FEATURE D APPROACH tunities that if addressed properly will increase

Growing the team Throughout the contract, new people will need to be inducted onto the programme. It is vital to build and maintain a positive team atmosphere, so managers need to ensure that everyone is aligned with the needs of the project, taking responsibility for service and quality at their own level and being well supported.

Ongoing performance Throughout the contract, there are a number of elements that need to be front of mind. The project scope and alignment needs to be constantly measured, with performance reviews made through the eyes of the customer. Changes need to be understood and managed - at every level. The customer relationship should be developed and maintained with good and consistent communication. Systems need to be reviewed and measured and staff need to be trained and retrained. As a lot of the work on FM contracts can be repetitive, team leadership at this stage needs to focus on success, quality and on maintaining motivation.

The senior team should seek to maintain relationships with and have a utilisation plan for the central support functions of their own business such as IMS, H&S and HR. We have seen many contract teams isolate themselves from central support until a crisis occurs. Best practice should be captured in order that lessons can be learned, and this comes into play towards the close of a contract, when key learnings can be taken and reported to the client in order to improve or refine future performances.

Every stage of the contract is vital and all of these communication and training activities need to be managed throughout and at key stage changes. You would never stop training a football team between matches, or stop teaching a class between exams - so don’t stop training your team or communicating to clients as the contract progresses! This is the key to success.

Bid handover A detailed handover of the written and unwritten aspects of the whole project should be carried out at this stage - communication is everything. At this part of the contract, it is imperative to develop the customer and stakeholder interface and management strategy. Failing to engage with the customer and their objectives from the outset will only lead to a communication breakdown and the need to constantly play catch up, which never works.

Mobilisation and startup Here is where the vision, strategies and structure are all established. Your KPIs, targets and full progress dashboard should be created with clear success levels mapped out.

The communication flow should be established by now and all team members inducted onto the program and into the comms system, to ensure continuity of quality and efficiency. All system integrations plans should be developed for a smooth start.

Close or renewal The chances of a contract being renewed oustrip those of it being closed when targets are recognised and rewarded, and successes communicated to the client as part of the ongoing programme of clear communication that has been managed throughout.

By recognising the challenges your team will face from before the contract even starts, you can plan for them in advance, in order to deliver efficiency and profitability.

The FM leadership requirement therefore, is simple - nurture the respect of the management personnel and develop a confident decision-taking senior team, that can trust its gut instincts, keep its team tip top, measure and record developments and combine qualitative and quantitative data to be communicated to the customer.

Managing this process at each stage of the contract will make contract renewal much more likely than contract close. TOMORROW’S FM | 27

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