Building Operating Management

Avoiding Facility Strategic Planning Pitfalls: Timeframes, Goal Setting And Outcome Measurement

No review of FM strategic planning would be complete without some discussion of the potential pitfalls. Any facility management strategic plan can be undermined by many problems, including those that involve timeframes, goal setting and outcome measurement.


Any of these mistakes can undermine a facility management strategic plan. Don't let them sink yours.

1. Strategic Plan Timeframe Is Too Long. When the plan covers a timeframe beyond 5 years, strategic planning is irrelevant. Knowing how volatile the business climate is these days, it's unwise to generate goals, objectives and action plans extending past 3 to 5 years. Plans that go beyond that window end up on shelves; they become outdated before they can be implemented.

2. Too Many Overly Ambitious Goals. Often strategic plans with a protracted timeframe also have too many goals that are overly ambitious. Suddenly there are so many goals staff can't see how they plausibly can conduct daily business and work on the strategic plan. Strategic planning needs to result in a few, carefully crafted goals. The lack of short-term success makes the whole strategic planning process unpalatable to the organization.

3. No Measurable Outcomes. The hardest part of strategic planning is the focus on critical success factors or measurable outcomes. Without these, however, facility management strategic planning is a moot issue.

Even harder than attaching metrics to the current plan goals is the process of determining metrics for goals that result from posturing about scenarios that may or may not occur. Some facility management organizations give up at this point and fail to complete their scenario planning. That's a mistake. Without those metrics, it is very difficult to try to implement a new strategic plan when environmental scanning dictates a change in direction. All of a sudden, instead of being more than prepared for a shift in direction by having anticipated and identified how performance will be measured, the facility management organization is scrambling to figure out how it will be evaluated against new goals.

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  posted on 7/3/2013   Article Use Policy