Facility Management Organization Behavior Architectural Design
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Thank you for taking the time to stop by and review our WebPages.  We will walk you through recent strategic management developments to improve building planning and architectural design services.  On the way, we’ll describe the innovative services we offer to help improve the process.

What is Strategic Facility Planning (SFP)?

First, let’s consider what might occur without a strategic plan for your new facilities.  Let's assume that your company has assigned decision-making responsibilities for facilities management to you. Let’s assume, further, that you recently moved into a new building whose design promised improved efficiency and effectiveness, but is providing neither savings nor satisfaction.  Despite  months if not years of planning, despite innumerable meetings with your architects, engineers, facilities staff, real estate support professionals, public officials, contractors, and utility companies, the building doesn’t meet your expectations and can’t meet all your needs.  Nevertheless, your architects will probably tell you that all they did was to follow your program.  But, your organization’s executive management will probably remind you that they are paying your design team for their expertise.

What went wrong?   Well,  did you get back to the Director of Marketing and the Vice President of Accounting, who both moved staff “temporarily” to the basement until you could locate more space?  What about Human Resources’ after-thought that they would have been better positioned on the second floor rather than the fifth? You tried to tell executive management, more than a few times, that you needed to be in the loop about current and future department needs – where the organization was going.  But Steve in Accounting and Roger in Marketing kept putting you off.  And Betty missed several planning meetings with the architect.  She sent her assistant, who no longer works for your company. And now on top of the misunderstandings, the secretarial pool on the fifth floor are freezing and the outside offices facing south have called twice this morning to turn up the air conditioning.

 Strategic Facility Planning (SFP) can lead to real estate savings, improve employee productivity, and meet your building expectations. Here’s what 3-D Strategic Facility Planning & Design can do to help you.

Strategic Facility Planning

SFP is all about process.  It is important to begin early, when new building and space needs are established, so that decisions based on comprehensive and inter-related information can produce the desired results.  Most of us involved in constructing new facilities have learned that it is much cheaper to change plans on paper than after the facility is built.  After construction has been completed, add employee down-time and the costs of meeting your obligations to your customers, and you’ll agree that comparisons show that early planning vs. after-occupancy modifications saves a great deal of time and money.

In recent years, corporate executives have become more aware of the value-added benefits derived from including real estate functions as part of an organization's business process.  If SFP is to work as it should, you need to persuade your executives to subscribe fully both to the concept and the process.

The SFP process includes sharing knowledge and information, making sure the right people are involved, both in the company and outside it. The right people provide the relevant information—more of it—and they analyze it, synthesize it, categorize it, revise it, and follow it where it leads. They don’t hesitate to ask questions and aren’t shy about insisting on answers.  Involving the right people, assigning responsibilities, formalizing a reporting system, and motivating everyone to share information will significantly improve the chances that your building design team will prepare plans based on more accurate and up-to-date information. That’s not all. That’s the kind of information you’ll need to make projections in which you can have confidence.

As your contracted agent, we will help you to assemble your in-house team to prepare your building program as a component of your organization’s strategic business plan.  3-D Strategic Facility Planning & Design will help you to involve the right people, get the right information, influence the process, and make sure that all your building-design team members remain involved up to and into contract documents and construction, and occupancy.  We can help to select your in-house executive members of your design team, and help, as well, to translate their information to your architect, engineers, and other real estate professionals.  SFP links your organization’s strategic business plan, your needs, your ideas, your budget, and your people to your new building, new additions, and space modifications.

Case Example

Sheldon Stone conducted a survey for the International Society of Facilities Executives--ISFE (founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to address the needs of senior-level facility executives.  Thirty-seven percent of the in-house Facility Management (FM) respondents reported that lead times were not adequate for either small- or large-space reconfigurations within existing facilities.  When in-house FM was asked about receiving input from other in-house departmental staff, 31% of the FM respondents indicated that the input received was not adequate to meet short-term (one-year) or long-term (three- to five-year) space planning needs.

It was not unexpected, therefore, that slightly more than half of the in-house FM respondents reported that, after completion of construction and occupancy, they typically needed to design and implement major space reconfigurations to meet long-term occupancy needs and expectations.

In-house FM responses to questions concerning lead times for planning new facilities or major building additions were generally similar to responses regarding reconfigurations within existing facilities, except that slightly more than two-thirds of the in-house FM respondents reported that they do not receive adequate input from in-house departmental staff for assessing long-term space planning requirements.

A special edition of the ISFE publication, Executive Updates, was issued soon after the survey’s completion to summarize its findings.  The survey indicated the importance of the facility function and the need to expand the role of FM within a company infrastructure by improving overall organization participation and communication in both short- and long-term facility-planning processes.  Shortly thereafter, Buildings magazine published a lead editorial based on Stone’s study titled “The Complexities of Communication.”

International Awareness

    Stone presented a paper entitled “The Organization Behavior Component of Facilities Management – Becoming Part of the Business Process,” at that year’s International Conference for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) W70 2004 Hong Kong Symposium, “The Human Elements of Facilities Management - Understanding the Needs of the Customers.”  CIB is the acronym of the former French name, "Conseil International du Bâtiment" (International Council for Building).  The CIB had been established in 1953 with the support of the United Nations.  Its objectives were to stimulate and facilitate international collaboration and information exchange between governmental research institutes and to assist in the reconstruction of the European infrastructure following World War II.  As noted on the official CIB website, “It is no exaggeration to say that at present CIB is the world's foremost platform for international cooperation and information exchange in the area of building and construction research and innovation.”

The paper was included on the Fraunhofer IRB website, Germany's central facility for national and international knowledge transfer in planning and building. Their partners include the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Affairs; the German Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning; the German Institute for Construction Technology; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs in Austria; and many other German and international partners. The Fraunhofer IRB website states that they include papers "mainly from German-speaking countries."

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