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Managing Project Structural Complexity by Integrating Facility Management in Planning, Designing, and Execution of High-End Facility Upgrades

  • Bascoul, Audrey Marie
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
eScholarship - University of California
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Ensuring that a building consistently supports occupants in producing value is a global challenge. To tackle this challenge, the discipline of Facility Management (FM) emerged in the 1970s. FM became responsible for steering the building toward a constantly changing desired future state. Since then, buildings have become increasingly more complex. Despite the existence of FM, buildings still fail in terms of value delivery. Failure to meet customer requirements is waste. This motivated this research. Through review and analysis of the literature, the researcher classifies FM failures in five aspects: (1) building systems, (2) people, (3) tools and data, (4) processes, and (5) changes. To prevent those failures, researchers and practitioners have developed solutions. However, these solutions have not been able to reduce waste in facility delivery for at least three reasons. First, they fail to capitalize on FM knowledge, and thus miss the opportunity of learning from other completed facilities. Second, they do not address the Transformation-Flow-Value (TFV) views of FM. As a result, they focus on ensuring that building components function and omit value delivery to customers. Third, they do not acknowledge the complex nature of FM, which manifests itself at the organizational and at the project level. This leads to FM not being able to steer the building so that it meets customer expectations.This dissertation advocates that the late involvement of FM in project delivery contributes to waste and is manifested in a lack of awareness of structural complexity. Structural complexity is the condition of a system whose behavior emerges from the interactions of its parts. The burden of managing that complexity falls on FM during operations and maintenance of the completed facility. By not engaging FM strategically in project delivery, such complexity is not managed easily and the facility may fail to deliver the expected customer value. The use of the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) methodology, a matrix-based method to model structural complexity, and Hoshin Kanri, a Lean planning process used to deploy strategies in organizations, will help generate value to owners and occupants by enabling FM involvement in the planning, designing, and execution of facility upgrades and construction projects in general.To substantiate this argument, this research investigates the manifestation of structural complexity and its implications for FM at two levels. First, at the project level, it documents and analyzes two examples of high-end facilities that failed to deliver value to occupants. Both examples explore how the lack of management of structural complexity contributed to FM failure. The researcher uses DSM to gain insight into FM failure and uses the Lean Project Delivery System (LPDS)-Multi-Domain Matrix (MDM) framework, to make the interdependences between project elements and thus some aspects of complexity visual. Second, at the organizational level, this research documents how two large public organizations have integrated FM in project delivery. Furthermore, this research presents a novel model based on Hoshin Kanri, named Hoshin-for-Facilities, to support and enable FM integration. This model builds upon Lean Construction principles and methods, while acknowledging the complex nature of FM.By analyzing the case studies, the researcher identifies five aspects of structural complexity in projects involving high-end facilities: (1) customer complexity, (2) organizational complexity, (3) product complexity, (4) process complexity, and (5) market complexity. Poor FM integration in project delivery has a compounding effect with product and process complexity. At the project level, DSM is fit for modeling structural complexity. Its early use on projects could help avoid negative design iteration (process complexity) and increase transparency in design decision making (product complexity). The LPDS-MDM framework offers a holistic approach to manage project structural complexity. At the organizational level, Hoshin-for-Facilities seems promising for engaging FM in project delivery.This research contributes to knowledge by augmenting the literature on FM at its intersection with D&C, revealing by using DSM how structural complexity manifests itself in projects, formulating the implications thereof for facility delivery, and proposing Hoshin-For-Facilities to enable strategic FM integration in project delivery.This dissertation shows how project structural complexity can be managed by integrating FM in project delivery. This research helps ensure that facilities support organizations’ business objectives. It is targeted to business owners of high-end facilities, i.e., facilities that house sophisticated systems and/or equipment, whose performance is critical for the organization to meet its business objectives. Future research can deepen understanding of how the language used during project delivery contributes to complexity and then explore how project teams can leverage those findings (if any) to manage complexity.

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