What is Facility Management

Facility management is the practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of the organization. It integrates the principles of business administration, architecture and the behavioral and engineering sciences.

Business entities have come to realize that maintaining a well-managed and highly efficient facility is critical to success. New technologies, environmental consciousness and health concerns also have had a major impact on the importance of and need for facility professionals in organizations.

Facility professionals must be equipped with a tremendous amount of knowledge and the ability to cope with and solve a multitude of complex problems and challenges. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the professional association for facility managers, has grouped these responsibilities into several major functional areas:

  • long-range and annual facility planning;
  • facility financial forecasting;
  • real estate acquisition and/or disposal;
  • work specifications, installation and space management;
  • architectural and engineering planning and design;
  • new construction and/or renovation;
  • maintenance and operations management;
  • telecommunications integration, security and general administrative services.

With so many variable responsibilities, the workday of a facility manager is anything but routine. Traditionally, managing a facility was only associated with operations and maintenance duties. Today, a vast array of responsibilities have come to be associated with the facility management profession, opening up opportunities for ambitious FMs who are on the cutting edge of this career's changing outlook.

Facility managers have witnessed an increase in their responsibilities for providing a safe and effective workplace for employees. For example, facility managers have instituted programs for better building air quality. Expanded knowledge of violence in the workplace has prompted facility managers to upgrade building security measures. The passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1991 has compelled facility managers to come up with innovative ways to make workspaces more accessible to people with disabilities.

What is IFMA?