A few decades ago the profile of a successful Facilities Manager typically was someone that was a technical expert who grew to be a higher ranking manager. The demands’ of facilities today has dramatically changed this profile, now commonly requiring a college degree and years of management experience. By no means are we suggesting that Facilities Managers are no longer technical people, but there is much more of a stress on a managers ability to handle business decisions and to delegate the technical work to skilled employees. What caused this progression? Why do facilities managers need to be more advanced as a manager and (relatively) less technical?
The availability of technical information through skilled workers, technology, and communication allows the modern day Facility Manager to dedicate more effort and time to critical business decisions and deliver higher quality results than ever before. Technical schools are training future-employees to be subject matter experts to be able to handle the complexities that are involved in facilities today. Technology allows us to access a wealth of knowledge faster and more efficient than ever before. Information that use to take hours to sort through is now instantly organized and available on portable devices. Communicating our work and our changes in a facility has always been key to successful facilities management, but in the past we’ve been limited by paper and pencil and paper documents. Keeping managers and staff always up to date not only allows a Facilities Manager to manage better, it makes the entire team more efficient and accurate.
Facilities Management is now far from a one-man show and the focus has shifted to management. How we handle information and resources is what matters, and a good Facilities Manager will absorb the information, process it, put together a plan, and then execute that plan.