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Program Management – The Glue that Binds the Facility Design Project!

Workers discussing facility real estate design

What is Facility Program Management?

The enVista team is in the process of completing the final stages of a major distribution center design and implementation project.

After looking back over the course of this two-year project, what did we learn? We learned that once again the design gets you half the way to the finish line. The true challenge of facilities projects is in the conversion from the current state to newly designed future state.

This is where Program Management is key. But what is Facility Program Management?


The program manager is responsible for working directly with the core project management teams to assemble a master project schedule. Program facilities managers are responsible for good project planning, ensuring accountability for all team members and for DRIVING the project to completion. A good maintainance program should also be developed, so that any results are maintained over the long-term.

Expected Results

  • A facility that is up and running by defined completion date
  • No service failures to customers
  • Experience business as usual
  • A facility that maximizes labor, equipment, space, systems and processes

Figure 1.0 Typical Program Management Structure


Initial Tasks

  • Define transition and conversion approach
  • Build an implementation plan based on the defined approach
  • Define the core implementation team (IT, Operations, Contractor)
  • Work with the Client team to assemble the implementation plan
  • Develop a weekly status update document and approach

On-going Tasks

Once the master schedule is prepared, all team members will be expected to provide updates to the project manager at a predetermined time. The project manager will then prepare a list of all tasks that are off schedule the expected date to remedy the issues:

  • Weekly update meetings
  • Off tasks correction process 
  • Drive project to completion

The program manager defines the “initial tasks” and then helps identify any “gaps.” These “gaps” are sometimes overlooked by the individual project managers.

Figure 2.0 Initial Structure and Gaps

A detailed and cost effective design is crucial to building an optimized DC with streamlined facilities operations, but that only gets you half way to the goal line. Program management is the glue that binds the project. Complex facility builds, transitions and business transformation initiatives have endless details that are impossible to manage without a single accountable program manager for the project team. Learn more about enVista’s Program Management services and facilities management software.

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