational/cultural)
  • share similar cultural characteristics, eg organisational values and leadership styles (cultural)
  • have similar approaches to technology, like example compatible operating systems, for example (operational)
  • share similar functional needs, eg secure storage and interview rooms (operational)
  • have no conflicts over operational facility policies and practices - like visitor management, mail delivery, storage allocation and kitchen equipment and supplies (operational)
  • share similar property transaction requirements, such as lease timing or desired location (operational).

Understanding whether these factors apply in your circumstances will mean talking to the agencies you're thinking of co-locating with. We'd recommend doing this in a workshop setting. You can use our prompt questions to guide the discussion, or we can facilitate a workshop for you.

You’ll get the most out of a workshop if:

  • you use a dedicated, independant facilitator who’s not a decision maker. This could be a change manager, an external party, or a facilitator from GPG
  • participants can discuss both the strategic needs of the business in the region being considered, and the detailed functional requirements
  • clear actions are agreed to document the discussion and progress the steps needed to approve any recommendations.
  • Co-location compatibility prompt questions [PDF, 190 KB]

    Suggested questions to get agencies started with designing a workshop to gain an understanding of the co-locating functions compatibility to co-locate and give an indication of how the co-location could be customised to best meet the specific circumstances of the space.

The workshop should give you a good indication of whether or not co-location would work - the outcome should fall into one of three categories.

  1. Co-locate.
  2. Pursue.
  3. Co-tenancy.
colocation guide diagram property

If agencies fall within the blue ‘Co-locate’ section, a fully integrated co-location solution would work well. We’d encourage you to proactively explore more integrated approaches for how you could work together to achieve your collective goals.

If agencies fall into one of the ‘Pursue’ sections, a co-location would need to be customised to best fit the circumstances.

  • If you have high strategic alignment, you’ll be good candidates for a fully integrated co-location solution. You’ll need to agree on how to overcome any conflicts within the operational and cultural factors. We’d encourage you to proactively explore more integrated approaches for how you could work together to achieve your collective goals.
  • If you have low strategic alignment, you may want to consider slightly more autonomous co-location solutions. This would allow agencies to operate separately within a tenancy while still getting the benefit of sharing a space. You’d still need one agency to take the role of lead agency and manage the lease.

If agencies fall within the red ‘Co-tenancy’ section, consider whether your location and space requirements could lend themselves to establishing a co-tenancy. This will mean one building search, and ensure that agencies don’t compete for the same space.