10-point Maniesto for Facilities Management (FM)

Prompted by a series of Tweets from a BIFM meeting, the following is a possible manifesto for developing the FM profession:

  1. Dream of better, define it clearly and promote it so that everyone associated with the profession understands it: what is the future-perfect?
  2. Recognise that FM is a key part of the property lifecycle, and act and position the profession accordingly. It has an inherent relationship with property strategy, transaction management, workplace strategy and design and project management – it does not exist in a vacuum, and cannot be fully understood if its context is not appreciated.
  3. Design and promote Corporate Real Estate (CRE) learning and a CRE agenda – from (2) above. BIFM needs to integrate with other lifecycle professional bodies including CoreNet, the WCO and the RICS.
  4. Reconcile the persistent supplier/in-house divide by promoting careers that span both, and share the experiences. BIFM needs to bring suppliers and in-house practitioners together in ways that direct address the divide and that will help them understand each other’s pressures and challenges.
  5. Identify, develop and support strong leaders with the gravitas to speak for the sector. All professions need spokespeople who will be listened to. In order to command broad attention within industry, they first need to be able to command the room.
  6. Learn to balance strategy and operations. In seeking to be a business partner, FM also needs to remember to stay close to its practical roots, and never set aside its direct customer-facing experience.
  7. Promote and be proud of the inherent diversity of disciplines and sectors within FM as a major asset. There are few professions that cover as broad a range, with the interest and challenge that accompany this. The best FM’s are “specialist generalists” – this needs to be celebrated.
  8. Promote success, constructively and intelligently. In particular where customers are delighted, solutions are innovative, and excellent results are achieved cost-effectively. This positive experience needs to be gathered, validated and organised to be fed into FM learning programmes.
  9. Embrace and promote social media, and widen the productive debate. The more FM practitioners intact and share knowledge, perspectives and experience, the better. It takes time and no small amount of courage, and very often some training.
  10. Earn the respect it deserves. It is no good just demanding it. All professions have had to do so since their foundation. The road is long and difficult, but with action in many – hopefully all – of the nine areas above, recognition of the vital role of FM to organisations and industry will come.

 

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