Building Operating Management

Key Concepts Of Facility Strategic Planning For Facility Managers

The hallmark of facility strategic planning in this environment of uncertainty is that it is just different from what we used to do. The new order of strategic planning has different key concepts that should govern an organization's thinking about how they approach the process. Upon further examination, we find these concepts are extremely timely and appropriate for facility managers.

1. Environmental Scanning. Understanding the business climate is more important to facility management organizations than it ever has been. How a parent company is positioned in the global market place vis-à-vis competitors, market share, and profitability need to be factored into facility management visioning for the future. It is no longer enough to just assess what internal corporate executives think about the future; facility managers must analyze global product and services trends, and perform their own economic forecasting. Facility management organizations should study annual reports, attend shareholder meetings to determine how the company is viewed by customers and investors, and read trade publications. The end result of environmental scanning is an assessment of the external forces that impact a company and the factors needing to be addressed to meet these environmental challenges.

2. Scenario Planning. Creating one strategic path to a desired facility management outcome is no longer a viable approach for facility management strategic planning because it limits the development of action steps to a single outcome that may or may not work over time. What should happen today is scenario or role-playing that provides a facility management organization with options that can be ramped up quickly, when internal or external factors driving the strategy dictate an alternative course of action.

Scenario planning is really posturing. It asks, and then answers, the question, "What if ...?" Conducting scenario planning is the equivalent of having a written facility management insurance policy. Although one strategic path may be pursued at the time the initial strategic facility management plan is developed, the organization has built-in agility to switch to a different path when things change, because they have anticipated and planned for the need to revise the path.

3. Measuring for Strategic Adjustment. While identifying critical measures for strategic goals and objectives always has been important, it is now essential to a facility management organization's survival. Commitment to monitoring the plan against actual results allows facility managers to shift gears and make strategic realignments. If the corporate or market scenario shifts, the organization is prepared to change critical success measures since it has pre-determined the metrics that will accompany the new strategic direction. The facility management organization creates strategic paths for different scenarios and is ready to perform to redefined success measures.

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  posted on 7/3/2013   Article Use Policy