Facility management today looks drastically different than it did a few decades ago.
And it continues to evolve as “work” shifts from somewhere we go to something we do and more organizations adopt agile work environments. So what exactly is facility management in 2020?
Here’s a quick look at the role, typical job titles and how to measure success.
In 2016, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) launched an updated Global Job Task Analysis (GJTA) initiative to determine what roles and responsibilities were most important for modern-day facility management.
Based on the responses of facility managers from 62 countries, IFMA established 11 core competencies of modern facilities management. Many of the competencies were consistent with those in the original 2009 GJTA report, but the new report included some updated terminology and expanded responsibilities. Some notable changes were a greater emphasis on change management, data collection and information management. According to the results of the GJTA, the following knowledge, skills and abilities comprise the full scope of facilities management:
Lead, inspire and influence the facility organization, search for best practices, manage change, promote continuous improvement and provide necessary tools.
Align the facility’s strategic requirements with the entire organization’s requirements.
Manage/oversee the acquisition, installation, operation, maintenance and disposal of building systems and structural, interior, exterior and grounds elements.
Manage/oversee occupant services (parking, janitorial services, food services, concierge, facility helpdesk, security and safety).
Develop, recommend and manage/oversee the facility’s operational planning requirements (temperature control, lighting, equipment replacement, etc.)
Monitor the usage and performance of all facility systems, equipment and grounds.
Develop, recommend, manage and oversee the facility’s budget requirements (expense, operational and capital).
Administer and manage the finances associated with contracts.
Define and program projects (purpose, size, scope, schedule, budget and user needs).
Manage/oversee projects (construction, relocation, renovation, organizational change) and evaluate project outcomes.
Oversee the work environment to support staffing, recruitment, retention, motivation and productivity.
Create a healthy and safe environment that is conducive to innovation.
Provide personal and professional growth and development opportunities (coaching, mentoring, training, education and career paths).
Determine and evaluate real estate requirements (space utilization, management, highest and best use).
Acquire and dispose of real estate (commercial, institutional, industrial, residential, leased and owned).
Manage/oversee the real estate portfolio (owned, leased, subleased, co-owned and contract managed).
Monitor and evaluate technology trends and innovation.
Conduct assessments and/or collaborate on facility management technology needs analysis.
Align facility management technology with organizational information technology.
Assess the application of technology within facility operations.
Evaluate, implement and operate integrated workplace management systems (IWMS).
Develop risk management and emergency management plans and procedures.
Manage, oversee and support the entire organization’s business continuity program.
Develop and implement a facility management communication plan (messages, reminders, mission and vision).
Promote facility management information and recommendations to internal and external stakeholders (facility staff, public, senior management, customers and boards of directors).
Develop, review and compare performance metrics for facility management services (benchmarking, measuring observable behaviors, service response, resolution times, etc.)
Collect, verify, analyze and report facility management data from various sources (space plans, customer satisfaction and feedback mechanisms).
Assess ways to improve workplace productivity and develop and implement process improvements.
Audit and document compliance with codes, regulations, policies and standards.
Although IFMA developed these core competencies a decade ago, they are all still applicable today. That being said, there have been changes since they were first created that must be accounted for when defining what facility management is in 2020.
For example, in response to the growing popularity of technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart sensors, the technological aspect of the facilities manager’s role has evolved and expanded. Facilities managers must know how to use this technology in the most cost-effective way.
The ability to passively capture data about the workforce has also increased the scope of a facilities manager’s responsibilities in regard to security and privacy. Modern facilities managers must understand how to properly utilize this technology while ensuring the organization’s data remains secure and the rights and privacy of employees are not violated.
Despite the shift in responsibilities, plenty of facilities managers still hold that same title, or a similar one. Some examples include:
But many facility management professionals have taken on titles that illustrate the broader scope of the role. For example:
These titles emphasize the fact that modern facility management professionals have a more analytic and strategic role in the organization than they had in the past. They better reflect the priorities of today’s facilities managers, which are based on collecting and analyzing workplace data.
We know facilities managers value data, but what kind of data do they care about? And how do they gather and analyze it?
In our eBook, 8 New Facilities Management Metrics You Need to Know, we outline the specific measurements every facilities professional must collect and understand.
Here are just a few of them:
Corporate sustainability and environmental friendliness are becoming an increasingly higher priority for organizations, which means they’re more important for facilities professionals. In order to understand the company’s carbon footprint, facilities managers must measure electricity consumption, heating and cooling costs, water usage and recycled waste consumption — to name a few.
According to IFMA, maintenance costs include not only the expenses associated with maintaining assets such as printers and appliances but also the cost of building repairs, repairs to interior building systems such as the HVAC, lighting systems and grounds maintenance. To calculate the total cost of renting, owning and maintaining assets, facilities managers must have insight into the time spent maintaining the equipment and the cost of service, as well as the comparison of labor hours to part expenditures.
Measuring productivity is a bit more abstract than some of the other metrics in our list. But facilities managers can break it down into metrics like total technology downtime and the average time employees spend setting up their workstations when they arrive.
Although the practice of facilities management will continue to evolve, there will always be one constant: succeeding in facilities management is impossible without the right technology. More specifically, an integrated workplace management system (IWMS).
Without an IWMS, it’s nearly impossible for facility managers to collect, aggregate and analyze the data they need to fulfill their myriad duties. But by implementing an IWMS, facilities professionals will have the tools they need to properly support every part of the workplace.
As a member of the Business Development team for iOFFICE, Rebecca is spirited and is quick to take initiative. Previously a customer and daily user of the IWMS provider, she has extensive experience on both the front and back end structure of the product. Rebecca's enthusiasm for facilities management and her tangible experience in the field give her an unprecedented understanding and perception of iOFFICE customers. Rebecca is able to relate to organizations implementing on IWMS, and has a unique perspective on what makes the experience a success.