|August 2007||E-News for the CSU Quality Improvement Community||Vol. 9, No. 2|
Congratulations to Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB) and their Facilities Services for the Award for Excellence from APPA! The Award for Excellence is APPA’s highest institutional honor for outstanding achievements in management of educational facilities. APPA is an organization that supports those responsible for the facilities of educational institutions. This is only the second time a CSU campus has received this distinction since Sacramento State was honored in 1989. They were able to accomplish this achievement with the support of leadership and the employment of quality improvement tools.
APPA’s recognition of excellence validates CSUSB’s President Albert Karnig’s declaration that the campus is one of the most scenic campuses in California with its spacious 430 acres, greenery that ‘greets the eyes everywhere,’ and its modern buildings. Tony Simpson, Director of Facilities Services, compliments his staff in Facilities Services saying, “All our staff work so hard to maintain a quality campus environment.” Vice President for Administration and Finance, David DeMauro, appreciates the APPA recognition of excellence from colleagues across the country and applauds Facilities Services staff for their exceptional performance.
This journey to excellence took a lot of commitment by Facilities Services in their role as steward of the physical assets of the University, and to their mission to provide a quality and safe environment for the campus community. Along with their commitment, Quality Improvement (QI) tools have had a significant role in Facilities Services journey to excellence. Facilities Services department maintains consistent involvement with the 23-campus California State University system’s Quality Improvement Program (CSU QI Program), using tools such as performance measurement, process improvement and the balanced scorecard, designed for strategic planning of the department’s goals. They also provided a means to quantitatively and qualitatively respond to many areas of the APPA award application, which included: leadership; strategic and operational planning; customer focus; information and analysis; development and management of human resources; process management; and performance results.
The BALANCED SCORECARD is an essential QI tool for CSUSB’s Administration and Finance Division and its departments, including Facilities Services. In support of divisional and departmental annual strategic plans, the Balanced Scorecard is used to help establish goals and objectives that support the plan. Facilities Services refers to their scorecard (Diagram 1) to evaluate and report their performance and measurable outcomes in each of its four perspectives:
Each section of Facilities Services including Administrative Support, Building Maintenance, Custodial Services, Ground Services, and Heating and Air Conditioning, also develops their own scorecard that supports the department’s scorecard. Performance indicators, including customer and employee climate surveys, work order cycle time, facilities condition index, and energy calculations, drive action. The indicators allow Facilities Services to assess progress towards meeting their goals and objectives, or if different approaches should be considered and taken. Comparisons are made to prior years, and reviewed by staff.
Indicative of the level of importance the division’s leadership places on customer service, the Administration and Finance Division developed a variety of QI tools. These include:
Facilities Services takes great pride in listening to their customers, and depends on these tools to obtain feedback. They also have their own customer survey which is presented upon completion of a work order. Not only does Facility Services use these many tools to understand their stakeholders’ needs, but more importantly to act upon them.
Additionally, the division’s EMPLOYEE CLIMATE SURVEY allows the division to determine progress for the Innovation and Growth perspective of the Balanced Scorecard. In the survey, employees have the opportunity to express their perceptions of their managers and work environment. Results are used to establish priorities to achieve individual success that the leadership team recognizes has impact upon organizational success. In support of employee growth in a learning environment, Facilities Services offers training to meet demands of the future and encourages the staff in implementation of new technologies that have overall benefit to the University.
Additionally, Facilities Services finds BENCHMARKING extremely enlightening and useful. They conduct both internal and external benchmarking: internal includes longitudinal analysis for the many years Facilities has participated in internal data collection and surveys; and external comparisons are made against other organizations who participate in the same surveys such as CSU’s SNAPS and CSU QI Program Customer Satisfaction Surveys, and APPA’s Strategic Assessment Model (SAM).
Tony Simpson considers SAM an essential tool for facilities management that contributes to achieving organizational excellence through continuous improvement efforts. SAM, a complement to the Balanced Scorecard, enables Facilities Services to self-assess financial performance, primary processes effectiveness, and their ability to serve their customers in ways that are positive with that of similar sized campuses. Specific operational data such as cycle time, average age of routine maintenance work orders, total number of FTE dedicated to the performance of work orders, BTUs of energy used, and annual utility expenditure. The value of SAM, according to Tony Simpson, for facilities professionals is a model for self-improvement, peer comparison, or benchmarking, or all three.
The journey to excellence does not occur overnight. In addition to time, it requires support and commitment from leaders and staff, and the knowledge of QI tools that help guide continuous improvement efforts. CSUSB’s Facilities Services’ can celebrate their great accomplishment but we know they won’t rest on their laurels, a true sign of an outstanding organization. Congratulations CSUSB Facilities Services!
How do we look to resource providers? Objectives address fiduciary responsibility and cost effectiveness in CSUSB operations
Goal: Provide efficient, cost effective Facilities Services and maintain campus facilities to maximize the life cycles of our physical assets.
How do our customers see us? Objectives address performance from the perspective of the requirements and expectations of CSUSB customers and stakeholders.
Goal: Deliver quality services that satisfy customer requirements.
Are we productive and effective? At what must we excel? Objectives address the need for quality, efficiency, effectiveness and accountability in how we operate.
Goal: Design and implement more effective and efficient processes.
How do our employees feel? Can we improve and create value? Objectives address the need to create a climate that ensures our continued success over time.
Goal: Foster a learning environment where employees are encouraged to develop their skills to meet the demands of the future.