You need a migration strategy to get from here to there. If the organizational goals are objectively measurably defined and translated into required learn/work environment performance, this increases opportunities and limits risks.
The learn/work environment is a tangible way shower to help people see the migration path and imagine a revolutionary alternative to the intangible organizational system that’s around them. The way to get there, though, is one step at a time. A Real Estate GPS helps in navigating to find your own path in this migration process.
For suitable and inspiring accommodation, clarity is needed about the primary process and the instructions about what is required to contribute to the achievement of the organizational goals must be congruent. The adages “If you can measure, you can manage” and “Measure what matters so we can achieve what matters” also apply to a learn/work environment. If you want to provide customization for the dynamic accommodation need, you must first take the measure.
Accommodation is a catalyst for people’s performance and thus has a strategic impact. A holistic vision is important here, in which a conductor ensures that the various components of the learn/work environment are coordinated in such a way that they optimally facilitate the most important capital of an organization, the employee. The conductor regularly conducts performance interviews (objective audits and subjective opinion surveys) about the learn/work environment.
This can be clearly illustrated by means of a tree. The mix of 5P goals (Profit, People, Planet, Prosperity and Purpose) that an organization strives for are symbolized by the fruits that the tree must bear. Through the roots, a tree gets its minerals and nutrients from the groundwater and through the sap flow these are brought to the branches and leaves to grow the fruits together with sunlight.
In this metaphor, the roots represent the secondary processes ICT, Building Management (CREM), FM Services and FM Resources. The juice flow represents the employees (Human Resources). It is not only about the integral cooperation of Building Management, FM and ICT, but also about the coordination with the working methods of the employees in the primary process. Without juice flow, the balanced nutrients still do not reach their destination and, in the best case, a sub-optimal learning / working environment is created.
A Real Estate General Performance Survey® (Real Estate GPS) is a feedback loop that creates clarity and helps navigate. It provides a CREM / FM and ICT department with tools to allow their services to contribute integrally and visibly to the organizational goals. It offers the HRM department the opportunity to play a greater role in shaping the social learn/work environment and the use of the physical and digital learn/work environment for more influence on culture and change management decisions. It helps to match brand experience with employee experience to attract and retain talented employees. It makes correlations between work environment, productivity, job satisfaction, engagement and absenteeism of employees transparent.
“An integrated approach of the physical, digital and social work environment is a ‘power house’, you can literally transform your business with an integrated work environment.” (René P.M. Stevens)
A Value Adding Management Model for efficiency improvement by reducing or increasing direct and indirect costs and benefits respectively. The relationship between financial and non-financial targets is made explicit. The coherence of the most important modules of RE-GPS is also discussed: the Strategic Alignment Matrix, the Real Estate Dupont Analysis and the Real Estate Norm methodology. All consultancy models are based on experiences from daily practice.
A Real Estate GPS system facilitates periodic navigation on the Strategic Accommodation Roadmap. It is a methodical way to map out future frictions in the quantitative and qualitative accommodation situation based on organizational policy. This involves looking at the current accommodation (now), the future availability of it with unchanged policy (later) and the future needs (desired). A confrontation between these parameters provides insight into possible (strategic) frictions with regard to target levels and gives direction to the necessary (preventive) interventions to prevent or reduce the frictions. In this way, the learn/work environment remains aligned with the organizational strategy and current spearheads.
A Strategic Accommodation Roadmap supports navigation between cost control and value creation. It provides robust and comprehensible measurement data to substantiate business cases, budget requests and the degree of being in control. As a result, accommodation (Real Estate, Facilities and ICT), in every phase of its life cycle, remains dynamically and pro-actively aligned with the heartbeat of the organization and its people (alignment). Accommodation as a ‘pacemaker’ that supports the organization to continue to pulse in a normal and healthy rhythm.
In a rapidly changing economic environment, the organizational strategy is frequently subject to adjustment. This makes early navigation, instead of managing and controlling, increasingly important to keep in touch with developments. The Strategic Accommodation Roadmap and RE-GPS help to approach the accommodation assignment integrally and to maintain a dialogue with each other in order to gain new insights with regard to the assignment, for example through changes in the primary process, technological possibilities or external developments offer. It supports the transformation of approaching the learn/work environment from mainly costs to also creating value for the organization.
