Cold War, the 9/11 attacks, and other events, it is clear that facilities portfolios are no longer well aligned with current missions. Federal organizations (departments and agencies) have too many facilities, facilities in the wrong locations, and insufficient resources to operate and maintain them. The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process of the Department of Defense is the most visible and dramatic action taken to align facilities portfolios with missions. However, other federal organizations, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of State, are undertaking significant, if less visible, actions to realign their portfolios to suit current missions and geopolitical conditions.

Throughout the federal government, the ways in which federal organizations acquire, manage, invest in, and evaluate facilities are being transformed. This transformation requires a concurrent transformation in the core competencies—the essential areas of expertise and the skills base required of the workforce responsible for facilities management.


The profession of facilities management is changing rapidly and will continue to evolve through 2020 and beyond. Much of this change has occurred in parallel with the information technology revolution and with the increased expectations of facility owners and users for building performance and cost effectiveness.

Until the 1990s, most of the large public and private organizations that owned facilities managed them through an in-house building or engineering division, often led by a professional engineer. This in-house division typically focused on the tactical issues that arose in the day-to-day operation of individual buildings. An essential area of expertise was building systems operations—mechanical, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and safety—which required a workforce with technical skills. As new functions were assigned to the in-house facilities division—strategic planning, construction coordination, utility management, space planning, and project management, among others—the essential areas of expertise and the skills base required to discharge these responsibilities broadened to include financial management and business-related skills (Figure 1.1).

In the 1990s, private sector corporations began to “reengineer” their business processes and organizational structures to increase their profitability by becoming more competitive and significantly improving critical areas of performance such as quality, cost, delivery time, and customer service. Three underlying premises of reengineering were that the essential areas of expertise or core competencies of an organization should be limited to a few activities that are central to its current focus and future success; that because managerial time and resources are limited they should be focused on the organization’s core competencies; and that services or functions required by the organization that are not core competencies can be outsourced to organizations that specialize in those services. Ideally, by outsourc-

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