September is National Preparedness Month. Let's talk about why operational resilience for facilities is essential.
What is operational resilience for facilities?
Operational resilience aims to maintain business continuity during unexpected events. These initiatives are intended to mitigate risk, exposure, and disruption to building occupants.
Operational resilience requires thoughtful planning and coordination between multiple teams and stakeholders to ensure all physical assets, buildings, and occupants are protected as best as possible.
Facility managers have to be ready for anything from bomb threats to flooding, labor strikes, workplace violence, and so much more. Particularly since 9/11, efforts toward emergency preparedness have increased substantially.
Facility Managers need to implement more sustainable operations across the entire built environment. Incorporating operational resilience for facilities can help buildings recover faster and lessen the impact of unexpected events in the future.
Resilience for Business Continuity
All buildings are strategic assets. Accordingly, they need to be available for occupants. In addition, facility teams manage day-to-day maintenance tasks as they arise.
Deferred maintenance and poor technology negatively impact operational resilience for facilities, which can affect planning and response. Attaining operational stability for facilities requires extensive coordination from multiple stakeholders, including facility and operations leaders.
Here are critical steps in developing an operational resilience framework:
- Document critical operations: Understanding which facilities are the most vital is essential. Not every building is essential for business continuity in a crisis.
- Consider essential upgrades: Developing a facility condition assessment (FCA) specific to operational resilience can provide valuable data on the current state of facilities and physical assets.
- Preparation: Capital Planning software uses data collected during Facility Condition Assessment to provide even more insight into justifiable facility investment.
- Execute preventive maintenance - Preventive maintenance is vital for the sustainable and future health and resilience of buildings.
- Effective recovery - Maintaining business continuity and proactively protecting facilities during a crisis is critical in recovering effectively.
Preparing for the unexpected is hard. This past year, in particular, was challenging: The COVID-19 Pandemic, hurricanes, wildfires, and ice storms. However, an operational resilience framework affords Facility teams the clarity necessary for an effective response to emergencies.