Tricks Of The Trade: Getting Up To Speed

By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the July/August 2014 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q I recently became the facility manager for my company, and I’m not sure where to begin. Is there a great guide to get me and my organization up to speed quickly?

Joe Reynolds
Facilities Manager
Applied Genomics Technology
San Jose, CA

All questions to Folsom have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” link.

AIf I were in your situation, I would as quickly as possible find out everything that is expected of your facility management organization. While networking with your peers and leadership, you need to write a paragraph on everything that is expected of you. Include a quality statement for each item such as responsiveness, end result, and follow-through.

If you network with a full cross section of your peers and leadership, you should have no less than a couple dozen paragraphs. This will give you a good start in identifying what is expected of you. In facility management, managing expectations and perceptions is of the utmost importance because you work in a fishbowl.

I would then strongly advise you join a facility management association: APPA for education; IFMA for general commercial; BOMA for high-rise management; ASHE for healthcare; etc. Attend one of the conferences as soon as possible. Attending at the national/international level is a good place to start; then drill down to local chapters. But if the wait for a national conference is too long, find a local meeting.

I have written a few times about this topic in this column, so you may want to read my past advice to other readers. You can browse this column online at