Tricks Of The Trade: Fms Get No Respect!

By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the February 2009 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q Why aren’t facilities managers given the proper recognition that is due them?

Innocent Okhumai
Facilities Manager
Ghana College of
Physicians and Surgeons
Ghana, West Africa
Photo Credit: Bernard Vidal. Copyright: Comedy Central.

A According to the South African Facilities Management Association (Safma), facilities management (FM) in South Africa is not yet fully recognized and accepted. Unfortunately, it is still an immature profession operating with an undeveloped market.

It is a bit like the early years of FM here in the states when individuals with experience in other fields, such as architecture, interior design, construction, finance, etc. came across (or were dragged) into this field. Once they found out how much they enjoyed the work, they made it a career. The U.S. job market finally recognized the field of FM in the 1980s. Recognition is not instantaneous nor is it easy.

I was able to find an article by Marian Amma Akuffo that specifically addresses this issue in your country. I think you might find it interesting too. It is entitled, “The Degree of the Role of the Facility Manager Outsourced by Real Estate Developers in Ghana.”

If you find it particularly helpful, you might contact the author and see if she can provide you with some of the contacts she used for the report. This would also be a great way to form a group of local facility professionals who could develop a joint strategy to promote the profession to your country’s major employers and property owners.

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.