Authors : Karl Attard
The discipline of Facilities management (FM) is facing a serious identity crisis. The most common issue that every FM is facing is that they operate in “an ever widening and ill-defined sphere of activity”. IFMA (2005) managed to group together the responsibilities of FM into eight major functions which than every group have different services that one must take care of. Such disciplines include strategic management, building technology, construction procurement, financial and accounting, telecommunication, human resources, etc. However, It is impossible that one is competent in all these professional areas and hence this will result the FM loses its focus and identity.
The performance of the project management profession relies on delivering new building assets which satisfy clients’ requirements in terms of time, cost, and quality. However, these parameters may lack in some project and this evident was highlighted by the World Bank (Survey of International Construction Projects, 1996), survey which resulted that from 900 different projects, 40% of the project overrun the average cost while 60% exceeded the delivery completion date. Such performance is not acceptable for the clients which their main aim is to have a secure improvement in the long-term financial aspect for their business to improve the service level that they offer. Project service delivery performance is lacking and frequently the reason behind this seems credible and acceptable. Problems may arise due to lack of integration that may exist between designers and builders; the use of innovative materials; incorrect procurement system; market condition supplying system and other unforeseen matters.
The project management discipline methods and tools applied, aims to develop, and address such difficulties that a project can face, as those mentioned above. The suggested approach by various authors such as Hinks, J.A., Brown, A.W. and Pitt, M. (1999), is that the process orientated skills of facilities manager, together with their operational knowledges, can be appointed to lead role in the management of new building development rather than consultant project manager. Facilities managers may be considered in a prime role contractor which can lead to obtain a feasible and cost-effective development. According to the Chartered Institute of Building’s definition of the FM role clearly aims to have better view on the provision of buildings which relies under his/her responsibility. If FM profession is successful in delivering a project management role this may prevent to understand and examine the interface with the built environment, design, and construction.
The implication to appoint a FM in design and construction process can facilitate and add value to the user and occupants and the use of facilities management during design stage. This can lead to obtain and save cost and time with less failure in construction facilities to reach a successful built environment.