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6th November 2012 FM Network event on Sustainability Issues

Event 5: Thursday 1 November 2012 - University of Bradford

The latest event of the Public Sector FM Network focused on sustainability – a great opportunity to take stock of where the public sector is  in terms of the sustainability agenda and to explore what’s looming on the horizon. The day covered a raft of issues, from planning for energy shortages, looking at the business benefits of travel plans, and exploring Scope 3 emission regulations to a critical look at return on investment for greening energy. Click here to see the photos.

All in all, the impression was that the sector has moved on – sustainability issues are now firmly established on the business planning agenda. The University of Bradford was a worthy host for this event – it has delivered pioneering work over the past decade, and the day culminated in site visits to its latest projects, the award-winning hall of residence “The Green” as well as a building made of hemp! A group of delegates donned yellow jackets and hard hats and climbed the scaffolding to see the building in the making. A fascinating visit! To see the photos from the site visit please click here.

It was also very encouraging to hear of another ‘Network success’ – following our last sustainability event in 2011, the University of Leeds developed its “University Residences Environment Charter’, a whole system to make its halls of residences more sustainable, covering all aspects of accommodation management, from procurement to maintenance, catering to student involvement (students are encouraged to become “green reps”).

The charter can be downloaded at

For further information about this exemplary project, contact Mike Leonard, Residential Property Manager, on

8th October 2012 Public Sector FM Network – Annual Conference 2012

12-13 September 2012 – Sheffield Business School

We're in this Together: Delivering FM Services to the Public
Sixth annual conference of the Centre for Facilities Management Development, in partnership with Sheffield Joint Asset Management Board

Inspiring, thought-provoking and extremely interesting were all words used to describe the Centre for Facilities Management Development's annual conference, which was held at Sheffield Business School on 12 and 13 September.

The conference brought together Facilities Management (FM) public sector professionals from around the UK to discuss and debate the key issues and challenges facing the FM sector, and was characterised by enthusiasm, exploration and optimism.

Chaired by facilities management expert Iain Murray, whose own enthusiasm encouraged some lively debate with the audience, speakers and panel, the conference got off to a great start with one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs, Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, taking the stage as the first keynote speaker.

Lord Mawson discussed new ways of providing services to the public and drew on his own experiences in renovation and partnership building, including his involvement with the recent Olympic Park Legacy Company.

Arguing that the way to solve a macro problem is by working through smaller micro problems, Lord Mawson explained that the ‘devil is in the detail’ and advised that working out the smaller issues within bigger problems will help determine the way forward.

He concluded his presentation with six pieces of advice proven to help facilities management work:

1. people are needed to define the process/structure of an action;
2. everything is in the detail;
3. it's about teams not committees;
4. teams should have a clear narrative;
5. learn by doing to find out what works;
6. be realistic with time when considering procurement.

The conference also boasted a host of other professional speakers, who offered a range of insightful discussions around the current issues facing the FM sector, as well as proposing their potential solutions.

Mark Swales, Sheffield Hallam University’s Director of Estates and Facilities, delivered a presentation on the potential to integrate all aspects of work style, thus creating cohesion between people, the workplace, technology and work processes.

The goal? To inspire improved relationships to enable collaboration and co-ownership of these work style elements, rather than mere co-existence.

Chris Kehoe, UK Group Executive Director for EMCOR, gave an interesting talk on the collaborative approach to facilities management, stating that common decisions and mutual trust are needed by all the parties involved to achieve excellent outcomes.

Following Chris, Stephen Jacobs OBE talked about providing services to the public by using the voluntary sector, considering the benefits such as more social value, increased jobs and more opportunities for flexibility in delivery.

Ilfryn (If) Price, Professor of Facilities Management at Sheffield Business School and one of the pioneers of facilities management, chaired a session of case studies with a panel discussion. If also took the opportunity to launch his new book, 'Managing Organizational Ecologies: Space, Management and Organization', which he co-edited with Keith Alexander.

If argued that facilities management engages with the narratives of social settings, and that assets and space can help to become enablers and drivers. He explained that the book brings together all the principles around the way that facilities management should be taught, with a view to educating the next generation of facilities professionals.

The conference was attended by more than 100 delegates from a variety of organisations and sectors, including universities, city councils, NHS trusts and facility services companies.

