Collocation is where staffs from two or more agencies are located within one facility. They may occupy different floors, or different wings of the building; they may have a lot, or very little to do with each other. Collocating doesn't imply any change in daily operations; it only means that both (or all) staff units operate within one building.
Preparing for Collocation
Each manager and unit will have to work out the details for collocation based on individual situations. One of the critical success factors to most collocation efforts is the presence of a good working relationship among the managers. If the managers from the collocating agencies don't know each other well, they should take time to learn more about each other and develop trust. Moving into a new or existing location can be challenging and should be well planned, keeping all of the affected employees informed of the process.
It is important to address each of these issues and as they get worked out, write an INTERAGENCY AGREEMENT detailing the expectations of each agency, financial requirements, and individuals responsible for certain decisions, timeline, etc. This is the beginning of an operational plan for the shared office.