An effective facilities management professional must have both a strategy, and, at the same time, be strategic. The daily grind of being responsive to the day-to-day wants and needs of the university and all its constituencies can be overwhelming just to keep up. However, a well-planned strategy, and well-honed strategic thinking, can help bring the bigger picture back into focus, and help keep it near the front.
Developing the Strategy
Facilities management professionals preside over the largest assets a college or university has in its portfolio: its land and buildings. Efficient and effective stewardship of these assets requires the facilities manager to make knowledgeable decisions. A data-driven plan that utilizes key performance indicators to assist in formulating the strategy creates a pathway to success for the campus.
In addition, engaging stakeholders, through formal and informal assessments, will assist the facilities manager in building a strategy focused on issues important to others. While the appearance of the facility is important to recruiting and retention, an effective preventive maintenance program, along with life-cycle planning, provides the framework for getting the most from your campus infrastructure while preparing for future required investment.
No longer can facilities managers rely solely or exclusively on the institution’s senior leadership to provide the long-term strategy and direction. We must become partners in the planning, both physical and financial, and provide data to support our conclusions.
The facility manager needs to anticipate the future needs of the campus and develop a strategic plan supportive of these needs. Managers need to think critically and challenge the current processes and practices. We need to use all of the information available, hard data and anecdotal, to make decisions and align those decisions with the long-term goals and objectives for the institution.
The Benefits of ERAPPA
ERAPPA educational and professional development opportunities, as well as networking, can assist with both the strategy, and being strategic, for you and your institution. We encourage both new and seasoned facilities managers to take advantage of all that ERAPPA has to offer in an effort to guide your campus both today and tomorrow.