Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities
Home/Introduction
Chapter 1
  Introduction to School Facilities Maintenance Planning
Chapter 2
    Planning for School Facilities Maintenance
Chapter 3
    Facility Audits: Knowing What You Have
Chapter 4
    Providing a Safe Environment for Learning
Chapter 5
    Maintaining School Facilities and Grounds
Chapter 6
    Effectively Managing Staff and Contractors
Chapter 7
    Evaluating Facilities Maintenance Efforts
Appendices
Download PDF File

 

 

Chapter 7
Evaluating Facilities Maintenance Efforts

Goals:

  Graphic of Checkmark To communicate the importance of regular facilities maintenance program evaluation
  Graphic of Checkmark To recommend best practice strategies for evaluating facilities maintenance efforts


Examples of Good Evaluation Questions

Over the years, experienced facilities maintenance planners have learned to ask some very good evaluation questions, some of which are listed below. Some questions may not apply to every school district, but the list illustrates the types of questions that facilities maintenance planners can ask to meet the information needs of their evaluation efforts.

Work Orders

  Graphic of Checkmark Does the work order system account for all maintenance staff time and materials?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the work order system produce data about the history of all maintenance activities at each site?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the work order system track all purchases, from ordering through delivery, storage, and installation?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the work order system document all preventive maintenance activities?
  Graphic of Checkmark Is priority recognition available to differentiate between emergency, routine, and preventive maintenance?
  Graphic of Checkmark Do preventive maintenance activities outnumber emergency responses in the work order system logs?
  Graphic of Checkmark Is user feedback documented through work orders, surveys, or minutes of stakeholder meetings?

Needs Assessment

  Graphic of Checkmark Does the needs assessment include a mechanism for collecting, analyzing, and prioritizing input from users?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the needs assessment include data from the work order system?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are stakeholders (e.g., maintenance staff, educators, users) included in needs assessment and capital planning activities?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the needs assessment include information from the work order system?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the needs assessment include information from site and equipment inspections?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the needs assessment include data from performance and systems audits?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the needs assessment include commissioning and retro-commissioning results?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the needs assessment include comparisons with peer organizations?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the needs assessment reflect outstanding regulatory or compliance issues?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are safety checks based on documentation and incident reports?
  Graphic of Checkmark Is an annual facility plan created from the needs assessment?

Site Inspections

  Graphic of Checkmark Are inspectors adequately trained for their task?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are there clear standards for inspections?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are inspections conducted with both property needs and maintenance capacity in mind?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are all inspection results documented?

Data Management Systems

  Graphic of Checkmark Does the data management system document the current status of the major systems and components in every school building?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the data management system document the capital and maintenance needs of every school building?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the data management system document the short- and long-term needs of the district?

Budgeting

  Graphic of Checkmark Does the budget request accurately reflect the needs of the annual facility plan?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are there both short- and long-term budget objectives?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are maintenance staff involved in developing the budget?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the annual budget reflect the inevitability of unplanned emergency maintenance issues?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are there contingency plans in the budget?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are industry standards used to estimate costs?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the budget include funds for new hires, contracting, and equipment and supply purchases?
  Graphic of Checkmark Is the financing plan for long-term capital needs separate from the maintenance budget?

Staffing

  Graphic of Checkmark Does the personnel policy include maintenance and contracted staff?
  Graphic of Checkmark Do job descriptions reflect the identified needs of the organization?
  Graphic of Checkmark Do job descriptions outline the necessary qualifications to perform the work?
  Graphic of Checkmark Does the organizational chart accurately delineate reporting responsibilities?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are training opportunities available and relevant to the duties of the staff?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are all tradespeople fully licensed for their work?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are industry guidelines used to determine custodial staffing needs?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are cost-benefit analyses conducted to determine staff/contracting needs?
  Graphic of Checkmark Is cost-benefit analysis based on numbers of available staff, skill levels or training needs of existing staff, and the type of job?

Staff Evaluations

  Graphic of Checkmark Are staff performance evaluations performed on a regular schedule?
  Graphic of Checkmark Do data drive staff performance evaluations?
  Graphic of Checkmark Is there follow-up to staff performance evaluations that includes additional training opportunities, reassignment of staff, changes in job duties, contracting out duties, and hiring of additional staff?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are staff accomplishments reviewed and documented on an annual basis?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are staff accomplishments measured in part by comparing budget estimates to actual expenditures?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are staff accomplishments measured in part on the basis of work order system records?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are staff accomplishments measured in part by personnel evaluations?

