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The POE study

A POE is a structured approach to the collection and analysis of data in relation to facility performance and the translation of these findings into action plans.

Study activities

The study should address the following activities:

  • identify stakeholders
  • communication with stakeholders
  • develop an appropriate data collection methodology
  • select data collection instrument/s
  • conduct and analyse survey
  • write a draft report
  • review draft report with the participants
  • prepare an action plan
  • complete a final report.

Data collection methods

The information can be obtained by structured and semi-structured:

  • focus groups
  • interviews. Structured, or loosely structured, interviews are an effective way of getting direct feedback from key staff / users. Experience would indicate interviews tend to be hard to control and a flexible approach is suggested. A checklist of target issues is recommended. Output tends to be verbatim quotes.
  • survey / questionnaire. Perhaps the most commonly employed technique is the structured questionnaire. This approach requires the development of a range of questions geared to measuring user responses to the required subject areas. A major advantage of this approach is that it allows the survey of a large sample of users and thereby improves statistical reliability. Generally the best advice is 'keep it simple'. There are many pitfalls with questionnaire design. Before embarking on the cost of a major survey it is recommended that pilot questionnaires be tested. Also consider carefully how the questionnaires are to be analysed.
  • workshops. The techniques of value management can be applied to PCR. A structured workshop can be organised with key participants to gather user responses. This approach has the advantage of being a focussed, short duration technique.
  • financial analysis
  • inspections, including physical facilities and records.This approach employs a team of 'experts' to visit the facility and assess its performance by observation. If the team is well selected, a significant amount of information can be gleaned simply by observation. Some amazingly powerful indicators of design problems can include pedestrian desire-lines across lawns where paths have not been provided, 'temporary' signage replacing the designed signs, posters and notices covering 'observation' windows, corridors used for storage purposes, windows propped open for ventilation, broken door hardware, offices or spaces accommodating more than their designed capacity. Construction detail issues can include leaking roofs, overflowing gutters, cracking brickwork, excessive heat gain, defective door hardware, leaking taps. While this approach is effective it is preferable to combine observation with interviews to check that the identified problems are correctly diagnosed. Similarly it is often desirable to allow users to participate in the 'walk-through'. Identification of these 'problems' raises further issues as to whether the cause was briefing, construction, supervision or user initiated.

The importance of the aspect under consideration, the time available, the cost and availability of the target groups will determine the choice of the data collection instrument(s). Target groups may include facility managers, facility staff and members of the community.

Aspects of a POE

A POE may address many aspects of a facility. A POE usually addresses a selection of the following aspects.

The aspects of a POE include:

  • processes,
    • project identification
    • project definition planning
    • bBrief preparation
    • project procurement
    • facility commissioning
    • facility operations
    • user consultation.
  • value and costs,
    • capital cost
    • valuation
    • benchmarks
    • social, historical and heritage value
    • value for money
    • replacement cost
    • cost-benefit
    • recurrent costs (including: utilities, maintenance, support services, staff).
  • construction,
    • hospital operation compromised
    • defects, warranties, staging / program, environmental issues
    • plant or equipment impacts
    • construction standards.
  • risk management,
    • service delivery risks
    • project delivery risks
    • other risks.
  • suitability,
    • effectiveness of the facility in achieving core business outcomes
    • delivery of outcomes specified in the project definition business plan and concept stages
    • the need to overcome a difficult problem
    • fitness for purpose, both current and future
    • location, design and functional appropriateness
    • user satisfaction (staff, visitors, contractors)
    • occupational health and safety, compliance issues.
  • utilisation,
    • size, capacity, access and functionality
    • current occupancy levels
    • capacity for growth, modification and change
    • adaptability.
  • technical performance,
    • rnergy and environmental
    • human comfort
    • structural, civil engineering
    • building services
    • car / ambulance access and parking.
  • materials, fittings and finishes,
    • efficiency, functionality and ease of maintenance of:
      • doors, sanitary fittings, windows
      • paint, floor coverings.
  • condition,
    • maintenance liability
    • anticipated life expectancy.