The Facilitator

Project Management for FMs

Paul J. Haley, IFMA NYC Chapter Communications Committee

Out of the many disciplines of Facilities Management (FM), I find Project Management (PM) to be the most professionally rewarding, challenging and fun simply because it comes in so many different forms. When most folks think PM in relationship to FM, they largely think construction projects (buildouts, renovations, etc.), and they are mostly correct in their assumptions. Construction plays a big part in the FM world. In my 20-year facilities career, I have successfully completed close to $40 million in construction, mostly occupied space buildout and renovations.

But there are so many other types of project management that makes the profession very intriguing to me. In fact, Facilities Management is mostly Project Management if you truly ponder over it. Almost everything you do is project driven in some way or form. And what keeps things even more interesting is that the projects are always changing up with each passing year. Yes, many aspects remain constant, essentially babysitting everyone involved in efforts to successfully complete the specific project on time and within budget, but what keeps things exciting and even refreshing is the many different types of projects you partake in.

During my current employment with Wolters Kluwer GRC, projects change every year in both type and scope. In 2017, due to an update in requirements, my focus was on updating company signage in a number of our national offices, working with local signage companies to implement corporate branding requirements and successfully installation. In 2018, I was under both an executive and corporate mandate to review the security systems in more than forty (40) national offices and to upgrade twelve (12) to meet the contractual obligations of one of our largest clients. This also gave me the opportunity to bring all these security systems up onto one, standardized platform with our international security vendor while also meeting corporate security requirements.

In 2019 and 2020, due a number of lease renewals and space expansions/contractions, I was/am currently upgrading a lot of office space around the country, from Sacramento, Calif., to Washington DC to Chicago to Clayton, Mo. I was involved in every step, from assisting the Corporate Real Estate Team in identifying space needs, support space and finalizing leases for each site to managing the various trades and expectations of Company Executives and employee end users.

It’s a lot of work, especially if more than one such project is underway, but it is fun and exciting to see an idea, even a business-driven “wish,” become a reality with all the progress and challenges along the way to a happy customer base (i.e., employees) receiving an exciting final, upgraded workspace to conduct their work! If your idea of a productive, rewarding career is juggling many project management balls at once, then Facilities Management is indeed your three-ring, fun circus.

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