Fides Matzdorf, organiser of the event, said: "The conference gave attendees the chance to debate and discover different ways of providing services to the public sector, whether it is a hospital, a local government organisation, or another public sector institution.

“We're delighted at how well the conference was received, and the excellent feedback we've had from the delegates confirms that we achieved our aims.”

The conference also welcomed its guests to a conference dinner in Hallam View, and provided opportunities for site visits to Sheffield Hallam University's award-nominated Business Engagement Centre and to the city centre's successful developments, the Peace Garden, Winter Garden and Millennium Galleries.  Click here to see some of the conference photos.

12th July 2012 Summary of Estates and Space Workshop

Public Sector FM Network manager, Fides Matzdorf summarizes the second workshop for the current Network year.  The event was held on 27th June 2012 at University College London. The focus of the day was Estates and space - so what's new?

The latest workshop of the public sector FM network offered another day of information, inspiration and new impressions. Feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive, as the sessions offered insights on all areas of the public sector.

In the introduction to the day, Alec Gray, our host for the day, offered a glimpse of UCL's master plan, which does not only set out the strategy for UCL's estate over the next years, but also questions assumptions underlying current space use and the status quo.

In his case study on Staffordshire County Council's public services property review, Jamie MacDonald shared some of the underlying issues. For example, when it comes to sharing resources and thereby sharing benefits, it needs to be clear who gets which share. Another important issue in partnership working is good, clear, detailed management information - without this, it is impossible to work. If space utilisation is to improve, agile working is an indispensable tool. Jamie put some very useful items on the 'to-do list':

• when planning for property, look beyond just property.
• It is vital to understand the services that are delivered: a customer-facing 9-to-5 service requires different accommodation from a back office paperwork service that can happen any time anywhere.
• Using pilot projects is an excellent way to get high-level support as well as staff buy-in, examples of good practice and better understanding of needs and requirements.
• Consultation and change management are absolutely indispensable for getting people on your side.

In his afternoon discussion session, Jamie explained further details and answered questions about partnership working involving several public sector organisations.

Tom Harris' report on space-based budgeting contain no surprises, but offered an excellent underpinning of what we know. He identified five critical success factors:

1. Building an asset management profession
2. Joining up corporate services into an integrated, seamless support structure
3. Working better with the private sector, understanding contractors better and developing models of joint ownership
4. Transforming data collection and use, with better data allowing better predictions.
5. Building an integrated, collaborative strategy, including a sensible balance between central and localised control.

Naomi Chesterman and Michelle Bendall unpicked legal issues around leases, brakes and payments, e-disclosure, subletting and assigning issues, dilapidations and vacant possession. Some of these issues were discussed in more depth in their afternoon session. They also provided a very comprehensive handout, with a sample of a service charge code and two free questionnaires on electronic documents disclosure. (You can download this handout from our members-only section.) Beyond this workshop, they also offer free legal training for Network members -- so do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to take this up! You can contact Naomi by e-mail on

A site visit to Central St Martins College of Art and Design's new campus development at King's Cross with a guided tour of the premises rounded the day off. An old warehouse, lovingly restored with modern facilities and offering plenty of flexibility for a range of different uses, made for a fascinating experience before we all rushed off for our trains home!

As usual, all presentations as well as the recordings of the speaker sessions are available in the members-only section.

1st June 2012 Summary of Multi-agency working and shared services Workshop

Public Sector FM Network manager, Liz Clark summarizes the first workshop for the Year 2012-2013
The event was held on held on 22nd May 2012 at York St John University.  The focus of the day was Multi-agency working and shared services: the way forward?

Steve Atkinson, Chief Executive at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council started the day giving his personal view on the key factors that make shared services successful.  The council has partners in and outside local government and within and outside the County of Leicestershire.  He pointed out that shared services are not about sharing Chief Executives, Directors or managers; what is needed is a fundamental change in the way the services are delivered, without this transformation nothing will be achieved.  The new shared service needs to be effective i.e. "does what it says on the tin" as well as delivering better value.  It also needs to be what the citizen wants; its no good having a shared service that moves from a weekly bin collection to a 2 weekly service which will be cheaper but not what the citizen wants.


