By Facilities Expert Corey Losinski
In Part One of our Tearing Down the Walls Between Facilities and IT series, we explored the function overlaps between IT and Facilities and three common experiences that drive a wedge between IT and Facilities teams. Here, we offer a five step roadmap for strategically aligning these two business-critical departments.
1. Build a Cross-Functional LeadershipTeam
A recent Deloitte report asked 7,000 executives from 130 countries to cite their number one priority for tackling complex business challenges. Eighty-nine percent said the solution was organizational design through teams.
As Forbes contributor Jeff Boss writes,“Teams—and specifically, cross functional teams, enable faster communication, which brings faster decision making. By working through teams as opposed to large departmental silos, you not only cross-pollinate perspectives and experiences (which help shape creativity and innovation) but also align daily behaviors with business strategies.”
The first step is to create your own IT-Facilities Leadership Team with cross-functional stakeholders who can help steward the departments to a more collaborative dynamic.
Breaking down silos is often thought of as a top-down issue, leading organizations to create management-level stakeholder teams. While it’s critical that each department’s key decision-makers are represented, it’s advantageous to include motivated field-level employees who can add insight on the day-to-day practicalities.
2.Create a Unified Vision
Next, it’s essential that the leadership team defines a unified vision for the two departments.
To do so, explore these four questions as a group:
● What are the business-critical short and long-term goals of each team?
● What internal facilities, systems, processes and platforms, including ServiceNow, is each team responsible for?
● Where is there overlap?
● What does this combined leadership team want to accomplish collaboratively over the next 3, 6 and 12 months?
Once finalized, create a high-level report that captures the priorities of each team and the shared vision for the two departments. To create team-wide buy-in, distribute the report to department employees and stakeholders across the organization who might find it useful, including HR and finance.
3. Define Roles + Responsibilities
As Rebecca Newton reports in Harvard Business Review, research shows that when leaders have a clear and collective understanding of who is responsible for what, they more successfully lead together.
With the shared vision and roadmap in place, outline each person’s responsibility in bringing the teams’ goal(s) to life. Each person should walk away with a definitive set of follow-up items, as well as instructions on who to communicate with once the task is complete.
4. Find a Single System of Engagement and Record
More than ever, it’s crucial that your IT and Facilities teams arm themselves with a flexible cloud platform that automates workflows and processes across both teams. This will allow team members across departments to access more powerful data and make increasingly informed and aligned business-critical decisions.
Many of you will have experienced the power of the ServiceNow platform in your IT operations — enabling more digital workflows and application consolidation. With Nuvolo’s Facilities EAM platform, you can track, manage and maintain your facilities assets and perform space management, contract management, lease management and more all on the same ServiceNow platform you know and trust.
Traditionally, it takes IT and Facilities teams hundreds—if not thousands—of disparate apps, manual processes, spreadsheets and legacy systems to get their day-to-day work done.
With Nuvolo and ServiceNow, IT and Facilities teams can track assets, manage and report on data sets, relocate and manage new buildings, onboard and offboard employees, create accounts and more using ONE, easy-to-use platform.
This powerful integration helps IT teams create seamless digital workflows with their Facilities counterparts and utilize a single system of record, eliminating the need to continue relying on outdated systems and manual processes.
5.Create a Decision-Making Protocol Finally, you want to create a cross-functional decision-making protocol. When a cross-functional decision needs to be made, how does the team quickly and collaboratively determine next best steps?
In these instances, take a page out of former-GE CEO Jack Welch’s “Work-Out” process, a series of structured sessions meant to help businesses create “boundary less” organizations and solve problems in real time.
When a decision needs to be made, assemble the Facilities-IT Leadership team. Choose one senior level executive to be the decision-maker. Arm the team with all information and data available and give team members two days to gather their thoughts and suggest recommendations. After two days, bring the group back together, have everyone present their suggestions and allow the senior executive to determine the final decision and next steps.
It’s an exciting time for Facilities and IT departments, which are at the forefront of ushering in businesses’ next-generation modernization and technology innovations. But in order for these advances to be successfully implemented, it’s imperative that Facilities and IT teams take these first steps to building their own cross-functional foundation.
Interested in creating ONE, easy-to-use platform for your Facilities and IT teams? Robert Teed, VP of Workplace and Real Estate, shares why he chose Nuvolo to help ServiceNow manage their own space and move workflows in a recent Expert Event. You can learn more about how to extend the ServiceNow platform to modernize your own space and move needs, hear about Robert’s experience with the platform and get a short demo here.