Raising the Bar: City Roundtables builds on the findings of the first Raising the Bar report. It grew from a series of city roundtables and investigates the potential of facilities management (FM) to remodel itself as a strategic business asset.

Raising the Bar: Enhancing the Strategic Role of Facilities Management (Phase I) was reviewed the current state of practice in the facilities profession and identify critical FM challenges. It focused in particular on the relationships between FM and other key functional areas.

The report drew on a survey completed by almost 400 FM professionals across six continents and considered what 'being strategic' really meant. The research found that FM was increasingly being seen as a strategic resource, but faced significant barriers in realising this goal. It concluded with recommendations to build a more strategic profile for the profession.

Raising the Bar: City Roundtables (Phase II) investigates the specific challenges faced by FM. Interviews were conducted with small focus groups of facilities managers in 12 cities across the globe representing economically diverse regions. Attendees shared their experiences and opinions on the difficulties faced by FM management and the discipline as a whole, the methods appropriate to value FM performance in line with business frameworks and the initiatives FM must take to adopt a more strategic orientation.

The discussions reflected overwhelmingly similar experiences across geographies. Strong concerns were raised around the profession’s poor image in the corporate sector, the excessive time spent on operational activities, management’s failure to adopt the language of business and communicate the discipline’s value, a poor alignment with other departments and the need for strategic leadership.

Taking the findings of our first Raising the Bar study around the world has generated many new insights. For example, we found that “facilities management” is a term that is now understood in most business regions of the world. In addition, we learned that the findings are broadly applicable everywhere and we found fewer differences in FM practice from one region to another than we expected.

Nevertheless, it is also clear that the basic role of FM is understood differently in different industries and at different levels in most organisations. This, then is one of the major challenges for the Facilities Management profession; to recognise these differences, and to build a profile of ‘strategic facilities management’ for highly educated management professionals. There is clearly much more work for us to do in order to get there.

In this light the study develops some of the recommendations proposed in previous research and puts forward new steps to guide FM on its journey to “raising the bar”.

You can download both Raising the Bar reports from this page, along with RICS case studies focusing on strategic FM.

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