The 2004 National Research Council report found that best-practice organizations all did the following (NRC, 2004a, p. 2):
• Establish a framework of procedures, required information, and valuation criteria that aligns the goals, objectives, and values of their individual decision-making and operating groups to achieve the organization’s overall mission; create an effective decision-making environment; and provide a basis for measuring and improving the outcomes of facilities investments. The components of the framework are understood and used by all leadership and management levels.
• Implement a systematic facilities asset management approach that allows for a broad-based understanding of the condition and functionality of their facilities portfolios—as distinct from their individual projects—in relation to their organizational missions. Best-practice organizations ensure that their facilities and infrastructure managers possess both the technical expertise and the fnancial analysis skills to implement a portfolio-based approach.
• Integrate facilities investment decisions into their organizational strategic planning processes. Best-practice organizations evaluate facilities investment proposals as mission enablers rather than solely as costs.
General Dynamics, IBM, and GM all follow those practices for managing their facilities. They also reported that they had been successful in obtaining adequate funding for their maintenance and repair programs. They attributed their success, in part, to a combination of strategies as follows:
• Facilities are closely aligned with the organization’s mission—excess or underutilized facilities are disposed of and space is proactively managed to minimize the total square footage in use.
• Maintenance and repair investments are linked to the organization’s product delivery or bottom line because failure to invest can result in fnancial harm to the organization and real or perceived harm to its capacity to perform.
• Investments are made to ensure compliance with regulatory or statutory requirements because failure to do so can result in legal and fnancial penalties.
• The work undertaken results in effcient operations, which result in lower operating costs that can be documented.
The private-sector representatives identifed a number of practices that are used by their organizations to ensure that maintenance and repair investments result in outcomes that are benefcial to the entire organization:
• Dispose of excess and underutilized facilities (buildings, structures, and infrastructure).
• Pursue a proactive strategy to minimize the total facilities “footprint.”