Asset Competency Model – Note 1001

strategic facility management and BIM

Asset Competency Model – Note 1001



Owners must understand and deploy Asset Competency Models in order to efficiently manage the built environment, or for that matter, even consider full BIM.  The associated minimum levels of education, awareness, and functional competency span multiple relatively complex areas.

While an Owner need not be an expert in all domains, he/she must possess appropriate levels of awareness and be capable of overall LEADERSHIP.

Knowledge Areas and Technical and/or Management Competencies represent the knowledge, skills and abilities needed by Owners ̥ as well as their Teams (in-house as well as service partners such as architects, engineers, contractors, business product manufactures, etc.) .

At a  high level, Process Improvement, Execution, Planning, Scheduling Control ̥ Lean management ̥ Sustainability ̥  and Enabling Technology Application are fundamental skills Real Property Owners must develop.

These in turn, drill down to the next levels such as… Procurement/Purchasing  and Scheduling Techniques ̥  Conceptual Planning and Design, Renovation/Repair/Maintenance, Construction Project Delivery, Supplier/Service Provider Relationship Management, and Operations Management.

At the very core, Real Property Owners must understand all management activities carried out in the course of linking the physical and functional conditions and availability buildings to the organizations core mission.

Leading, monitoring, adjusting, organizing and planning are just the start.  Being able to explain the implications implications various facility management strategies in simple terms to senior management/oversight groups is vital.

The ability demonstrate the sensitivity of outcomes to multiple independent variables is nontrivial… especially in terms that an equally diverse audience can appreciate.

Once resources are obtained and suitable service partners selected, the process of leveraging efficient execution and ongoing improvement through the use of LEAN Best Management Practices and Collaborative Construction Delivery Methods... can begin.

Quite simply, real property owners and facility managers need to spend more time developing LEADERSHIP skills.

WORKPLACE AND LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES represent those skills and abilities that allow individuals to function in an organizational setting. Problem solving and decision making, goal-directed thinking and actions, understanding problems through their step-by-step analysis and  and reasoning.   =

Owners need to map processes and focus on importance of individual factors as needed in order to achieve BEST VALUE.

COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK provides the ability to accomplish the above. Owners and FMers must demonstrate commitment to developing and LEVERAGING internal and external team energy and expertise to achieve a common objective. ̥

Understanding the dynamics of effective teamwork in order to attain higher levels of performance is perhaps the single most important aspect of LEADERSHIP.  The process can be greatly aided, and accelerated by learning about and deploying already establish and proven LEAN construction delivery methods.  For example,  the successful deployment of integrated project delivery (IPD) and/or Job Order Contracting (JOC) within an organization, readily demonstrates the value and the ability to work as part of a tight-knit and competent group of entities and people.

Asset Comptency Model

Job order contacting relationship model

job order contracting

Asset Competency Model & Efficient Facility Management #101

Asset Competency Model & Efficient Facility Management #101

Until Owners understand and are capable of organizational wide deployment of ASSET COMPETENCY MODELS, productivity across the AEC and Facility Management sector will remain poor.

What is an ASSET COMPETENCY MODEL?  An asset competency model is a formalized, detailed description and documentation of the role-specific knowledge domains required to optimize and continuously improve physical infrastructure life-cycle management.  It includes people, processes, and technologies, throughout all phases from conceptualization/planning, construction project delivery, renovation/repair/maintenance, to deconstruction/recycling.

There are three (3) core goals of an ASSET COMPETENCY MODEL:

  1. Driving Positive OUTCOMES
  2. Developing and Managing PEOPLE

You will note that TECHNOLOGY is not a core goal.  Technology is an enabler and used to support established processes and workflows.  Technology is certainly an important consideration, but nonetheless a secondary consideration.  A primary focus upon technology will generally not provide positive outcomes.

Driving Positive OUTCOMES

Critical thinking and problem solving, information-driven decision making, planning and consistent execution, and continuous learning are all prerequisites to achieving a higher percentage of positive outcomes.    LEAN best management practices are applicable in achievement of this and all primary goals.

