In the last blog, I pointed to the independent FM consultant as an exceptionally valuable FM resource, available and responsive with knowledge and practical skill to apply, to lasting good effect. I was also unreserved about reasons that FMs hesitate to use a consultant. What can an FM do to strongly increase the odds of a definitively positive outcome?

The pressure and uncertainty imposed on Milo in The Phantom Tollbooth[1] resembles the FM problem. Milo, feeling his way toward rhyme and reason, is under the constant constraints of time and practicality imposed by the Watch Dog[2], who is nevertheless of little help with knowledge of the best way to proceed. Milo eventually has the good fortune and cooperation to find his way.

An FM has to be surer than Milo, with a safe process for using a consultant, founded in sound strategy expressed in clear objectives. If your efforts are not already strategy based, specifically aligned with your organization as a whole, clear in their objectives, and measurable to guide improvements, a consultant can help your FM organization get there and keep growing. Strategic management brings safe and sound FM ground.

How about just let’s get this project done, problem solved, milestone passed, temporary overload relieved, technical capability in place, compliance met, etc.? Succeeding in such a project will help with FM capability and maturity. Success breeds success. But how do you find and become acquainted with a suitable consultant and obtain the best value?

The interactive IFMA FMCC Consultant Search Directory  provides 35 areas of consulting practice to guide a search, as well as searchable names and locations. FMCC members can readily point out other sources as well. We are relentless FM problem solvers. More knowledge is always better than not enough. Luck is great, as long as it holds. Milo had an author. FMs have less certainty.

[1] Juster, Norman and Jules Feiffer, The Phantom Tollbooth, 1961, Penguin

[2] Milo and Tock the Watchdog, in a 2015 sketch by Jules Pieffer at the request of Zack Smith. Published on


IFMA's WWP 2017

David Reynolds

David Reynolds, founder of FM-Consult-Create brings an engineering, teaching, and technical consulting background to FM. His interests are facility design, operation and maintenance for optimum life cycle performance, innovation, emergency response and business continuity, and FM process design, performance measurement and improvement -­‐ the last three being his areas of focus.

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