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20 MAR 2017

Raising the Bar: strategic FM

The third instalment in RICS’ ground-breaking 'Raising the Bar' research series makes a powerful case for how, as an industry, FM makes significant contributions to business success and organisational effectiveness.

This report was published in collaboration with IFMA.

Quick links

Raising the Bar III

From Operational Excellence to Strategic Impact in FM

This research identifies the key issues facing the industry and puts ways forward for how FM can build recognition and understanding within the C-suite, among other business leaders, and with related infrastructure groups.

Key challenges & actions identified include:

  • The need to move beyond a cost-centre mentality and build recognition for the value and ROI that excellent, well-supported FM can bring.
  • The need to take on the strategic challenge of championing workplace effectiveness, workforce productivity and well-being.
  • The need to recruit new talent to replace an ageing workforce.
  • The need to recognise the need for relationship management skills in addition to those of operational service delivery.
  • The need to adopt and apply new technologies to enhance the management of facilities and to create new kinds of workplaces.

In scrutinising the complicated label of "facility management" and how its perceived focus on the built environment detracts from its strategic impact on both workforce and workplace, 'Raising the Bar: from Operational Excellence to Strategic Impact in FM' makes a dynamic case for the profession to broaden its remit, upgrade its status and play a significant role in contributing to organisational effectiveness and business success.

Raising the Bar II

City Roundtables

The discussions reflected overwhelmingly similar experiences across geographies. Strong concerns were raised around the profession’s poor image in the corporate sector, the excessive time spent on operational activities, management’s failure to adopt the language of business and communicate the discipline’s value, a poor alignment with other departments and the need for strategic leadership.

In this light the study develops some of the recommendations proposed in previous research and puts forward new steps to guide FM on its journey to “raising the bar”.

City Roundtables Report

This research investigates the specific challenges faced by FM. Interviews were conducted with small focus groups of facilities managers in 12 cities across the globe representing economically diverse regions. Attendees shared their experiences and opinions on the difficulties faced by FM management and the discipline as a whole, the methods appropriate to value FM performance in line with business frameworks and the initiatives FM must take to adopt a more strategic orientation.

Taking the findings of our first Raising the Bar study around the world has generated many new insights. For example, we found that “facilities management” is a term that is now understood in most business regions of the world. In addition, we learned that the findings are broadly applicable everywhere and we found fewer differences in FM practice from one region to another than we expected.

Nevertheless, it is also clear that the basic role of FM is understood differently in different industries and at different levels in most organisations. This, then is one of the major challenges for the Facilities Management profession; to recognise these differences, and to build a profile of ‘strategic facilities management’ for highly educated management professionals. There is clearly much more work for us to do in order to get there.

Jim Ware
Occupiers Journal

Raising the Bar I

Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management

This research reviewed the current state of practice in the facilities profession and identify critical FM challenges. It focused in particular on the relationships between FM and other key functional areas.

The report drew on a survey completed by almost 400 FM professionals across six continents and considered what 'being strategic' really meant.

The research found that FM was increasingly being seen as a strategic resource, but faced significant barriers in realising this goal. It concluded with recommendations to build a more strategic profile for the profession.

RICS Research Trust is now the Property Research Trust

This research was funded by the RICS Research Trust. As of the end of January 2021, RICS Research Trust became fully independent of RICS, and has been rebranded as the Property Research Trust. Find out more here . The Trust supports and promotes high-quality independent contributions to knowledge in the disciplines of land, real estate and construction.