Facility Plan

  Graphic of Checkmark Does the facility plan provide for periodic reports of staff accomplishments to stakeholders?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are staff accomplishments related to the objectives stated in the annual facility plan?
  Graphic of Checkmark Were all facility plan objectives met?
  Graphic of Checkmark Was reprioritization of objectives needed to meet goals?
  Graphic of Checkmark When goals and objectives were not met, was the reason for this failure substantiated?
  Graphic of Checkmark Were cost estimates sufficient to meet the objectives?
  Graphic of Checkmark Were other aspects of the budget negatively affected to meet maintenance objectives?
  Graphic of Checkmark Were staffing levels sufficient to meet the objectives?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are the goals and objectives of the facility plan reprioritized based on actual budgets received, number of emergencies, school shutdowns, complaints, safety issues, school days lost or sick days increased, negative inspection reports, loss of accreditation, compliance, regulatory or legal action, impact on capital plan or long-term plan, staff overtime, staff turnover, or the impact on other planned projects?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are unmet goals and objectives documented?
  Graphic of Checkmark Are unmet goals and objectives included in the next planning cycle?


Commonly Asked Questions

Doesn't "evaluation" take precious resources from actually maintaining facilities?
Image of Eagle with HammerAbsolutely. However, without earmarking funds for evaluation, there is no way of knowing whether the money, time, and energy going into facilities maintenance efforts are producing worthwhile results. After all, the only thing worse than "wasting" part of the maintenance budget on evaluation is wasting the entire maintenance budget on activities that aren't really working.

What tools are available for maintenance program evaluation activities?
An "evaluation tool" is any means by which an organization can get accurate and timely information about the status of its facilities, and any improvements that are a result of the maintenance program. In addition to the services of outside evaluation consultants, potential tools available to a school district include: work order records, major incident reviews (e.g., the number of school shutdowns, safety events, etc.), "customer" feedback from building principals and other stakeholders, weekly foremen's meetings, visual inspections by supervisors and managers, comprehensive management audits, focused operational reviews, performance audits, organizational studies, reengineering projects, annual snapshots (e.g., cost per square foot or per student), facility report cards, comparisons with "peer" organizations, benchmarks, measured progress toward the organization's long-range plans, external audits and peer reviews, staff turnover rates, and public opinion (e.g., newspaper articles).

Who is in charge of evaluating the facilities maintenance program?
Program evaluation is the responsibility of the facilities manager. However, because facilities are such a key aspect of an organization's overall budget and mission, other senior staff should be included in evaluation oversight as appropriate to ensure sound management and planning. Moreover, many school districts employ in-house staff with considerable expertise in program evaluation who may also be able to contribute to the process.


Additional Resources

Image of School BusEvery effort has been made to verify the accuracy of all URLs listed in this Guide at the time of publication. If a URL is no longer working, try using the root directory to search for a page that may have moved. For example, if the link to http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/performance.html is not working, try http://www.epa.gov/ and search for "IAQ."

APPA Custodial Operation Self-Analysis Program
http://www.appa.org/pdffiles/AllCustodialAnalysis.pdf
A survey and self-analysis tool designed to identify many of the variables that influence institutional custodial operations. It also establishes standardized benchmarks for the industry. APPA (1998) The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, Alexandria, VA, 15pp.

FMEP: Facilities Management Evaluation Program
http://www.appa.org/FMEP/
A program to provide the chief facilities officer at APPA member institutions with the opportunity to receive an evaluation by a team of APPA members from organizations with similar educational, financial, and physical characteristics. This document is designed to help an institution assess the value of this program and the commitment required to conduct such an evaluation.


Evaluating Facilities Maintenance Programs Checklist

More information about accomplishing these checkpoints can be found on the pages listed in the right-hand column.

Accomplished Checkpoints
Yes No
    Do stakeholders realize that it will take time (months to years) before they will be able to see improvements in a maintenance program?
    Is progress toward attaining the goals and objectives of the maintenance department being explicitly assessed?
    Does the evaluation program incorporate physical inspections?
    Does the evaluation program incorporate work order systems?
    Does the evaluation program incorporate user and user/customer feedback?
    Does the evaluation program incorporate audits?
    Does the evaluation program incorporate alternative resources?
    Does the evaluation program incorporate regulatory concerns?
    Have evaluators answered the question "What is the purpose of the evaluation?"
    Have evaluators answered the question "What questions need to be answered to make an informed decision during this evaluation?"
    Have evaluators answered the question "What information needs to be available to answer the pertinent questions in this evaluation?"
    Have evaluators answered the question "What is the best way to capture the information needs of this evaluation?"
    Have evaluators decided whether the organization hopes to measure its performance against past performance, peer organizations, or other norms or standards?
    Do decision-makers recognize that the value of maintenance activities is not always measurable in terms of simple "dollars saved"?



Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education