Norms, Goals and Priorities: Creating Buy-In for Maintenance
Making a successful case to building owners and executives for financial support
Most organizations operate using a pre-established set of cultural norms, strategic goals and operating priorities.
Cultural norms are standards that members of the organization work by. They are the shared expectations and rules that guide behavior within that organization. Examples of this might include, “ensuring a workplace that is safe and free from harm” or “building quality into everything that we do.”
Strategic goals describe what a company expects to accomplish over a specific period of time in order to fulfill its business plan. Examples of this might include, “reduce the total number of injuries related to slips, trips and falls by 25 percent by year end” or “increase the first-time quality of finished products by 5 percent within Q1.”
Operating priorities are those tasks that need to be done first. Keeping with our strategic goal example around first-time quality, perhaps a business enterprise would make increasing first-time quality an operating priority due to warranty issues or complaints they might have received on their product.
Managers need a clear and thorough understanding of their organization’s norms, goals and priorities, as well as the way facilities management services provide support to help the organization attain these goals.
Consider roof maintenance. The roof in most cases is the biggest, most expensive asset in a facility. But it is not readily visible to most occupants and visitors. If not maintained properly, a roof can cause a great deal of expensive problems for the organization. Roof leaks can create slippery conditions and therefore, safety issues. They also can cause quality issues as a result of water leaking onto parts and equipment and downtime issues associated with power interruptions.
Many times, a roof is in such bad condition that managers must seek a major investment to restore it to an acceptable state. But with all the competing priorities executives are faced with, its imperative that managers keeps records of items pertinent to roof maintenance that are likely to impact the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission.
These problems are all data inputs to the equation that build the case for an argument to invest in a new roof or a major rehabilitation process. Managers can apply this line of thinking to other types of facilities assets, including HVAC equipment, electrical switchgear, plumbing and mechanical systems, and even pavement.
The key is to correlate key numbers associated with the desired performance of facilities assets to the organization’s overall business objectives. But once managers have gathered the key numbers and other data, now what? How should they format it in order to receive the proper attention — financial support — from leadership?