We all know the nature of a bank/credit union branch is going to change. All industries evolve and that time for retail financial is now. There is a lot of serious and interesting discussion of Micro-branches, the Experiential Branch, the Digital Branch, and other competing visions of the “Branch of the Future.” As a facility person, two parts of this discussion are of the most interest:
- Why do we think there is a single, right “Branch of the Future” for our organization?
- How can we get started on a successful transformation?
Note: This is an introductory article on an Agile Facility approach to Strategic Facility Planning – see also my presentation on this topic from the NFMT conference in March 2016:
Agile methodology is a project management approach, mostly used in software development, that takes incremental, iterative steps to make progress on a large (possibly incompletely defined) project. Each incremental step is a working solution. The customer can use this solution, assess it, and then better identify the next level of improvement. An Agile Facility planning approach can be useful to get better facilities for an organization while anticipating unpredictable future conditions or lacking a sanctioned Strategic Facility Plan.
The Strategic Facility Guide is essentially about measurement and planning. The purpose of the Guide is to help bridge the gap between these two mutually exclusive activities. They are exclusive in time – one is future and one is present. An attempted measurement of a plan is really a projection – a presumed or defined metric, not an actual one.
- Planning is the activity of identifying a desired future state, or the desired response to a potential future situation. The Plan is the desired outcome to achieve.
- Measurement is the activity of quantifying an existing state to reduce uncertainty about it (more on this later). The Metric is the dimension and precision of the measurement.
Many organizations are taking a short-term view of their facilities (corporate real estate) at their own peril. Not just because it will cost them more over the property life-cycle, and result in less desirable facilities, but because it might put them out of business.