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News & opinion

11 MAY 2018

Elevating FM to a new level

Scott McMillan, FRICS, is Advisor In The Office Of The Managing Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Scott is not only a well-respected and highly experienced facilities management executive, but a member of IFMA and a chartered electrical engineer too.

Highly skilled in finance, operations management, corporate real estate, procurement and program management, Scott’s highly successful career is peppered with highlights and achievements gained working across international trade and development.

Here he voices his hopes that the IFMA-RICS collaboration will elevate facility managers to a new level of professionalism.

What does your current role entail?

My title  Advisor In The Office Of The Managing Director  sounds very grand. Realistically, I am actually the project director for an extensive phased-occupied base building renovation project in our headquarters building in Washington DC.

The project was running into schedule problems, so I was asked to join the team as project director. We are now making positive progress and see the project as being on an even keel. We have made significant progress and look forward to finishing.  It’s fair to say the end is clearly in our sights!

Prior to my current role, I was the IMF’s division chief responsible for facilities management, capital projects and international real estate, which spans 103 countries worldwide.

What are your hopes for the IFMA-RICS collaboration?

RICS is expanding its global footprint, and the role it plays supporting the built environment. Facility management is, of course, an area in which RICS has been involved for a long time, but in the past five years I believe that the organisation has made a real effort to embrace the sector from a training perspective and in terms of providing professional qualifications.

In Europe RICS has been very successful at promoting FM’s role in strategic management, moving the public’s perception away from that of traditional building maintenance and instead positioning it as a key component of the built environment. RICS has been very active recognising the industry, and the people that work in the industry, for the value they are adding at upper management level.

RICS can bring its enthusiasm for strategic FM to the collaboration, and IFMA members can benefit from RICS’ experience in progressive, strategic FM and other surveying disciplines. Together with its rigorous approach to training and accreditation, the IFMA-RICS relationship is a very worthwhile initiative.

A pressing need for change

The FM sector is undergoing a transformation. The emphasis is going to be on automation or mechanisation over the course of the next three to five years. This means that the use of analytics will grow exponentially over that period, so facilities managers need to be aware of all the data that is at their disposal. They then need the skills to process this data so that it can help them positively influence the C-Suite.

Fortunately, the level of professionalism, and the recognition that FM is a profession, is in its own right, clearly making positive moves and gaining huge traction in North America.

Finally, there is the appreciation that it has a key part to play in supporting business strategy, alongside IT and HR. These departments are coming together to address the value of human capital, and the impact that human capital can have on the built environment and the user experience.

Globally, we need to get away from the image of the stereotypical wrench-turning, mop-wielding facility manager, and instead make sure we are welcomed as a sophisticated business partner for HR and IT. The IFMA-RICS collaboration is a very positive step for the FM sector and the built environment, opening up professional development opportunities for FMs worldwide.

Find out more about IFMA-RICS, including standards, education and events