The time for transformation

a facilities manager compares data stored digitally to a printed report

Digital transformation has been a focus in many businesses for years. As we embrace new technologies we’re discovering new ways of working, that deliver true transformation.

These technologies carry the promise of opportunity, generating excitement over efficiencies never seen before. Facilities managers can now automate the most mundane of tasks, and smart buildings deliver experiences that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.  

Many of these technologies are necessary to keep up to the pace of our modern environment. However, successfully integrating them into your business takes patience, time, and planning.

Implementing a facilities management software solution can be a significant project for FM teams, and is a critical step on the path of digital transformation.

In this blog, we’ll look at some of the questions to ask, ifyou’re thinking of implementing facilities management software. After working with countless businesses over the years, these are the questions we ask at the start, to set you up for success.

Where are you going?

Success looks different for different organisations, depending on where you are, who you are, and why you’re seeking change. How you define success can also change over time.

If you’re considering implementing facilities management software, the first step is to define what success looks like for you. What are acceptable outcomes, and what are ideal outcomes?

Look to the broader goals and values of the organisation to help define success. Think about not just how the software will help your team, but how it supports the long-term goals of the whole business.

Remember, you’re not limited to one goal. Your organisation might have a couple of core goals they are working towards, and that’s ok. However, it’s important to not have so many that they become diluted and cause a lack of focus.

When setting goals for your project, it is critical to ensure all stakeholders are on the same page. Collaborating internally to set SMART goals helps to determine priorities, resourcing, and direction for your project.

Is it the right time?

To ensure successful implementation of facilities management software, it’s important to make sure you have the time and resources to undertake the project.

Your provider should have a good idea of what onboarding looks like, and should be able to provide you with a plan. Work with a partner who can tailor that plan to fit your organisation’s size and scope.

Consider the time required to successfully implement the software holistically. Pre-work will be required to ensure that your data is up to scratch and that your processes are defined. Once the software is set up, team members will require training to use it.

From business case to broader use, ensure you are being realistic about the hours your team are able to commit.

As with any new process, there will be a period of adjustment required, for team members to get used to doing things a different way. Consider what the year looks like for your business and find a time when your team might have the capacity to adjust.

Do you have the right people?

For many FM teams, the most valuable resource they have is the knowledge held by team members. The input of team members who have been on the tools for years is invaluable in clarifying and improving processes.

Extracting this valuable knowledge and incorporating them into workflows in the software ensures that the whole team is operating consistently and aligned with good practice.

If you’re considering implementing facilities management software, consider who is on your team, and the knowledge they have.

Consider the consultants you’ll be working with to implement the software, and the knowledge they’re able to bring to the table. Work with consultants who have real experience, and have walked a mile in your shoes.They can bring practical ideas and challenge existing processes so you can realise the potential of the platform.

Do you have the right data?

As the saying goes, you have to walk before you can run. If you’re implementing facilities management software to leverage better data, starting with good data is important.

If your organisation has data all over the place, recorded across various spreadsheets or paper, you’re not alone.

The implementation of facilities management software, for many organisations, is the first time they’ve considered bringing all their data together. While it might seem like a daunting task, your data doesn’t have to be perfect or fully complete to get started.  

The right provider can work with you to determine where to start, and how to decide what data is important.

Do you have the right support?

As with any major project, support from your team, and your stakeholders, is critical to ensuring a project’s success.

Get your stakeholders involved from the outset, set your goals, and align those goals to the broader organisational goals. Ensure you have factored in time to collaborate and communicate with the various people involved, and provide visibility over your project.

If stakeholders aren’t supportive of your project, you might find yourself fighting an uphill battle. Your business case will be crucial in getting stakeholders on board from the get go, and the right provider can support you in its creation.

Additionally, consider the support available from your chosen provider. Do they offer support for both the duration of the onboarding, and ongoing support as your use of the software grows. Do you have to learn the system yourself, and train all your team members alone, or is that taken care of for you?

Are there resources available as reminders on how to do certain things? And is there a local support team, of real people, available to talk to in your timezone?

At FMI, we understand sometimes these projects seem intimidating, so work with you to ensure your implementation runs smoothly.  We’ve been helping clients for decades, working with them to ensure smooth implementation of our solutions. If you’re looking to implement facilities management software, speak to our team of experts to see how we can help you.