Developing and Managing PEOPLE

Team leadership, without excessive management and control is the primary mission of any real property owner.  Real property owners are ultimately the stewards of the build environment, and therefore must be capable of leadership.  Historically, lack of owner leadership has likely been the major causal factor for low productivity throughout the AEC and Facilities Management sectors.  Owners must set the tone, provide direction,  and develop talent.  They must COLLABORATE with the building users, services providers (ie. architects, engineers, contractors, building product manufacturers…).  They must develop and operate within an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, as well as full transparency.  That said, “trust but measure” is an operational element, not to be forgotten.  Key performance metrics (KPIs) must be developed and continuously monitored.   Accurate and timely information is needed in order to drive continuous improvement.


Stakeholder development and management is an equally important area.   Stakeholder includes senior management and oversight groups, and the ability to communicate the importance of physical infrastructure stewardship in order to obtain proper resources.   This is also an area where many facility management professionals have traditionally fallen short.   Communicating the positive and negative ramifications of proper and improperly resource physical infrastructure to funding authorities… in a simple language that they understand… is the primary responsibility of any facility management professional.  Every other activity, action, and result is dependent upon having the appropriate resource to execute upon any facility / infrastructure management strategy.  Internal and external relationships are also developed through the employment LEAN management practices.   Focus should also be upon best value procurement, mutual trust/respect, shared risk/reward, full transparency and mandated collaboration, ongoing training and education, continuous improvement, and monitoring of key performance indicators, KPIs.


The Responsibility of Real Property Owners

Driving positive outcomes is responsibility of any real property owner.  It means Owners must take responsibility for behavior, mistakes, and results.  Also, owners must learns from successes and failures, and teach other collaborative service partners to do the same.

Information-based decision making and associated improvements are only possible if owners collect current and accurate STANDARDIZED data, using common terms, definitions, and information architectures (UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, OMNICLASS, IFC…). Owner must use timely information to accurately assess areas for improvement and encourage service partners also do so.

Owners must engage in calculated risk taking and encourage other to do the same.  This includes valuing and encouraging creative and innovative ideas from any source, but especially their service providers.

Owner must continuously and proactively seek opportunities for personal and organizational improvement.   They must rely upon and accept the EXPERTISE and COMPETENCIES of their service providers.

Finally, all of the above requires that owners not only participate in but encourage and MANDATE TRANSPARENCY and SHARING.  Owner have the ultimate responsibility for promoting and contributing to a culture of sharing effective practices within their organization and across their business partner network.   While not all services providers may not be up to task of engaging in collaborative LEAN business practices, is up to Owners to select and support their teams appropriately.

Lastly, the best way for Owners to learn about and to begin to apply ASSET COMPETENCY MODELS is to adopt collaborative construction delivery methods such as INTEGRATED PROJECT DELIVERY (IPD) (for major new construction) and JOB ORDER CONTRACTING (JOC) (for renovation, repair, and maintenance.  Both IPD and JOC embed and leverage LEAN best management practices and are proven to increase the percentage of quality on-time and on-budget construction projects, thereby improving an Owner’s ability to become more efficient in infrastructure life-cycle and total-cost-of-ownership management.

Asset LIfe-cycle Costsstrategic facility management and BIM






Major Risks Facing Public Real Property Owners

Major Risks Facing Public Real Property Owners

I regularly see articles about how great real property owners are, or how the facility management staff performs well, but may be misunderstood.  Unfortunately, I am reminded of the story about the emperor with no clothes.   Do real property owners and facility managers actually think they are doing a good job?

Improperly designed or managed renovation, repair, maintenance, and new construction
projects create inherent risks during the procurement and execution processes.

Ultimately the outcome is lack of stewardship on the part of public sector real property owners, and continue decay and waster associated with built structures, including facilities and infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams, airports, mass transit, utilities, etc.).

