Getting Buy-In for Capital Planning Strategies
The phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen” is a painful reality in capital planning. Everyone has a different opinion about what’s important and what can be placed in queue for a “future” improvement. The reality is even more painful when those “cooks” don’t have the knowledge or insight into capital planning strategies and they are basing their priorities on anything, but data.
Over the past two decades, hospitals have struggled to raise the capital needed to keep their facilities up-to-date. In fact, one-half of hospital CFOs report that their infrastructures are deteriorating faster than they can make capital improvements.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, a simple solution to the problem is fixing or planning to fix things. But that’s easier said than done because of the tension between ongoing capital budget discussions and the issues that each stakeholder views as a priority.
How can you get buy-in for capital planning objectives if no one can agree on anything? You need to start with getting everyone on the same page.
Uninformed Means Unprepared
Many organizations rely on internal team members to collect data. But if those team members aren’t trained adequately on how to collect and analyze the data needed to make informed capital planning decisions, that approach can be challenging.
Developing a strategic capital plan requires an organization with a comprehensive understanding of their entire facility portfolio. This understanding helps determine which improvements are needed, and ensures those improvements align with the overall goals of the capital planning department. This type of insight also ensures that dollars are spent as planned rather than at-will.
Actionable Plans and Achievable Deadlines
If organizations want insight into their data, but don’t have an experienced team dedicated strictly to collecting capital planning data, a capital planning and management tool like Accruent’s can be advantageous.
Without a capital planning tool to view information from a variety of perspectives, trying to get these perspectives manually is a very time-consuming task. For example, by aggregating information by cost, priority and category, an organization can make better-informed spending decisions and begin to convert facilities data into actionable plans with achievable deadlines. This type of functionality rolls into the larger capital plan rather than making capital planning decisions based on a case-by-case basis.
Defining True Priorities
When it comes to projects, every stakeholder in an organization has personal “favorites”. For consistent evaluation criteria, Accruent’s capital planning solution helps everyone define high and low priorities. When weighing priorities, the most common criteria for organizations is the impact of the project in relation to compliance or necessity, strategic importance and licensing requirements.
In addition, facility managers can forecast long-term costs and explore the impact of different spending levels on facility conditions to bring valuable clarity to the planning process. When stakeholders can see the clear, defined project and its importance, everyone can gain a better understanding of what is a necessity vs. a want and can move forward with true priorities.
Getting buy-in for capital planning strategies with several different departments and people is challenging, but possible. Agreeing on capital planning spend boils down to a true understanding of facility priorities.
The only real way to get to an understanding is to get informed. Pulling information manually isn’t a very cost-effective way to optimize budgets. In a budget-driven world, the quicker you can explore the future of your facility and the needs associated with it, the quicker you can align your spending with your overall mission.