Archive for October 10, 2008

What is Facility Management?

Isn’t this a common question asked that we often being taken off-guard?

You never know when you may be asked by your CEO (in the lift), VIPs, Visitors, etc., when you are asked “Mr / Ms FM professional, what do you do in facility management? That is a question that may “make or break” your career with your organisation.

Here are two definitions of Facility Management by well-know professional bodies:

“the practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of the organisation” – International Facility Management Association, IFMA

“The integration of multi-disciplinary activities with the built environment ad the management of their impact upon the people and the workplace.” – British Institute of Facilities Management, BIFM

Which is right / wrong? Take what is useful. Personally, I would suggest that as FM practitioners we need to have a tag-line handy to answer that question “what do you do in FM” within 1minute statement. Something proactive as a “profit centre” rather as a reactive, “cost centre”, simple and clear. Agree? 


Reactive answers will be: “I fix problems” or “when something breaks I make it run again”.

Proactive anwers will be: “We keep facilities operating at peak performance” or “We add-value to company by ensuring the facilities operating effectively and at peak efficiency”.

I leant the need to be ready with answers when asked that “ever green / ice-breaker” question especially when I was presenting at Shangri-La Hotel, early this year, for the launch of Diploma course in Resort Facilities Service and Management by Singapore Polytechnic.


Just before my speech, that was my nervous point, I was introduced to Media Corp Radio. You know what it does, broadcasting over radio! Sure enough, later that afternoon, I received a call for permission to broadcast. Listen by clicking this link facility-management1 . Not only that, I received call that my comments will be published in the “Today’s” newspaper. Click on to the link to see today-newspaper . Was I nervous? Sure I was, very. Can I turn down the interview? Yes BUT I took that as an opportunity to “preach” FM.

Fellow FM practitioners, I not writing this to impress you impress upon you the need to be ready with a proactive answer when asked “What do you do in facility management”?

Drop me a not to share your opinions, comments and what you like me to share with our fellow FM practitioners. This is a junction dedicated for FM and its professionals.

To Your Success!

Steven Ee



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Singapore 159836
Phone: (65) 6100 3672