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By Stormy Friday
Facilities Management Article Use Policy
Even its most ardent proponents are quick to point out that sometimes strategic planning is irrelevant to facility management when the certain conditions occur. To avoid problems, focus on partner involvement, clarity, staff performance measures, and ongoing review.
4. Internal Staff and External Partners Are Not Involved. Strategic planning cannot be performed in a vacuum. Successful strategic planning cannot be conducted by a lone facility manager sitting in an office or an external consultant furiously writing goals and objectives for the facility management organization. Strategic planning is an inclusive activity requiring input from and participation by a multitude of individuals ranging from facility management staff to internal and external service partners.
Sometimes the senior facility management team strategizes and develops initial goals and objectives for others inside and outside the organization to review; sometimes smaller groups of facility management staff propose initial goals to senior leadership. The point is that unless strategic planning involves everyone in the facility management organization along with external service partners, the final plan will not be relevant and supported when the time for execution occurs.
5. Strategic Objectives and Action Plans Are Not Crystalized. Strategic planning that results in vague objectives and action plans which are subject to interpretation will relegate the plan to a long, unhappy life on a shelf. No facility management organization can implement a strategic plan with goals and action steps that won't be understood by everyone, long after they have been written. One of the most important aspects of strategic planning is ensuring that the objectives and sequence of steps to achieve them are crystal clear to all who read them. They also should be concise and actionable.
6. Individual Staff Do Not Have Performance Measures Tied to the Strategic Plan. If a facility management organization conducts "business as usual" after strategic planning, and staff do not have performance measures directly tied to goals, objectives and action steps, strategic planning is irrelevant. Facility management staff have to know that they will be rewarded for completing strategic goals or penalized for failing to accomplish them.
7. Plan-Versus-Actual Is Not Evaluated on an Ongoing Basis. If a facility management organization's strategic plan has a layer of dust on it and is housed on a shelf rather than kept on everyone's desk, strategic planning is irrelevant. A strategic plan should be a living, breathing document that is reviewed continually for plan-versus-actual results. It should provide a roadmap for a facility management organization's work by creating priorities, milestones, and metrics.
The beauty of a working strategic plan is that it can be changed. If the plan is not monitored regularly, there is no opportunity for course correction until it is too late. Then the plan is rendered useless and becomes inactive.
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To Avoid Problems With Strategic Facility Management Plans, Focus On Involvement, Clarity, Staff Performance, And Ongoing Review