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5 Things Every Facility Manager Should Do

Dude Solutions
  • Sep 25, 2019
  • 3 minute read

Highlights from a Favorite Dude University Presentation

Dude University 2019 may have happened a few months ago, but we’re still soaking up all the great presentations and knowledge we gained. To share the wealth, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite presentations from this year’s conference here on the blog (Read the first post on authentic leadership if you missed it).  

One presentation that stood out was led by Dude Solutions client Dan Lowry, Director of Facilities at Southern Hills Country Club and author of The Complete Guide to Facility Management.  

Dan’s presentation focused on the five things all facility managers should do to bring their best to their people and their operations. Here’s what he suggested.  


1. Lead Your People  

Dan began by discussing the difference between leadership and management, setting the tone with this quote from Dwight Eisenhower: 

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” 

He explained that management relies on control — controlling people, tasks, time, etc. Leadership, however, means leading. When you’re a true leader, people want to follow you, so the element of control isn’t as needed. He recommended the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek and suggested that a good leader is someone who inspires their team, starting with why the work set before them is important. Dan also discussed how inspired employees are happier, less stressed and more productive. 


2. Maintain a Real Property Inventory 

Maintaining a Real Property Inventory (RPI) is key to strong asset management. Dan listed the following as the necessary ingredients of a proper RPI: 

  • Asset name 

  • Size (square footage, length, tonnage, etc.) 

  • Placed-in-service date 

  • Estimated useful life 

  • Initial cost 

  • Costs assigned to the asset during its life 

  • Identifying information (location, model number, serial number, etc.) 

He also provided a few rules to remember when it comes to doing inventory: 

  • Keep it backed up 

  • Keep it digital 

  • Keep it updated 


3. Conduct a Facility Condition Assessment 

A facility condition assessment (FCA) is a thorough analysis of the state of a facility. It generally covers aspects like age, design, construction and materials. When conducted by a professional, it’s followed up by a report that forecasts needed repairs and replacements. Dan highly recommended facility managers do this at their organization as a valuable means of working preventively.  

He discussed that you can do it yourself or hire a professional, both of which have their pros and cons. If you do it yourself, you’ll save money, but it can also be quite time consuming and tedious. If you pay for it to be conducted by a professional (usually an engineer or architect), you’ll have the added cost, but will likely end up with a more reliable report and a lot of saved time.  


4. Have a Facility Master Plan 

facility master plan (FMP) is a document that details an organization’s facilities, along with their purpose and future plans. Dan described that an FMP differs from an FCA in that it’s more all-encompassing, it proposes major projects, and it examines current and future needs of end users. Essentially, an FMP creates a vision and roadmap. Your FCA can inform that roadmap.  

Here’s how Dan recommended setting up your FMP: 

  • Gather information, including current facility condition 

  • Conduct a SWOT analysis 

  • Identify long-term objectives 

  • Create a plan to meet those objectives 


5. Communicate with Stakeholders 

Communication is important in any role, but definitely for leaders.

According to Dan, good communication often begins with identifying who your stakeholders are.


He suggested documenting a RACI, a responsibility matrix that lays out who plays which role in carrying out a project.  

There are those who are responsible, the person who does the tasks to get the project done. 

There are those who are accountable, the person who is accountable for seeing that the project as a whole is properly completed. 

There are those who are consulted, the person who doesn’t actually do the work but is asked for an opinion or signoff.  

There are those who are informed, the person who will be affected by the project and needs to be in the loop.  

Dan explained how creating a RACI streamlines communication around projects. He also ended by giving some general communication tips for facility managers: 

  • Hold department meetings faithfully 

  • Never turn down opportunities to present to stakeholders 

  • Communicate soon and often on bad news and big projects 

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