Unlike some professions, Facility Management (FM) includes many different roles and skills. Not everyone in the facility or property management profession has the title “Facility Manager” and not everyone is responsible for all of these roles. Some are responsible for specific functions as specialists, others are responsible for everything while some oversee all these roles through other specialists.

This pie diagram is the easiest way to represent the broad responsibilities in the Facility Management Profession since FM includes so many different skills and responsibilities.

When I wrote the book “Managing Facilities & Real Estate”, I tried to capture the essence of what Facility Management was about in the introductory chapter, since I’ve always seen it as having a very large scope with many different professionals contributing to getting results for the occupants and the companies whose space we manage.

The FM Pie was one way to capture the broad scope of the industry without going into the issue of titles and positions, which has been a challenge in our industry.

I think the FM Pie illustrates why we have those challenges as well as why it is such an interesting, compelling profession. It shows why we must have a working knowledge of so many different facets of the profession, even if we rely on specialists to deliver those various facets.

Depending on your role, you may be responsible for all these elements or just a few. You may also oversee them all, but have other experts on your team who focus on a specific aspect of the role. Some of these specific areas are actually represented by their own professions when performed as a distinct, separate role. For instance, a portion of the Pie covers both Commercial Property Management and Project Management. The Facility Management profession actually encompasses both of those functions.

From this, you can see that it is impossible for any given FM to have all the knowledge and skills to perform all the roles that are frequently expected of them. In addition, many of the responsibilities are non-technical, and they are in fact increasingly becoming strategic in nature.

That’s why a Facility Manager has to rely on other experts, whether on their staff or as contractors and consultants. The profession of Facility Management isn’t just about the person with the Facility Manager title – it’s also about the large supporting cast of specialists, experts and other professionals.

While either the technical or the space related skills and responsibilities are what most people think of when they think of  Facility Management, the most useful skills are Management & Leadership related – particularly the ability to develop strategy, communicate, lead and manage resources. The top FM’s in any large company rose to their level because of those skills.

The issue of scope and responsibility is further expanded when you consider typical portfolios, which can range from a single building to a regional or national portfolio and even an international portfolio of properties. Like many other professions, the larger the scope, the more people involved at different levels. Where a smaller property may have a single Facility Manager, a large portfolio may have a Vice President of Facilities, with several hundred staff under them.

Download link for the Pie :   http://thebuiltenvironment.ca/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=5


Michel Theriault is Principal of Strategic Advisor, an FM consulting firm. He speaks and writes about FM in addition to helping FM’s analyze, plan and implement initiatives to get better results. His book “Managing Facilities & Real Estate” <insert link> is now available. You can reach Michel at 519-803-5401, michel@strategicadvisor.ca or visit strategicadvisor.ca, thebuiltenvironment.ca or fminsight.com