Public sector real proper owners and facility management professional are thus faced with …

  • Lack of public support and confidence, transparency, and trust.
  • Design, selection, and management processes that are inefficient and/or unfair.
  • Non-compliance with state or federal laws, policies, and procedures .
  • Lack of timely and cost effective/best value services.
  • Concerns and litigation surrounding construction and facility management practices are the norm versus the exception.


The only solution in sight is a total redo… including formal education focused upon collaborate LEAN business practices and life-cycle asset management, as well as, required annual professional training in these areas.

Collaborative construction delivery methods have proven to delivery significantly higher percentages of project on-time and on-budget, with equally higher levels of satisfaction and quality.  We just need Owners and Facility Managers capable of LEADERSHIP.

Asset Competency Model – The Road to Excellence

Asset Competency Model – The Road to Excellence

…at the end of the day the single issue of importance is whether or not Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Consultants, and Oversight Groups have the basic skills and/or competency required to efficiently manage the life-cycle of the built environment.

Accreditation, standards, business processes, certification… all are important, yet at the end of the day the single issue of importance is whether or not Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Consultants, and Oversight Groups have the basic skills and/or competency needed to efficiently manage the life-cycle of the built environment.

Before even addressing the obvious requirements for restructured education and professional training among all stakeholders, understanding the core business areas/processes and associated competencies is step #1.

strategic facility management and BIM

The primary business process areas involved in asset and/or facility management are:





The competencies,  that is to say the skills and activities performed within specified primary business areas, are:

  1. Programming

  2. Design

  3. Construction

  4. Operations

  5. Planned/preventive/emergency/general  maintenance

  6. Repairs

  7. Retrofits/Upgrades

  8. Improvements

  9. Replacements

  10. Space Planning

  11. Utilization

Asset LIfe-cycle Costs

Owners must demonstrate LEADERSHIP, in their role as steward of the built environment, and foster fundamental knowledge among their peers and all other parties involved.   Formal and professional education must be updated, as must the overall “culture” of the AEC and Facility Management industry, to provide visibility into proven, efficient methods for life-cycle management of the built environment.

As we have seen, technology is not the cause of the lack of productivity throughout the AEC sector, not is technology going to be the savior.  For example, the adoption of BIM for life-cycle management (its most significant value proposition), despite the trivia from marketers and poorly  designed research studies, has stagnated in the U.S.  and the U.K.    The reason for poor adoption is clear.   Requisite focus and competence relative to asset life-cycle management doesn’t exist.

While facility managers and associated organizations tout their prowess, the reality is that fewer than 5% of the AEC sector practices, or even understand the core requirements of efficient life-cycle management.  Nor do these individuals have the skills to communicate the needs and drive change management within their organizations.

Value Gap
It’s the role of Facility Management Executives to close the VALUE GAP.

We all know that in today’s world budget have dramatically shifted away from new construction to renovation, repair, maintenance, and sustainability of built structures.   We all are also aware of the ad-hoc procedures and rampant associated waste associated with the billions of dollars being spent annually.

Until we education ourselves and our community on the importance of early and ongoing collaboration, LEAN construction delivery methods, mutual respect/trust, team-based decision making, long term relationships, best value procurement, life-cycle costs versus first-cost, owner leadership without excessive management and control, continuous improvement, and key performance indicators….    the shift toward positive outcomes will simply not occur.

Job Order Contracting - LEAN Construction Delivery

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

standardized cost data

Best Value Construction

job order contacting strategy

job order contracting value-based

job order contracting

job order contracting

People Model

Value and Outcome Based Construction

Best Value Construction

A shift in focus to OUTCOMES and VALUE, and away from ad-hoc and commoditized services would greatly benefit the AEC and Facility Management sectors.

Operational excellence on the part of real property owners and their supporting service providers has traditionally proven elusive.

Facility management professionals can not remain complacent and/or satisfied with current levels of performance.  Owners must demonstrate LEADERSHIP and support true strategic partnering with architects, engineers, contractors, business product manufactures, and building users.  Focus must be upon transformation to truly collaborative LEAN construction delivery methods and innovation.  Decisions must be team oriented and based upon current and actionable information.  Information standardization in terms of common terms, definitions, and robust shared data architectures must be mandated.

