STRATEGIC FACILITY PLANNING by Moyosore Sanya-Isijola
1912.The world’s largest ship at the time straddles the high waters. Four days later, it is ripped apart by nature’s behemoth: an iceberg whose bone-chilling hug send the RMS Titanic crashing into the ocean mud, with 1500 souls to become lifeless denizens of the marine deep. The gravest lessons can be learned from this terrible disaster, even for the FM industry (and yes, the Titanic is a facility).
Did you know the lookouts (sailors assigned to scan the horizon for threats) did not have access to the ship’s binoculars? Did you know the evacuation strategy failed and there were 50 per cent fewer lifeboats on the ship? Did you also know the ship was close to maximum speed, in waters where ice was previously reported? Foresight. Strategy. Prudence. Lessons learnt all too late.
The modern world is not bereft of such dangers. Corporate entities and facilities are mutating, the evolution spurred by technology. There is so much more at risk: prudence is not a luxury, foresight the difference between life and death, and strategic thinking the only way to excel in an ice field of epic proportions. The metamorphosis of the corporate world and its bonding agent: the FM industry meant a symbiotic strategy had to be developed.
IFMA, in its “Project Management Benchmarks Survey 2002,” defines “A strategic facility plan (SFP) is defined as a two to five-year facility plan encompassing an entire portfolio of owned and/or leased space that sets strategic facility goals based on the organization’s strategic (business) objectives. the strategic facilities goals, in turn, determine short term tactical plans, including prioritization of, and funding for, annual facility-related projects.” 
Pretty comprehensive huh? First, you must know and understand the organization’s strategic business objectives. Miss this, and a disaster is on your hands even before the die is cast. There is little sense in having a lane marker on the high way invisible. There is no guide to help you align yourself. Let’s imagine: If you were a leader, who would you fire first: the FM professional who has no idea where the company intends to go, or someone aligned, regardless of qualification?
Second, you need to develop strategic facility goals based on the organizations business. The future is the destination. The boss, the visionary. The vehicle is the facility and all it entails. Guess who’s driving the vehicle? Brass tacks. Brass tacks.
Brass tacks: Analysis. Data. These two are your standard measurements for placing strategic value on existing facilities. Warmer than the cup of beverage on a cold harmattan morning, own them. Nothing sinks a company faster than castle-building-the-air. Hard. Raw. Accurate data and analysis will help you, and the company make strategically sound decisions. All without breaking the bank.
Do not break the bank: As an FM, you will be the organization’s worst nightmare if your goals and projects threaten to spiral the company into bankruptcy. Thank you, they will not, and off the ship, they will toss you. Gladly. Craft an achievable and affordable plan to meet the organization’s needs, you stand a chance of leaving a legacy to be remembered. It is said: “The man who takes the trouble to peer into the future is rewarded with the gift of foresight”.
Foresight: The crème de la crème, as it were. It’s absence the bane of empires and companies past. It demands attention to detail, a trained eye peering through the binoculars of wisdom and opportunity. The FM who seeks to develop this skill anticipates services, staffing changes, space utilization, maintenance requirements, capital investment, operating costs, understands new technologies, and eats trends for lunch. This prized skill will not only keep your head above water, but stand heads and shoulders above the giants. Your organization and key personnel will come flocking to you as doves to a window.
At Max-Migold, we build the future’s FMs today. Noah did not build the ark when the rain was falling.
Foresight. Strategy. Prudence. Lessons well learnt now.
Visit www.maxmigold.com for the experience of a lifetime.
 Strategic Facility Planning – IFMA. https://www.ifma.org/docs/default-source/knowledge-base