In the busy jobs that we have, it's necessary and important to sit down and evaluate your work every now and then. Not running around like a fire fighter for a minute but taking a close and critical look at how your department is doing today. That's exactly what a baseline measurement does. It's a structured analysis that includes evaluations of processes, the team, performance, to name a few. So, let's explain more about this. Will you join me? Take a cup of coffee, sit down and let's go over all things baseline measurements in Facilities management.
A baseline measurement is actually a picture of any given situation at some point of time. This means that it isn't evergreen, it's just about that moment. And that's good, because this picture gives us many insights in our current situation. How well is the department structured for example? Do you have the right people in your team? Are you focusing on the right goals? These kinds of questions are key when performing a baseline measurement. But before we deep dive into actually doing this baseline measurement, it's really important to first understand why we should do this baseline measurement. How will it actually help us?
In the end, we as facility managers are there to make sure that the core organization is able to perform as optimal as possible. How do we know if we are supporting them as optimal as possible? Well, of course customer satisfaction rates are very useful for this for example. It helps us to know where opportunities for improvement are. But, that's not it. Are there opportunities for improvement in our processes? Are the right people in the right spot? And do we actually match with the core business when it comes to our mission and strategy?
A baseline measurement is a structured guide to help you to answer these questions and as a follow-up, to help you make the right choices. The outcome of a baseline measurement is not a goal on its own but with the outcome you are able to:
1.Identify your department's current status
This means that you know what opportunities for improvement are there. But don't forget that you can also see the areas where you already rock the place!
2. (Re)focus on the right things
Because of the baseline measurement, you will have a clear overview of growth potential and opportunities for improvement in your department. This will make it a lot easier to focus on the right elements. A baseline measurement does not only take a deep-dive in your department but will also evaluate the alignment with the core business as a key factor. Again, it makes it easier to focus on the right things.
3. Create a long-term vision instead of short-term
With the outcome of the baseline measurement, you are able to make decisions for the long-term. Not just firefighting and running around like crazy but make a real long-term plan for your department as to your ambitions for the 5-10 years and make a real action plan to achieve this.
4. Pick and choose the right partners to match your department's ambitions
Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses in the department are will also help you to pick the right partner. For example, if you are looking for a new supplier in cleaning and with of the baseline measurement you found out that hospitality is something you have to put more focus on for your customers, then it's a win-win to find a cleaning supplier that fully focuses on hospitality in their services.
5. Benchmark yourself with other facility departments
This is one of my favorite outcomes of a baseline measurement! Benchmarking is something is something we luckily see more and more in facilities management. Benchmarking your department will help you to see how you're doing compared to other facilities departments in the same field of play. For example, if you are a facilities manager in a hospital, it could be very interesting to see how another FM department in a hospital is structured. This will help you to see opportunities, give you new ideas from outside the box and a lot of inspiration!
6. Make decisions based on data instead of gut feeling
And last but not least, a baseline measurement will help you gaining data insights of the department. Not only focusing on your gut feeling (I know, we all do this sometimes), but the baseline measurement pushes you to get the data straight about performance for example or about your customer. And with having this data, you are able to make the right decisions.
All in all, in my opinion a baseline measurement is a tool that every facilities manager should use now and then to make sure you keep on track. Time to get back to work, only focusing on the right things from now on though 😉