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Why you need a portfolio analysis in your real estate project controls process to manage ad hoc requests easier

by Sjef van Vugt, on May 26, 2022 11:00:00 AM

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Why You Need A Portfolio Analysis In Your Real Estate Project Controls Process to Manage Ad Hoc Requests Easier

Workflows - or, even better, project smart workflows - are essential to any corporate real estate manager. The ability to sequence a project, clearly see status and responsibilities, and understand what comes next is critical to success. However, as every experienced CREM knows, corporate real estate is rarely that straightforward!

Ad hoc requests can fly in from anywhere, at any time, throwing a spanner into the works; upsetting your workflows. To get back on track, these requests need to be captured, documented, organised, tracked, prioritised, and acted upon in the most efficient, most effective way. CRE leaders must be able to respond to the right requests, at the right time, making strategic decisions quickly and ‘on the spot’. 

And the best way to do that is through portfolio analysis.

What is Portfolio Analysis?

Portfolio analysis brings together all data, from across all projects, into a single reporting solution that provides a fully comprehensive, fully transparent overview of your entire portfolio; something that has traditionally been very long winded, time consuming, and vulnerable to error when using manual consolidation methods. 

What this type of analysis can do is create a real time, single version of the truth regarding the status of your portfolio, highlight incoming requests, and make it easier to turn these requests into work orders based on real, accurate, and trusted data.

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Benefits of Portfolio Analysis

The primary benefit of portfolio analysis is the ability to best prioritise unexpected requests to deal with ad hoc issues in the way that makes the most sense from both an operational and financial perspective. For example, if multiple requests come in at the same time, for different buildings, or for different areas of a building, the ability to see and consider all of these requests together through portfolio analysis empowers CRE leaders to say ‘this needs urgent attention’ or ‘this can wait X days without having an impact on the overall outcome’. It helps to aid decision making. 

Essentially, it’s a way to separate business-critical requests from non-business critical requests, and ensure work is scheduled, carried out, and completed as necessary.

It could be said that portfolio analysis addresses what is perhaps one of the biggest problems in the corporate real estate world today: the time lag between an unexpected request coming in, and a decision being made on how and when to address that request. This problem stems from the fact that many CRE teams don’t have access to the types of data - or the most recent data - to decide quickly. 

Portfolio analysis is a way to visualise what’s going on, instantly run reports, and get rapid answers to questions and uncertainties to empower faster decision making.

Expect the Unexpected

Today, most corporate real estate teams are working reactively, rather than proactively. They build their workflows, they operate on a day-to-day basis and, when a request does come in, they react to it by developing a plan of action from scratch. What smart CRE leaders are doing, however, is working proactively. They’re using real estate management software to improve CRE forecasting, making it easier to identify potential issues and predict what types of requests are most likely to come in, and when. 

Of course, ad hoc requests can never be 100% eradicated in the corporate real estate management world. They’re always going to happen. However, with the deep insights that portfolio analysis can provide, these ad hoc requests don’t always have to be unexpected or pose major disruption to the workflow. They can become issues that have been anticipated, and proactively planned for by CRE teams with standard asset management processes in place to deal with them.

Insight is Everything

No matter what department we’re talking about, it’s becoming absolutely essential that every relevant stakeholder has easy access to up-to-date information regarding all raised requests, all work orders generated from those requests, and the status of the request, no matter whether they were anticipated or not. This is the only viable way to ensure that requests are handled effectively. 

And the ability to do this all lies in whether CRE leaders have insight into their portfolios, or not. Naturally, a great deal of focus is placed on gaining insight into individual projects. However, when it comes to being able to prioritise ad hoc requests and respond to the right ones, at the right time, a full overview of the entire portfolio is needed. The right integral project management system can help.

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