|Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. Program management is the process of managing several related projects, often with the intention of improving an organization’s performance.
While these are unique disciplines, they are closely related within Facility Management (FM). It is not unusual for a company, or property, to have multiple projects occurring simultaneously, requiring the Facility Manager to be both Project and Program Manager. An experienced Facility Manager should possess good project management skills, and be able to accommodate a reasonable level of project and program management workload.
Within the project management domain, typical projects might include;
- Interior Renovations: this may involve a simple furniture reconfiguration to accommodate growth, or a complete refresh of a space to give it a new look and feel.
- Building Systems Replacement: as building systems reach their end-of-life, replacement or upgrades are typically required. Since the business needs to continue operating, the replacement project must plan for minimal business disruption during the process.
- Exterior Renovations: this may involve efforts such as roof replacements, repairs or upgrades to the building envelop, or parking lot replacements. Like the building systems example, the business needs to continue operation during the process.
Within the program management domain, typical examples might include;
- Design Requirements & Standards: when certain types of projects occur on a frequent basis, it is desirable to have documentation specifying design requirements that meet the company’s aesthetic or performance requirements.
- Capital Project Planning & Execution: facility projects and Capital projects are almost always synonymous. Most projects occurring within a facility will involve capital funding and touch capital assets. Capital project planning requires the Facility Manager understand the company’s financial processes and capitalization rules in order to appropriately estimate the costs categories for a given project.
- Real Estate Program/Life Cycle Planning: beyond basic asset capital planning, real estate program (or life cycle) planning requires an in-depth understanding of the company’s strategic plans followed by analysis of lease terms, market trends, staffing plans and capital plans to explore program alternatives spanning a three to ten-year planning horizon.