Does Your Space Forecasting Strategy Align With Your Company Goals?

by Elizabeth Dukes on March 4, 2015

Every workplace has goals. These goals might be financial, they might be customer-oriented, and they may be mission-driven. Whatever the goals of your organization, every department needs to work to achieve them. As a facilities manager, you need to make sure that your space forecasting strategy works in alignment with the strategic goals of your workplace.

What are the visions, plans, and goals of your workplace, and how can you contribute?

Planning for the Future

In addition to the everyday tasks of purchasing and space management, the manager of facilities must look into the future, examining current uses of the space, looking at demographic and workplace-related trends, and making plans for the uses of that space in the future. You need to examine how past plans have changed and look at the actual utilization of space compared to the intended use of that space. Planning for the future helps you be more efficient in maintaining well-utilized spaces as workplace trends change.

Aligning With Workplace Goals

It’s beneficial to be a planner, but if those plans don’t intersect with the overall goals of your business, your planning won’t be as useful as it could be. Your job is to determine how the vision, mission, or specific goals of your organization translate into facilities management.

For example, you may have a goal that relates to efficiency. Your business wants to become 10 percent more productive without increasing staffing. As the facilities coordinator, how can you contribute to that goal? You can make sure that employees have the spaces they need to do the work easily and efficiently. In an open office environment, you might provide areas where people can work quietly and intensively on projects. In a company with limited meeting spaces, you could use space management software to optimize the use of those meeting spaces so people can gather and discussions can occur.

Be an important part of your organization’s visions and strategic planning by aligning your facilities goals with the goals of your workplace.

Be an important part of your organization's visions and strategic planning by aligning your facilities goals with the goals of your workplace.

Asking Questions

As the facilities manager, your job is to ask good questions to determine how your work can align with workplace visions and goals. These questions will help you shape your departmental goals and help you plan for the future.

1. What is the company’s vision, and how can my department contribute to each element of that vision?

2. How can we contribute to the vision now, and how could this change in the future?

3. What specific goals does the company have, and what is the time frame for achieving those goals?

4. How do these goals relate to the facilities department, and how can we contribute to achieving them?

5. What tools or support do we need to work toward this vision and these goals?

For example, your company may have a vision of becoming one of the most sustainable companies in the world in the next ten years. Your facilities department can certainly contribute to that vision, determining ways to reduce energy and materials use. The company’s specific short term goal might be to reduce energy use by 5 percent overall in the next year. As a facilities manager, you can contribute toward this goal by looking at new building design, retrofits of older buildings, and by helping employees change their habits. You might discover that adding timers to lights and adding programmable thermostats to your heating system contributes to a desired reduction in energy use.

Your work in facilities plays an important role in achieving corporate goals. You may work in the background, but you still need to ensure that the work of the facilities department aligns with current and future corporate visions and goals. This makes it possible for you to contribute to the future of your organization in a very positive way.


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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