The Facilities Management and Services (FMS) Appreciative Inquiry Summit revealed that one of the deficiencies of the current FMS organization is that there are multiple points throughout the project process at which responsibility changes hands. This leads to inefficiencies, redundancies, and either miscommunication or insufficient communication. The current process places the bulk of the upfront project management with Facilities Planning and Development (FPD) for scoping, feasibility, program of requirements and design, and primary contact with the end user. At some point during the project, the burden shifts to Engineering and Construction (EC) to manage the construction process. This transition leads to confusion amongst the end users, who maintain contact with FPD as their conduit to the project; and uncertainty amongst University personnel, including maintenance, custodial, and lock shop. In addition, the ultimate move and occupancy of a space is managed by FPD, while trying to coordinate schedules with EC during closeout. In this process, the “boots on the ground” personnel from Physical Plant do not have adequate opportunity to add their expertise. Project details are communicated to Plant management, but feedback is not received in a timely manner from those performing the work, if at all.
Solution(s) & Plan(s)
Four action areas were identified to overcome the issues listed above:
- Create a comprehensive project manager role in FMS (Project Champion).
- Create an organizational structure to eliminate redundancies, cover gaps, and create accountability.
- Identify the skill sets required to be an effective Project Champion.
- Create a mechanism for the Champion to be officially empowered by top leadership for success.