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Facility Managers Offer Advice About Winning Approval For Facility Projects




January 2014 - Facilities Management

Today's tip from Building Operating Management: Follow these facility managers' advice about winning approval for facility projects.

  1. Tim Pennigar, project manager, engineering and operations, Duke University Health Systems: "Get the accountants to become roofers." Pennigar recommends going beyond simply putting proposals in the language of finance. That's a must, but you should also get the financial folks to help you write the proposal and vet your numbers before you ever think about walking into the boardroom.
  2. John Balzer, vice president, facility planning and development, Froedtert Hospital and Community Health: "Do not assume that more is better." Balzer says he can guarantee you that is not the case, when it comes to handing in a proposal. "The biggest piece of advice I can give, especially to those starting their career, is to be very specific and to the point, and to focus on measureable data," he says.
  3. Bob Holesko, vice president of facilities, HEI Hotels & Resorts: "Show a project's curb appeal and do your own PR." Holesko tells a story about how an article appeared on the front page of a local newspaper with a photo depicting a crane delivering a new HVAC rooftop unit to one of his hotels. "Now, I can say to the financial people, 'Remember when we had that crane on the front page of the paper?' That’s free advertising for the company. Anytime you have a crane showing up, get photos. It makes you look good."
  4. Jim Cooke, national facilities operations manager, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.: "Don't go back for more money until you can prove your last project is successful." Cooke says that, even if a project demonstrates more modest results than you expected, don't hide those results. Instead, explain the specific reasons why that project wasn't as successful as you might have thought, why it's actually still a success in the grand scheme of things, and the specific reasons why this proposal is different.

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