Sunday, August 5, 2007

More on FM Trends

IFMA convened a panel to determine which industry trends will have the most significant and lasting impact on the FM profession. The results have been published in the Facility Management Forecast 2007 which ranks the trends as follows.

Linking FM to strategy
Emergency preparedness
Change management
Emerging technology
Broadening diversity
Aging buildings

If you think about this list for just a moment you realize that the business of doing business is still number one. When we read articles and attend conferences, however, the focus often seems to be on the current buzz topic. A few years ago it was ADA, today it is sustainability. This statement is not meant to suggest that these topics are trendy or unimportant, but it does intend to note that they are supportive of the grander scheme, not the end unto themselves as sometimes presented.

Look further at the list and you will note that several of those listed are old friends. Emergency preparedness, globalization, diversity, and technology are all topics that we have been dealing with for some time. They are not new to our radar screen and they may never leave it. But the priorities have shifted. Each has had its turn at or near the top of the list.

One new one that I suspect will gain stature in coming years, aging buildings, is at the very bottom of the list. It is not just our buildings that are aging but a large share of our infrastructure as well. The massive infrastructure projects of the 50’s and 60’s are at or nearing the end of their planned lives and the bill is coming due. We have deferred investment to the point that the pain is becoming real. The requirement is large, meaning that there will be no easy answer. Like everything else, the issue needs leadership and as FM’s who are actively engaged in creating and managing a large portion of this infrastructure, we can have a voice.

I encourage you to download the entire report from the IFMA website at .

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