Facility Funding is Step by Step Process
December 2011 - Facilities Management
An approaching new year is often regarded as a blank slate, a chance to start fresh. But for most facility managers, there is no reset button when it comes to reconciling budget shortages, especially in the worst economic climate in recent history. Say goodbye to those budget pressures of 2011 — and say hello to the budget woes of 2012.
Despite a less-than-rosy projection for facilities funding in the coming year, Jim Turner, a facility management consultant, says that there are specific steps that facility managers can take to develop a facilities master plan that will ensure the building portfolio supports an organization's overall strategic goals, and helps shore up funding for future initiatives.
Turner, who will offer a half-day workshop on facilities master planning at the NFMT 2012 Conference & Expo, recommends tapping into software as a means of gathering key facility data that can be used to establish a facility's current condition and develop a game plan for the year ahead.
"The first step is to develop the asset inventory," says Turner, "and I think most facility managers are progressing along a facility management maturity model in a way that — at least as far as inventory is concerned — is pretty substantially complete and is embedded in the software that's being used to manage them."
From there, Turner recommends comparing the data collected to what he calls "relevant facilities benchmarks" which can be determined via a series of questions that allows FMs to hone in on the specific organizational objectives:
- What do I need to do with this facility?
- How does it map to my business?
- How does it address the called-for requirements?
Turner says that those FMs who can look ahead, and start planning in what he calls "the future state," will be able to quickly identify gaps that exist in the current facilities plan, and from there construct a business case model that can be used to pursue opportunities and justify future facilities funding requests.
"Facilities Master Plan: Developing the Business Case" will be offered as an NFMT pre-conference workshop on Monday, March 12, at the Baltimore Convention Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $149. The NFMT Conference & Expo, taking place March 13-15, is free to attend. For more information and to register, visit www.NFMT.com.