Any shared service arrangement needs to be lead from the Chief Executive.  He/she can make people who don’t want to work together, work together.  A major barrier can be Directors/Managers not wanting to give up their echelons of power.  It must also have a lead organisation, this can be for each service not necessarily for the whole shared service arrangement, but too much delegation can harm the project, there needs to be accountability.  Organisations but have the desire, will and know what they want to get out of shared services for it to succeed.  They must identify and go after shared benefits; it will not work unless all partners have something to gain from the sharing of services.


Steve finished with the message that shared services has been, is and will continue to be of benefit to citizens and is therefore the way forward.  In addition, he believes Local Government is the most efficient part of Government and sees the opportunity for Local Government to take on some of the functions of central Government e.g. the Department of Work and Pensions.


York presentations


The second session was a series of presentations from York St John University, York City Council and Higher York.  All these organisations are working together and with others in a variety of different shared service arrangements.  One of the key messages coming from these presentations is that York is an "island" i.e. it’s a small, clearly defined city i.e. it doesn't merge into other cities.  All speakers believed this greatly enables them to work together as they are all geographically close to each other and know each other well.  Whilst this closeness may facilitate sharing services it is not necessarily a barrier for other areas and organisations.  For example, Hinckley and Bosworth Council work with organisations both within and outside Leicestershire.


York St John University recognises that it has to work with its neighbouring public sector organisations as it is not a large university and needs the benefits of sharing services.  For example it has worked with York NHS Trust, looking at areas it is good at and areas that the Trust is good at and how by sharing interests they can help each other out.  Areas where they have worked together include accommodation; the hospital had accommodation that was not economic to repair so the university now provides accommodation for the hospital - on-call doctors, student nurses they do not go to the hospital.  The University also provides some library services for the hospital.  This enabled the hospital to free up some space and the University gained information on sports and other medical related topics.  The University is also leasing some office space to the hospital.


The University is part of a joint scheme initiated by AMHEC and Guild HE to help smaller institutions with the provision of legal services.  The University is too small to have its own legal section and therefore has to buy-in legal services; this joint scheme provides members with a pool of legal experts that members can draw upon.


The City of York Council is now looking after the University's vehicles.  This means that now, unlike in the past, fleet is legally compliant and all vehicles get serviced and looked after.


Philip Callow from City of York Council informed delegates about the York Asset Board.  This has been in operation since 2010 and has members from the public and community/voluntary sectors only, private sector is not included.  Its purpose is to enable an integrated approach to asset management by working in partnership.  Its focus is outcomes rather than strategy "you can talk about strategy forever and nothing happens".  Its approach is to work on projects.  The first one was a mapping exercise which has proved very successful.  Unlike most mapping exercises carried out it also includes the community/voluntary sector property which makes it far more extensive.  They are now in the second phase of collecting data on the properties - tenure, condition, suitability/accessibility, capacity for sharing/re-using.  They are doing this at a simple level and rather than getting bogged down with systems and formats have just said to members give us what you have and we will do the rest. 


The new football/rugby stadium is a project that is being delivered through the Asset Board and has just received planning approval.  It will provide a stadium for the football and rugby teams along with other organisations such as York University sharing the space.  The Council is moving into new office accommodation at the end of this year and will be sharing the space with other organisations.  They will be housing the Police National Computer come with its steel casing and there will be a police presence in the building although it cannot be used as a police station because they cannot provide the 24 hour access that would be required.  Some elderly person homes have been identified a surplus to requirement and these are being transformed into a voluntary sector hub.  The advantages of the York Asset Board are that when surplus property becomes identified it can be taken to the Board straight away to see if a new use can be made of that space by other member(s) of the Board.


Higher York is a partnership arrangement between universities and colleges within the York area.  It has links to the Asset Board but its focus is what it can do with partners and has a team of 3.5 FTEs working for it.  It was established in 2001 originally looking a joint curriculum development activities etc., it has only recently looked at properties.   The majority of its discussions have been linked to procurement e.g. looked at Health and Safety training and sharing expertise giving access to some full cost provision by colleges at a reduced fee or bought in provision by the universities can be accessed by other members.  They are now looking at linking in with other organisations such as the NHS or other members of York Asset Board.