Owner focus upon teaming, best value procurement, outcomes,  life-cycle costing, financial transparency, and shared knowledge,  drive lower total cost of ownership,faster project delivery timelines, and higher quality.

While globalization and centralized oversight will continue across all industries, the AEC sector and facility management are lagging.  Local knowledge, capability, and consistent execution at a local level also requires rapid improvement.  Competence development at all levels internal and external to the organization is necessary to meet increasing economic and environmental imperatives.


LEAN, Collaborative, and Integrated Construction Delivery

LEAN, Collaborative, and Integrated Construction Delivery

The project delivery method ultimately determines the outcomes of renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability and new construction activities more so than than any other single factor.

It is the project delivery approach that outlines how people, systems, business processes, and specialized knowledge domains are integrated to optimize value for real property stakeholders – real property owners, building/physical infrastructure users, architects, engineers, contractors, business product manufactures, oversight groups, and the community.

Regardless of the LEAN construction method selected – for example Integrated Project Delivery, IPD for major new construction, or Job Order Contracting, JOC for renovation, repair, maintenance, or minor new construction –  the primary focus is uopn highly effective collaboration between the owner, the architect, and contractor(s), etc. from conceptualization/early design through project handover and beyond.

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

BEST VALUE procurement, shared RISK/REWARD, MUTUAL TRUST/RESPECT, and LONGER TERM RELATIONSHIPS are additional areas that differentiate LEAN collaborative construction delivery form tradition design-bid-build or even design-build, CM@R, etc.

job order contracting

Minimum levels of owner CAPABILITY and LEADERSHIP, however, are required in order to implement LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods and achieve the associated benefits completing a significantly higher percentage of quality projects on-time and on-budget.

Properly created and implemented LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods REQUIRE  the owner, designers, engineers, and contractors to work  collaboratively from project inception, to mutually establish the performance, budget and schedule within the constraints of the owner’s business model, and to TRANSPARENTLY share ALL information using common standardized terms and data architectures.

While the Owner is providing LEADERSHIP and ultimate responsibility, the team is working together to manage efforts.

Team are built and grow based upon Best Value, Qualifications, and demonstrated Success.

Collaborative LEAN construction delivery method require partnering and collaboration contractually.   Associated contracts and programs create incentives and consequences for collaborative participation or lack thereof.  Joint decision-making with appropriate allocation and understanding of liabilities and impacts increase the likelihood of successful goal accomplishment.

Key performance indicators, KPIs for LEAN construction delivery not only take into account progress of each party and/or competency (design, construction, engineering, procurement, etc.) but associated interactions.

Many owners, architects, engineers and contractors do not fully understand LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods, or their specific implementation such as IPD or JOC.   Since any implementation of LEAN construction delivery is fundamentally different than traditional processes, attempting to implement LEAN without making internal business process changes commonly leads to failure.  For example, some owners or JOC consultants/cooperatives implement JOC to simply bypass procurement and speed project delivery times.   This is first and foremost typically against rules and/or legislation, but more importantly doesn’t afford  program participants with JOC’s potential major benefits.

Without   1) mutual respect and trust 2) mutual risk and reward 3) collaborative innovation 5.) team decision making 4) early and ongoing  involvement of all key participants, standardized term, definitions, and data architectures, 6.) financial transparency, and  5) open and enhanced communication, LEAN construction delivery is not present.

Certification, or at least ongoing education and training for LEAN collaborative construction delivery and dedicated implementation methods such as IPD and JOC should be practiced.   While every Owner implementation has its areas of specialization, core processes remain constant.

The success of LEAN construction delivery (IPD/JOC…) is ultimately based upon  individual team member’s ability to make decisions collaboratively, Their ability to apply associated and supporting workflows, tools, data sets, and technology,  and in general align the participating organizational cultures and business models of project/program participants.

strategic facility management and BIM

Of special note is the fact the teamwork should replace excessive management and control.  It is the combined experience of the individuals and entities on the team that is important.   The Owner is a key LEADER, a COACH, and a FACILITATOR with respect to the LEAN construction delivery process.   This role can temporarily be fill by a consultant, however, for efficient and larger LEAN construction implementations, direct Owner participation is a REQUIREMENT.

