A Practical Guide to Facilities Management
Nicola Lathbury reviews a recent book for practitioners and students from Ian C. Barker.
A Practical Guide to Facilities Management is useful reading for anyone planning to take his or her first steps into the world of FM. It is informative and gives an overview of the vast number of services that fall under the FM umbrella. It’s also a great starting point for ‘newbies’ with little or no experience of the sector and provides a solid theoretical foundation.
The book is interspersed with tips and references which are effective in breaking-up the large volume of reading material smaller, mentally-digestible “chunks”.
People with non-technical backgrounds entering the sector for the first time will also find it useful because it introduces commonly used terminology and steers readers through the sea of jargon practitioners encounter on a day-to-day basis.
With numerous organisations trying to reduce costs, many people have found themselves unexpectedly moving into the world of FM. I believe these readers will find the book invaluable; especially when they start engaging specialists.
As someone who has never managed technical services as an FM, I believe the layout used for charts in the book will come in especially useful as a presentation template.
However, I do feel the publication is very much tailored to the education sector and the public sector more generally, and would like to have seen more private sector references included since these would have delivered a more rounded outlook.
However, since the author has a strong background in the educational sector that is entirely understandable and most of the practices he describes are transferable anyway.
Moreover, if newcomers to the industry utilise the practices that are described from the outset and build on them as they acquire experience, they will (as the author writes): “find their own way, picking up tips and networking with various time-served professionals”. A great resource for anyone looking to get into or even engage the sector, Ian Barker’s book provides valuable information on the workings of the industry and the diverse nature and ever-changing role of the facilities manager.
The author, Ian C. Barker, MCIOB adds: “Having worked in FM for over twenty-five years, fifteen of which were in the further education sector, my innovations in FM have resulted in tangible cost savings. I have amassed a wealth of Experience that could benefit up and coming FMs and am passionate about my profession and how proactive facilities management can make a difference to all organisations’ bottom-line results in these testing economic times. My book is a simple, practice-based guide with numerous time-saving hints and tips to help students and practitioners avoid the most common pitfalls. It provides a readily accessible and practical guide to the increasingly important subject of facilities management”.