The Real Estate GPS system is a cyclical quality assurance system (based on ISO 41001) with which the performance of the learn/work environment can be tailored to the organizational strategy, continuously monitored, safeguarded and improved within the given policy frameworks.
The central question here is: “Is the accommodation adequate and in control?” This question can be divided into five cyclical sub-questions:
- What is the strategy of the organization and the vision of the required and desired performance of the accommodation?
- How does the organization want to realize this strategy?
- How does the organization measure the extent to which this strategy is being realized?
- How is the organization working on improvement?
- Who is responsible for what and has what powers?
The two elementary analyzes (objective audits) for quality assurance are:
- 1) Fact analysis – Are we doing the right things? (Effective / efficient) and we are in control.
- 2) Potential analysis – Are we doing those things the right way? (Efficient / effective)
An additional third analysis is:
- 3) Satisfaction analysis (subjective opinion survey) – Are the users (employees, students) of the accommodation satisfied and motivated by the learn/work environment? (Engagement) How do they perceive the contribution of the environment to their productivity, study yield?
Success is virtually assured when goals are formulated as concretely and objectively as possible, are prioritized and (improvement) plans are drawn up in such a way that there is no doubt about how the plan should be implemented. Indicating in advance how the performance of the learn/work environment is evaluated contributes to creating a feedback loop. This transparent way of working prevents an ad hoc approach, in which goals and criteria are constantly shifting and it is not possible to determine afterwards whether the intended results have been achieved. It also makes periodic reassessment possible, so that the focus remains on the set (current) goals instead of just reporting on the past. It also helps in an exploration of the degree of future resilience.
Real Estate GPS offers, through smart systematic data collection based on the eight constraints of a project, Scope, Time, Resources, Experience, Risk, Information, Cost, Quality (STRERICQ), an outline ‘job profile’ for a periodic 360° about the learn/work environment.
Comparing multiple datasets reveals relationships that were previously hidden. This means that decision-making no longer has to be based on gut feeling and suspicions alone. There can be conversations that might not take place without these facts and data. It can then also serve for the governance of the real estate portfolio, consultation with internal users and external suppliers, as input for a accommodation section in the financial statements, substantiation of the annual budget and as a Human Capital instrument.
“Don’t measure to prove; measure to improve.”
On the basis of a nine-step plan, the accommodation is made (more) congruent with the organizational strategy. It creates perspectives from vision and strategy and links these to insights. The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle is integrated into the step-by-step plan for continuous improvement of processes based on objective measurements.
The RE-GPS model is helpful in identifying organizational developments and user questions with consequences for the learn/work environment in a timely manner. As Deming put it, “A price is meaningless without an adequate measure of quality”. Its simplicity also makes it accessible to non-facility / real estate experts.
Ask the right questions in advance so that it is clear what is being decided and what the possible (long-term) consequences are. In many cases, accommodation is a solid policy with a lifespan of at least 40 years, which is not that easy to liquify again.
Real Estate GPS helps answer questions such as:
- How do you coordinate with stakeholders, in a transparent and proactive manner, capacity and specifications of the accommodation with the organizational strategy (requirements / design / strategic accommodation roadmap)?
- How do you integrate real estate, facilities and IT assets into a coherent learn/work environment (cross functional integration – the whole is more than the sum of its parts)?
- After delivery, how do you keep the accommodation aligned with the dynamic strategy so that it remains adequate for the primary process (periodic 360° evaluation)?
- How do you involve the management team and the users in the coordination and the whole (requirements / design and evaluations) being future proof?
- What does a (periodic) evaluation of the created accommodation consist of to improve and safeguard specifications?
- How do you coordinate the management of accommodation risks with the organization’s approach to risk management?
- How do you enrich the input for quarterly reports, the annual budget and the annual report with qualitative data, in addition to the quantitative data?
See also the interview in the Dutch article ‘Creating added value with accommodation: a holistic method’ in F-Facts Magazine.