One of the key benefits from the York projects are that members can get access to services that they would otherwise not be able to afford because their organisation is too small to be able to afford to employ dedicated staff or do not need to have a dedicated person/team to look after that service but through the partnership arrangement they gain access to the expertise they need when they need it.


Tim Wiseman from Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust was the final speaker of the morning and talked about the creation of a Clinic Services administration hub that has been established in Liverpool and that others will follow so they will have a series of hubs across the City.  Prior to the project the administration space was on 40% occupied and spread around numerous locations which all had their own reception area, circulation space etc.  Each member of staff had their own workspace regardless of the hours they worked. People now have the freedom decide where they work.  There was a fear that this freedom would have a detrimental effect on the "team" so they make sure people come into the office at least one day a week and are not remote workers 5 days a week.  People now have better working space there is always a workspace and the technology required when an individual needs it.   They also find that people work more efficiently when they are actually in the office.  They have also made sure that computers have webcams so people can speak face to face even if they are in different buildings.


In the afternoon, feedback was presented on some of the case studies CFMD is investigating for the Better Practice research projects.  Helen Helllaby informed delegates about the Health and Welling Centre at Rotherham NHS Trust.  This is a new facility designed to support new ways of working and improve services for members of staff who visit the centre.  The old service did not support new ways of working and was not fit for purpose but the new Centre has been carefully designed by the Facilities department in consultation with the old Occupational Health team to ensure it is fit for purpose and has greatly improved privacy, dignity and confidentiality for those using the service.  The


Fides Matzdorf talked about the York Multi-agency working case study.  There are a diverse number of organisations involved in the project, from large complex organisations (e.g. the council, universities) to small, probably much more centralised ones (e.g. colleges).  Each of these organisations has different agendas & objectives, different processes (i.e. procurements, maintenance), different sizes & timescales for contracts, etc.  There are numerous issues around the stakeholders' involvement, including communication (both internally and between collaborating partners), involvement of SHs at strategic and operational level, senior management backing and project champions, staff buy-in, the complexity of large organisations (different departments may be involved), small organisations may feel unheard or out of their depth, marginalised or at risk of being ‘taken over’.  The role of FM is quite diverse depending on size, power and leverage of the organisations.   Some of the critical success factors included:  Building on established relationships where they exist; Having a champion in each organisation; Agreeing level of confidentiality; ‘Quick wins‘ to build confidence; SMART objectives (e.g. asset mapping) and achievable project stages.  Some of the key challenges included: agendas; organisational culture & conventions; ‘protecting your turf’; and of course staff worrying about their jobs!

A written report of the outcome of the above case studies will be available for the members shortly once it has the approval of the relevant organisations.

Liz Clark had a poster presentation on the findings of the Staff Satisfaction/Importance survey.  To see the poster please click here.


During the afternoon session, there were opportunities for the participants to go on a tour of the York St John University sites.


In general the feedback from the workshop was very positive and some of the comments from the participants included:


  • Steve Atkinson was very inspiring - good event
  • A very useful event – enjoyed all presentation
  • It was a good workshop
  • Enjoyed the more off the cuff presentation from Tim
  • Another good day, thank you

7th March 2012 The TSK Business Engagement Centre

Ian Ellison - CFMD

Report from CFMD Ian Ellison, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader on the TSK BEC (Business Engagement Centre) at the Sheffield Business School.


The TSK Business Engagement Centre at the Sheffield Business School recently opened its doors. It is an exciting new space in which staff, students, clients and partners of the business school can interact and work together in a physical representation of our ‘business school without walls’. The BEC is part of an ongoing journey to provide high-quality space that facilitates personal engagement across the business school. This journey constitutes a living research project that will create an iconic home for us, as well as an innovative showcase within our Stoddart building in the city centre.


The BEC our aim of partnership working. In this case, our partner is the TSK Group, a specialist workplace design, fit-out and furnishing company. Their expertise in understanding the way people work and using that understanding to translate business strategy into fully optimised workplaces, is combined with that of the Centre for Facilities Management Development in conceiving, designing and implementing a space that is more efficient, productive, greener and better for business.

