Our leading character is tuning every instrument to get optimal results from each and every one of them. Getting a perfect harmony amongst them will allow him to reach the goal of fluent development and great audience satisfaction. No, we’re not talking about a musician, our leading character is, in this case, a Facility Manager.
And what do a Musician and a Facility Manager have in common? Well, it’s easy, here you’ll see how our Facility Manager has his parallel in the world of music. Let’s see different Facility Manager / Musician roles:
An orchestra man has to do everything by himself. He has to combine at the same time skills and knowledge to deliver a polyphonic melody with accompanying rhythm with just his performance. His biggest effort is with the bass drum. He must make it sound rhythmically constantly and the strength required to make it sound is really tiring. However, that’s not the most brilliant part of his performance; he never gets applauded for playing the bass drum, but poor him if he gets it wrong and gets out of time. Then everyone notices the bass drum. While he keeps the rhythm, he must play a melody with several instruments at the same time, without leaving aside any of them, since forgetting to play any one of the instruments would make it impossible to get the result his audience expects. This requires perfect coordination to make the tune played with the harmonica get in accordance with the tune played with the accordion, while he makes the cymbals sound at a particular moment in time. All of this goes through his brain at the same time, but he needs to leave some room to notice what his audience asks for or to realise it by their faces. It’s no surprise that he ends up the day absolutely exhausted, mentally and physically.
Our Facility Manager manages the bass drum of maintenance and the instruments of all the services he is in charge of. He is always paying attention to his audience, which is made-up by the users working in the building/s he manages. He is always looking after what they need and always keeps in mind what satisfaction surveys say. He, also, ends up exhausted every day.
A violinist, an oboe player or a cello player are specialists in their own instrument. They know perfectly their violin, oboe or cello; which kind of timber it is made of, which strings or reeds are more suitable to their style, how humidity affects it, etc. If you ask him to play another instrument, he will probably say no, though he may be able to play it somewhat, but he values specialization so much that he will focus on giving you the best performance possible with his instrument, rather than doing something with lower quality level. What they all know is how their colleagues work. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible to get top quality result when they work (play) together. All of them need each other, all of them have the same goal. Getting there depends on their expertise and their skills to coordinate their tasks. They may argue about if they should tune their instrument following ISO 16 with “la 440” or if it’s best to do it with 432 Hz, but they always need to reach an agreement or the result will be terrible. Here’s to say, their specialization can’t block their skills as team players or the orchestra won’t work properly.
At the orchestra of the FM department we find our own specialists: the Space Manager, the Contract Manager or the Energy Manager, amongst others. They know their job as well as the violinist knows his violin. They also have to cooperate to reach their common goal, they make up a team that needs of their expertise and team playing skills to work together lining-up their interests and objectives.
An orchestra director is also a musician. He doesn’t play any instrument, but needs to know them all in order to conduct and get a successful performance. He coordinates every instrument family and has to be in contact with all the musicians to create a harmonic team, literally. He is the one to appoint goals that each musician has to work towards. He addresses the main work lines, but without telling every instrumentalists how to do their job. He trusts his musicians’ knowledge and experience and creates a work environment where their skills can be strengthened, so they can carry out their tasks in the best possible way and, therefore, achieve their goal. He doesn’t only deal with his team; he also has to deal with the theatre board. His goal is not only the one he shares with his team, but he also has to fulfil the board’s expectations. He needs to know how to align these two up in order to fulfil his job properly. All these management tasks make him a strategic professional.
Conducting the orchestra of FM we find a Facility Manager with a strategic role. He is the one that defines the main goals, which have to be aligned with the company’s goals. He is the link between the most strategic company decisions and the FM department’s decisions, so he can guarantee that his team gives the company support needed.
All in all, a musician and a Facility Manager share more than we could think. There are Facility Managers with operative, tactic and strategic profiles. Depending on the company’s size and needs, there can be just one person with all these roles or there will be various specialists. What can’t be a surprise is finding them on all those levels. They work to give the company support and without them, without this support, the company couldn’t focus on what it has to work on, its core business. Let’s recognise them as the professionals they are.
CIFMers 2016 has the goal of strengthening the Facility Manager’s role and his professional recognition. If you are a Facility Manager, you can’t miss it, it is in everyone’s hands to give our profession the visibility it deserves.
Photo by: MITO SettembreMusica https://bitly.com/shorten/