Stephen Bennett, strategy director at the BIFM, explains the BIFM Board's recent review and development of their medium-term strategy.
8 April 2010
In January 2008 the Board embarked on a medium-term strategy (MTS) with the aim of further professionalising the BIFM and the FM industry. The strategy was a joint effort by volunteers and staff that sought to give the BIFM a more secure basis both for plotting a course into the future and for being responsive to the prevailing conditions. The plan has been to develop resources that will help to generate investment funds which could then be used to improve services for members.
In 2008 and 2009 these resources were developed while still delivering services, continually improving, and taking important steps in the education area of redefining BIFM qualifications and the BIFM becoming an awarding organisation. The onset of the recession started to become evident at the BIFM and in the economy generally towards the end of 2008, and despite contingency planning, 2009 proved tougher for the BIFM than had been expected, as indeed it did for many other organisations. While the recession has slowed the rate of progress on the strategy, the direction is still right, and the BIFM is in good shape coming into 2010.
Following the BIFM Board’s recent review and development of the strategy, its current view is that we need to move forward with an aspiration that we could describe as steering a course between the ambitious and the challenging. This will mean looking at both productivity and growth, and improving our commercial strategy. In financial terms this will mean seeking growth in both membership and enterprise income, and keeping an eye on our costs as the UK economy moves out of the recession. The effect of this strategy would be to significantly improve investment available for 2011 and beyond. This will mean that we can invest in member services from 2011, and so there will be an increasing focus on further developing our understanding regarding which areas to prioritise.
The BIFM Board is engaged in an ongoing process of planning and monitoring the strategy. There are some shorter-term issues that we will be looking at, such as how we can make decisions earlier and more quickly, together with more work on risks and communication. Longer term issues being worked on include things like rolling on the strategy as a whole and the content of some of the commercial issues. To enable this work to be done, the Board has set up a working group made up of non-executive and executive directors, who will continue to address these issues throughout 2010 in a continued spirit of collaboration.