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FM in Action


is supposed to do the job, but also accountability, a deadline and, finally, the measurement of results – that is, feedback from results on the work and on the planning process itself,” Drucker wrote. And this is the principle around which KPIs are based. But Drucker also knew that not


everything could be held to this standard. “Your first role...is the personal one,” he told a client. “It is the relationship with people, the development of mutual confidence, the identification of people, the creation of a community. This is something only you can do.” He went on: “It cannot be measured or easily defined. But it is not only a key function. It is one only you can perform.” That is a powerful message. Traditional KPIs have their place, but there is a limitation: people, their commitment, their alignment with goals and objectives, their enthusiasm for the job – none of that is so easily measured in a KPI, ‘run the numbers’ sort of way. But these factors are just as critical as the elements that are susceptible to ‘the numbers’. So how do we get at them? How do we understand what is happening at the relationship level, learn from it and build on it? What if a 360-degree review process at


the strategic level was devised specifically for FM, based around the well-established HR 360 review process? Measuring perceptions, this would provide a tool that identifies the prime opportunities to build and enhance positive and constructive working principles and practices between two parties to an FM service. A new tool to pick up on all these qualities and ensure that the service delivery is optimised, based upon business imperatives, would enhance the traditional KPI approach significantly.


Not just measuring performance, but improving it That tool rests on an innovative solution bringing together people, process and technology, which creates advantage by bringing transparency to the complex multi-organisational relationships in an FM environment. It operates so as to align service priorities with organisational goals and corporate strategy. It is driven by consultants who interpret the outcomes from the tool, which


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measures perceptions and brings clarity to the reality of the service delivery. Using this new approach facilitates collaboration and drives FM service improvements where they are most needed. Of course KPIs have been a useful way to ensure that what is done is measured and, though there are often issues in the way that they are applied, they are still useful – which is why they are still incorporated into this new tool, particularly where a performance model contract is deployed, using a risk and reward payment structure. Fundamentally, we are still providing the same service lines that we did 30 years ago when I started out in FM – but it’s how we integrate those services to add value to what is really important to each organisation we serve that makes all the difference – which in turn can be the key to creating great relationships between service provider and client. A number of research studies over the years have shown FM as a very poor performer in this area, compared to other professional services; but this does not need to be the case. FM is a people business. We are being reminded of this more and more: ‘it’s not just about looking after buildings but the people that occupy them, too’. I believe that, more specifically, it is all about looking after the people and the businesses that retain our services, ensuring FM is in perfect alignment with their business imperatives in real time. Far too often this is overlooked, and it is why FM relationships appear to fail. I say ‘appear to fail’, as the service provider may feel they are doing a great job, and indeed





Traditional KPIs have their place, but there is a limitation: people, their commitment, their alignment with goals and objectives, their enthusiasm for the job – none of that is so easily measured in a KPI, ‘run the numbers’ sort of way





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