LEAN construction delivery is proven to be more productive and less costly than traditional construction methods.   The perceived higher cost is a falsehood.   Cost metrics should be focus upon total life-cycle returns and NOT first costs.  Once change orders, legals disputes, and unacceptable quality  levels are considered, LEAN construction can be 30% – 60% more efficient.

High Performance Construction Delivery

Collaborative Construction Project Delivery & Skilled Teams


Collaborative Construction Project Delivery & Skilled Teams provide the basis for measurably improving outcomes, specifically a higher percentage of project complete on-time, on-budget, and to the satisfaction of all participants and stakeholders.

While ever renovation, repair, maintenance, or capital project has its own uniqueness, fundamental elements are essentially the same.  Thus, the consistent application of robust best management practices and workflows is central to improving facility and infrastructure management outcomes.

Owner leadership, fostering communication and collaboration, while not exercising excessive management and control is a core requirement.   Owners are ultimately responsible for their built structures and thus must be capable throughout project delivery cycles.   LEAN best management practices, adapted to life-cycle facility and infrastructure management,  provide a proven way to drive continuous improvement throughout all aspects of architecture, engineering, construction, and operations.

Early involvement of all parties through LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods such as integrated delivery , IPD and Job Order Contracting, JOC ensures that the expertise of the professionals involved at all stages will be leveraged to improve processes and outcomes throughout all stages or a project.

Understanding how to develop, deploy, and monitor a LEAN Construction Delivery Program must be focus of our educational and professional development institutions and resources.  How program and project teams are selected, procured, contracted, and coordinated throughout project delivery are requisite competencies.

Key Characteristics of LEAN Construction Delivery

  • Mandated Collaboration
  • Owner Leadership
  • Shared Risk/Reward
  • Continuous Education & Training
  • Financial Transparency
  • Common Terms, Definitions, & Standard Data Architectures
  • Use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Audits, Monitoring
  • Early and Ongoing Communication Among ALL Stakeholders
  • Ongoing Improvement
  • Best Value Procurement
  • Long Term Relationships


LEAN Collaborate Construction Delivery Methods bind and provide incentives for multi-party (owner, contractor, A/E, etc.) project delivery teams.

Successful construction project management requires the integration of multiple competencies, technologies, and business processes.  Owners MUST be capable of provide the appropriate level of oversight across this entire spectrum.

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

Tenant / Building User Relationship Management

Tenant / Building User Relationship Management – FM Metric #1?

How well facility managers support their tenants and/or building uses with respect to their respective organizational missions is a critical performance metric for any real property owner.

Responsiveness, Quality, and Budgetary/Financial Performance represent key areas in which facility management professionals are judged.

The ability of real property owners, in their role as facility managers/stewards  to collaborate with and understand the needs of building users as well as services providers such as architects, engineers, and construction contractors  determines their effectiveness with respect to improved service delivery, mitigating risk, and overall life-cycle management of built structures.

The ability of an owner/facility manager to efficiently manage their numerous renovation, repair, and maintenance projects encountered on a daily basis, as well as strategically deal with capital renewal and deferred maintenance determines ultimate short and longer term success or failure.

Collaboration, transparency, mutual trust & respects, and shared goals are critical to the achievement of superior facility management outcomes.   Understanding user/tenant requirements is step one, and sharing this information with all project participants from concept through ongoing life-cycle management is necessary in order to improve overall satisfaction as well as return on financial investment.

Use of LEAN collaborative construction delivery is the single most important element in improving overall outcomes.  Whether adopting Job Order Contracting – JOC, for renovation, repair, and maintenance, or Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, for major new construction, the results of proper adoption and implementation with be a high number of quality projects delivered on-time and on-budget, to the satisfaction of all involved parties.

