The Role of Project Management for Successful Facilities Maintenance

During project management, your facilities team members will face changing work conditions, the need for proactive safety measures, and more. Unfortunately, new projects add risks for established businesses. Failure to consider the various factors affecting successful facilities maintenance throughout the duration of the project will lead to its potential demise. Furthermore, facility managers that wish to stay successful need to understand how project management helps overcome the challenges of poor facilities maintenance, the benefits of project management throughout all operations and a few best practices for improving maintenance strategy.

Challenges of Haphazard Facilities Maintenance

The challenges of poor facilities maintenance throughout the project are significant. As explained by Dan Hounsell of FacilitiesNet, top challenges in successful facilities maintenance include:

  • An inability to understand deliverables between the stakeholders in different parts of the organization.
  • Poor planning of the project scope and estimations of the budget.
  • The lackluster planning of maintenance, relying on a run until it breaks mindset. 
  • Failure to recognize the warning signs of potential asset failures.
  • Inability to access labor and material resources to complete repairs that arise.
  • Failure to properly plan for contingency work, including work that comes up throughout the duration of the project and was not previously marked for completion.
  • The incorrect project management team may not truly understand the need for consistency and clear communication.

Benefits of Project Management in Maintenance

Taking a proactive approach throughout project management for successful facilities maintenance can yield substantial results. Instead of relying on an assumption, the modern facility manager can leverage advanced analytics and best-in-class tools to understand the variances in all projects and approach facilities maintenance from the project management standpoint. The leading benefits of project management in maintenance strategies include:

  • Increased adherence to the project budget, such as the maintenance budget for every commission or retrofit.
  • Fewer opportunities for scope creep, resulting from unforeseen issues that arise in the course of the project.
  • Clear, consistent communications that ensure all project team members, as well as stakeholders, stay informed of changes within the project and overall improvements to the facility.

Best Project Management Practices for Facilities Maintenance

There are countless tips and advice columns available on the Internet to describe ways to improve facilities management projects, including maintenance. However, effective and successful facilities maintenance strategies revolve around core fundamentals, including the work breakdown structure and the project schedule. Instead of relying on the best guess, facility managers must tap the value of analytics to understand what happened, what could happen, and what actions are necessary to achieve the best result possible. In other words, the work breakdown and structure must be achievable, creating a clear, cut set of priorities for your team. Moreover, the project management schedule should consider the impact of both internal and external influences. This is part of basic risk management, and proactive risk management will include some wiggle room to address unforeseen issues.

Unlock Successful Facilities Maintenance With Proactive Project Management

Successful facilities maintenance means understanding what might happen in the pursuit of a desirable outcome. Fortunately, modern facilities management has evolved to include computerized maintenance management systems, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, risk management platforms, and much more technology to streamline the process. Facility managers need to understand the challenges of traditional maintenance strategies, including the assumption that running it until it breaks is not the best course of action. Only by understanding the top challenges can facility managers seek to reap the benefits of project management and successful facilities maintenance and create a flexible, achievable project schedule.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb