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Visibility can be a major challenge for facilities management teams. When FM teams do not have visibility of the work being performed in their facilities, it is difficult to know what to improve to meet service levels. When there is a lack of visibility of FM in the broader business, FM teams can struggle to articulate the value they provide and attract the funds they need to operate effectively.
Great facilities managers know what’s going on in their facilities. They prioritise planning, and ensure key information is available to everyone who contributes to and relies on facilities management.
Improving visibility in and for facilities management in your organisation is about considering: what information is required, who needs information, and what is the most effective way to communicate information.
Dashboards are an effective visual medium that helps to communicate important information quickly, in an easily digestible format.
Within the facilities team, dashboards can be particularly helpful with respect to work orders. Helping team members to easily see their total workload can create efficiencies for the team members and the facilities function overall.
Providing a dashboard of all open work orders assigned to them saves team members time every day. From one place, they can see what jobs require their attention, and the status of every job they’re assigned.
Being able to see what jobs they have, and the status of those jobs, helps team members to efficiently prioritise their time.
For stakeholders and facilities users, these dashboards mean getting quick answers to questions. Members of the facilities team can quickly and easily see what jobs need attention, providing instant status updates to enquiring requesters.
For many facilities teams, reporting is the primary mechanism for communicating information to the relevant parties.
In industries such as health and aged care, reporting requirements are constantly expanding. Industry regulation requiring more and more granular information, at various frequencies.
It is easy to see, with the constantly shifting goalposts, why reporting has become an onerous burden.
However, great facilities managers have reframed the way they think about reporting. Rather than being a heavy burden, they consider reporting to be an opportunity to unlock actionable data insights.
Improving reporting processes starts with centralising information into a single source of truth that is accessible, accurate and secure. This allows teams to generate reports quickly, with all information coming from a single, reliable source.
The time previously lost to hunting down and collating information can then be spent looking at how available information can be used to improve outcomes.
Too much data, and irrelevant data, can take the focus off the most meaningful metrics. Key to understanding what data you want, and in what format, is creating KPIs that align with the strategic goals of your organisation.
Ask “what does my organisation care about” and consider how facilities management contributes to this when setting KPIs. The direct link between organisational goals and the work done by the FM team helps to improve the team’s profile within the broader business.
For example, your organisation might have goals around consistency in service delivery. As facilities managers, we know that planned maintenance helps to reduce unexpected breakdowns.
The goal for the facilities team therefore, could be to balance the quantity of planned maintenance jobs against reactive jobs.
In this simple example, you would need to be able to easily see how many jobs were completed, and how many of those were for planned maintenance vs reactive.
Another example could be an organisational goal to create customer-centric facilities. In this example, the data you would be seeking would be related to customer feedback. This could be average time to completion, percentage of jobs closed, or feedback metrics collected from requesters.
Because facilities management contributes to so many parts of organisations, it can be tempting to set too many KPIs. By ensuring KPIs are linked to organisational goals, you can keep sight of the bigger picture, while understanding the smaller steps to get there.
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