Facilities management plays a fundamental role in an organisation by managing one of its largest assets that contributes to the productivity and comfort of its workforce. Consequently, combining strategy and facilities management has a multitude of benefits for the organisation. Strategy is often understood as the direction and scope of an organisation while focusing effort on quantifiable objectives. Applying this to the area of facilities management requires understanding the environment and making choices about what you will do with it.
Why strategy is necessary
in facilities management?
According to RICS, strategy in a facilities management context is defined as ‘helping the business achieve competitive advantage by aligning real estate and facilities services more closely with business imperatives, operational capabilities and organisational performance’. Consequently, strategic facilities management means managing with a set of identifiable goals within a company and applying these goals to the management of the space.
How is it implemented?
According to the International Facility Management Association’s (IFMA) white paper on facility management planning, there are four considerations when developing and implementing a strategic FM plan. These areas include Understanding, Analysing, Planning and Acting. Each of these areas affect the way in which strategic facilities management is implemented.
Strategic facilities management will be heavily influenced by an organisation’s strategic planning. Understanding and supporting the vision, the goals, the mission, and the core values of an organisation will allow strategic FM to prioritise and manage the space in line with the overall goals and direction of the organisation. This may involve decisions around the allocation of resources or understanding the timeline in which the plan must be executed.
When a clear picture of the business’ situation emerges, it is possible to begin analysing the best way to meet the needs of the company (long and short term) and manage issues. Working towards comparing the current requirements with future needs is an area that strategic FM will address.
When a satisfactory analysis has been conducted, it pushes the strategic FM into the third phase of planning to develop a roadmap. Decisions that need to be made become evident and are supported by the analysis. Within the plan there are a few steps that are documented including strategic FM objectives, financial and risk assessments, evaluations of alternatives, recommendations & priorities, a marketing process for gaining management approval and acquiring financial approval for the implementation of the strategy.
The plan has now been devised and you have managements approval. Now is the time to put it into action. The implementation of the plan will require facilities managers to work with leaders within a business who understand the effect of the strategy on facilities management and the broader goals of the company. Consequently, the strategic plan will need to be seen as the ‘current’ plan and may need adjustment when there are significant changes to an organisation or the wider economy.
Working with Acacia
By working with Acacia, we can help you
- Develop a Facilities Management Strategy that is aligned with your organisation’s business needs;
- Future proof your organisation’s strategic plans by advising on industry trends and best practice;
- Develop a comprehensive planning review and benchmark process to ensure that your plans are being implemented and are effective.
Contact our team today for more information on our range of Facilities Management services.