IWMS go-to tactics from the nation’s leading research university

How would you optimize the use of more than 15 million square feet of research, educational, and administrative space with the support of seven professionals (including two recently graduated interns)? This is just a day-in-the-life for Mark Washington, senior manager, information systems, and his team at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Speaking during the recent Archibus Virtual Users’ Group, Washington laid out how his organization leverages their IWMS to efficiently manage space across more than 600 buildings owned and leased by JHU across the globe.

These strategies are highly valuable to any organization with space management as a top-of-mind priority, including those considering their next real estate technology investment and those already tasked with increasing the ROI of their current IWMS.

1. Prioritize creating a “system of record” with your IWMS

Washington described how his team identified an opportunity to create a “system of record” with their IWMS earlier this year by updating and standardizing hundreds of floor plan drawings. This extensive project was executed in about three months by using the Archibus CAD environment to update and standardize floor plan drawings and store them in a database for later use.

“We wanted a footprint of every building we own, lease, and operate in the system,” said Washington. “In the majority of facilities, we go down to the room level.”

In addition to creating and employing a “system of record” internally to validate use of space and the accuracy of floor plan data, Washington’s team also shared updated floor plans with contractors and architects to streamline renovations and construction projects.

Oganizations benefits from a tool that provides a more accurate view of how their space is being used, especially when that tool highlights opportunities to recover unused or underutilized space.

2. Create training assets to share new standards with stakeholders

Washington’s next strategy for generating more value from his IWMS was solidifying the new data standards by sharing them with the rest of his organization. His team developed an administrator manual to educate employees outside the team (or incoming team members) on how to properly enter new floor plan drawing data into the Archibus database.

“We have something in place that allows us to be consistent in how we use the tool, even as we bring on new team members,” said Washington.

The team also created a guide for how other groups at JHU can use drawings from the database in collaboration with the architectural team. This process ensured that the new IWMS process was successfully adopted by staff across the university.

The university’s proactive approach to sharing updated architectural standards has also begun creating cascading efficiencies across the university’s broader technology ecosystem.

3. Rally end users and stoke buy-in with a user group

The final strategy Washington outlined was creating a user group for staff across the university who depend on accurate architectural data to do their jobs. The group meets regularly to discuss the need for system modifications in Archibus or new requirements that would necessitate updating their internal standards.

This feedback is considered when deciding which IWMS enhancements or integrations to prioritize. Currently, the university’s Archibus setup supports integration with SAP for finance, Maximo for maintenance, and ESRI for exterior maps. Based, in part, on user group feedback, the team is already planning to invest in additional IWMS modules that would further improve space analysis and utilization.

Unlock the full potential of your IWMS

IWMS platforms like Archibus can provide a depth of value to your organization when fully utilized to automate space management. Schedule an IWMS Health Check for immediate answers about how much more you could accomplish with your current technology.

Watch the user group recording for the full interview with Mark Washington and learn additional Archibus tricks and tips.