We believe this partnership will deliver significant advantages for our business school community by helping people to discover and implement better ways of working together. The business school wants to improve its offer to existing business clients and its impression on new ones. TSK and CFMD want to showcase their combined expertise in conceiving, designing and implementing spaces that are actually better for business, and cheaper and greener than anything else in the higher education sector.


The core idea is that nobody’s job is totally tied to one fixed location. Some are less mobile than others and they have larger desks. Everyone has access to different work and social settings. Some are designed for concentrating and reflecting or writing. Others are designed for meetings of various kinds, including the informal and social. There is a wealth of research that suggests that ‘open-plans’ do work when they allow individuals the right balance of interaction and concentration. This type of space works if we are proactive, autonomous and respect the differing needs of our colleagues around us. Also, the TSK BEC is a collective SBS resource. The bookable and non-bookable meeting spaces are there for collaborative activities large and small.


Furthermore, there is a pay off. The extra shared space has become available because the space dedicated to individuals, and especially individual offices has been dramatically reduced. This kind of workspace concept focuses on genuine business and user needs, where any savings or efficiencies are transposed for higher-quality shared facilities. Finally, the space is a living research project. How do such concepts work in higher education? What is their impact? CFMD and TSK will be monitoring its performance from both business and academic research perspectives.

The TSK Business Engagement Centre will be commercially launched on March 15 at an exclusive workspace focussed 'Knowledge Exchange' event. If you would like to attend, please download the full event invitation and follow the enclosed joining instructions:

You Tube video link:

15th February 2012 CiB Conference 2012 - The University of Cape Town

Professor If Price - CFMD


Report from CFMD Professor If Price, key note speaker at CIB (the initials originally stood for Conseil International du Bâtiment) Conference held at the University of Cape Town, 22-25 January 2012.


Please click below to read If's report.



1st February 2012 Implementing change in relation to facilities management

CFMD Senior Lecturer, Mel Bull, produces chapter with Tim Brown (past MBA student) on implementing change in relation to facilities management in Edward Finch’s new book on Facilities Change Management.


Implementing Change Chapter synopsis

"My building would be great if it wasn't for the people!" Facilities management, however, is very much about people, and this can sometimes be forgotten. Facilities Management is the enabler for any organisation, and there is a need to engage with the end users to ensure the service we are offering allows them to carry out their day to day business.  When we start to disrupt this service, even if it is actually for the better, it can still be a very emotive subject.


This chapter will address the issues that surround the implementation stage of change projects, from an FM perspective considering the communications issues of move management, the practical issues involved and methods to minimise the disruption associated with a move.  It draws on a practical case study example to illustrate the facets of communication in move management. The issues arising from changes to working environments can be hard for facilities management staff to engage with.  There is very often an approach that "it just has to be done" and this results in a lack of engagement and communication from the facilities management staff to the end users (Donald, 1994; La Framboise et al 2002; Price and Fortune, 2008).


 There is existing literature in relation to importance of change communication and how the lack of a communication strategy can impact on the satisfaction and engagement of staff in the long term, but little is written about this from a facilities management perspective.  Included within the chapter is a case study based on research in a blue chip organization that focused on staff satisfaction following a change to working practice and also on the communications method used.  Alongside the issue of communication the chapter also considers the politics of move management, how to engage staff so they are fully participatory in the move, building the right project team and how to evaluate the communication strategy used and the overall satisfaction of the staff post move.

Facilities Change Management Book synopsis

Modern organisations are subject to continual change – technologies evolve, organisational structures are modified, people and underlying cultures are transformed. Yet the facilities that organisations occupy are static and can impede the changes that are essential to organisational survival. The response to change in terms of property and support services is often too little too late – leading to facilities that do not support organisational reality. The facilities management team is thus constantly challenged to bridge the gap between what an organisation has and what it needs.

Facilities Change Management is a practical evaluation of the management of change for facilities managers and related professions. It considers:

• the forces of change affecting facilities decisions
• the obstacles to change at a resource level and human level
• the effective implementation of change
• the human aspect of change

Each of these is considered in relation to modern facilities management issues. The discussion will enable practising facilities managers, project managers, surveyors, service providers and architects to understand, engage with and manage facilities change effectively at a strategic level. Through real–life case studies it demonstrates the complexities of change and hidden elements of change that may undermine carefully planned projects.

For more information visit:

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