Most Owner (approximately 73%) either lack confidence, or are only somewhat confident of the satisfaction levels of their tenants/building users.  When combined with the fact that the construction sector as a whole remains highly unproductive versus virtually every other industry, the need for cultural and operational change is clear.

Isn’t it time to move beyond ad-hoc business procedures and workflows, lack of standardized information, and limited financial transparency?

LEAN FM and Construction practices deliver…

A focus upon outcomes…

Early and ongoing collaboration…

Financial transparency…

Mutual respect & trust…

Common goal & objectives…

Shared risk/reward…

More projects on-time & on-budget…

Higher quality…

Significant productivity gains…

Standardized data for information-based decision support…

LEAN Construction Delivery Process

Job Order Contracting - LEAN Construction Delivery


If you consider BIM to be the solution to low construction productivity, think again.

3D visualization and technology will do little to solve construction project delivery woes.

The root of the decades long decline in construction productivity and associated poor facility management practices is cultural.

Construction is like any other relatively complex manufacturing process.  It requires a focus upon best management practices, education and training, key performance indicators, and continuous improvement, in short, LEAN business process application.

Reducing end product variability, cycle-times, waste, and cost is not rocket science.  There are multiple proven LEAN construction delivery methods and life-cycle / total cost-of-ownership models available.  Owners must drive their accelerated adoption.
The most widely used and successful LEAN construction delivery methods are Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, for major new construction, and Job Order Contracting, JOC, for renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and minor new construction.  When deployed and managed properly by Owners, on-time, on-budget, quality construction is the norm versus the exception.

Characteristics of LEAN Construction Delivery

  • Collaboration
  • Mutual Respect & Trust
  • Financial Transparency
  • Owner Leadership without excessive management & control
  • Shared Risk/Reward
  • Best Value Procurement
  • Common Standard Terms, Definitions, & Data Architectures (UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, OMNICLASS)
  • Continuous Education, Training, & Improvement
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) / Auditsjob order contract key performance indicators
  • Written Execution / Operations Manuals (Roles, Responsibilities, Deliverables, Workflows / Standardized Work Processes, Reporting Requirements…)

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

standardized cost datajob order contract key performance indicators

WWW.JOBORDERCONTRACTING.ORGbim, building information management for FM

LEAN Job Order Contracting – Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, & Maintenance

LEAN Job Order Contracting – Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, & Maintenance

Optimizing facility and infrastructure renovation, repair, and maintenance requires alignment of organizational strategy and vision both internally and with service providers.

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

Internally, owners must be skilled at all aspects of managing the life-cycle of physical structures from concept through warranty, with particular emphasis upon LEAN, collaborative best management practices.

Improving operational efficiency and maximizing capital reinvestment can only be achieved if owners demonstrate leadership with respect to developing internal teams and trusted business partners such as architects, engineers, and contractors.

Job Order Contracting is a critical tool with respect to delivering more projects on-time and on-budget versus traditional design-bid-build.  High levels of quality and overall satisfaction can also be achieve via owner implemented and managed job order contracts.

Job Order Contracting is a LEAN construction delivery method that integrates mandatory collaboration of all stakeholders, shared risk/reward, common terms, definitions, and data architectures, transparent pricing via a unit price book – UPB,  global oversight and local implementation, on-demand services, and best value procurement.

Owners and contractors continuously evaluate current overall status, prioritized projects, performance versus budget, quality, and time,  and methods for improvement.

Unlike typical AEC culture, all parties are contribute equally and sacrifice short-term gains for better long-term performance.  Vision and intent of the partnership is shared and goals are clearly defined.  While there is a high degree of trust, all financial, project, and technical information is fully transparent and documented.  Parties are free to deliver in their area of expertise without excessive management and control.  While education and training is both ongoing and mandatory.     All of these factors are principles of LEAN construction management and best practice JOB ORDER CONTRACTING.  They all all involved parties to develop with and for each other with the result being better ways of doing things and mutual, longer term rewards.


standardized cost data

job order contracting


job order contract