One of the Keys to Successful Change Management in Facilities Management

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In the competitive world we live in, Maxwell Stephens  believes it seems clear that organisations must change to remain competitive and relevant in the modern world. Preparation is the key to successful change management in facilities which might sound obvious; however thorough planning will be the difference between those who drive successful change through and those who fail.

What are the keys to successful change?

Change management is complex at the best of times however when it comes to change within the facilities management function there are added considerations that must be acknowledged. In the time I have been recruiting within it, Facilities Management has become such an integral part of most business that any form of change will and does affect every part of the business. The key to successfully implementing this change throughout the organisation the following key lessons must be adhered to.

Analyse Whether the Change is Necessary.

We have already stated that change is a natural part of every company and organisation however change for change sake is not constructive. The changes that are to be implemented must bring added value and be completely necessary, not all benefits have to be financial but all benefits must be quantifiable. People are the absolute greatest asset of a business and for people to ‘buy in’ to the process they have to be able to see the benefit. Once established that the change is going to bring about greater benefit to the organisation either to staff or clients or both, then there is a case to proceed and start the process.

Learn from Previous Lessons.

Sometimes with the drive to get everything started little or no time is given to learning from previous lessons and this can lead to a change program failing before it has started. The failure of course will not be discovered until it is too late but can often with hindsight be traced back to not learning from previous lessons.

The key lessons are:

Have the expertise needed to successfully see the change management through from start to finish. For every project to succeed it is imperative that expert skills are on hand to oversee any desire for effective change. From a facilities management perspective there are two points to consider.

  • Being a Facilities Manager and being a Facilities Program Change Manager is not necessarily the same thing and it is important to recognise this. Successful change management comes about from experts with a proven track record bringing their expertise to bear they will bring lessons they have learned over the years to the new program.
  • A facilities manager may be able to manage the necessary program change but at the same time attention must be given to ‘business as usual’. There is no point in bringing in new changes if the business or organisation falls apart in the process. The case for additional resource to help facilitate the change is quite clear.

Communication. Experts in program change will all agree that communication is possibly the most important considerations when implementing a change program. Everyone who is affected by the change must know how and when things will be communicated. A communications strategy must be agreed in advance before any ideas or work starts on implementation. Failure to have an agreed communication strategy will result in delays to the program which are costly and could result in failure ultimately. This strategy should be agreed by the program executives and conveyed throughout the organisation. For those embarking on a program of change within facilities management all directors and head of departments should be aware of how and when information will be communicated.

Roles and Responsibilities From the onset of any program change, clearly defined roles and responsibilities should be established. Facilities, I.T, Finance, and Human Resources should all be aware of the roles and responsibilities they have within the change process.

Summary Whilst these keys are not exclusive in guaranteeing success giving them the necessary attention will go a long way to helping in the successful change management process.

Peter Forshaw, Managing Director, Maxwell Stephens

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