Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management

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We have a view, formed by numerous discussions with senior facilities and business executives, that Facilities Management can be more “strategic.”

By “strategic” we mean playing a leadership role in achieving close alignment between business imperatives, operational capabilities, and organizational performance. In many organizations, facilities management is not seen as making a meaningful difference to the operational effectiveness or “bottom line” results of the business — unless the business is looking to cut costs, in which case facilities management often suffers.

We believe that facilities management can, and should, be a strategic management discipline, but facilities leaders need to work on a number of multi-disciplinary relationships, across the organization, to gain the buy-in needed to provide effective workforce support. In fact, we believe that some facilities management leaders could “Raise the Bar” by managing many other infrastructure functions, in “shared enterprise support” teams, if they can more clearly articulate and communicate this broadened scope across the organization.

This inaugural project of the GRID program is designed to enable study participants to become acquainted with each other and professional best practices, to identify critical facilities management challenges, and to focus in particular on the key relationships between FM and other key functional areas such as business unit leadership, the COO, CRE, Finance, HR, and IT.

The study is addressing the following questions:

  • How is facilities management currently organized and governed?
  • What are the most common organizational structures and reporting relationships?
  • How well are facilities and workplace strategies aligned with the business, with financial strategies, with CRE, and with functional peers?
  • How is the facilities management function measured and managed?
  • What issues and challenges are facilities managers facing in 2012?
  • How strategic is the facilities management function in 2012? What are the barriers, if any, that prevent the facilities function from operating at a more strategic level?

The study was launched in March 2012 and will conclude in the June/July time frame. Each organization that participates in an executive interview  (there is no cost to participate) will receive:

  • a copy of the draft report;
  • an invitation to participate in a conference call to review the draft report
  • an invitation to participate in a workshop focused on the report findings and recommendations; and
  • a copy of the final report

Everyone who completes the online survey and requests a summary of the study findings will receive a summary report at no charge. The survey is online now. If you are a senior facilities professional in an “end-user” organization, please take 10-15 minutes to complete it:


If you are interested in contributing to the study, please contact Jim Ware, Global Research Director.

1 Comment
  1. John Pokorny says

    Just a comment regarding the round table.

    Prior to going into the maintenance consulting and contracting business, I had worked in 3 different industries (manufacturing, healthcare and education).

    The strategic impact that the FM had on the organization varied by industry. Some (manufacturing) were intimately involved. Most others involvement was only on the fringes – leastwise involvement is reactionary. I mention this, because the round tables should take into account these differences.

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