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Understanding the Alphabet Soup of Facilities Management

By Kevin Raasch

Facilities Management is full of acronyms. Here’s a cheat sheet to let you know if you should be offended when someone asks if you’re a “CFM”.

ADA The Americans with Disabilities Act. Passed in 1990, the ADA set regulations promoting accessible designs for those with limited mobility.
ADAAG ADA Accessibility Guidelines. These standards ensure buildings are accessible to those with disabilities.
BIM Building Information Modeling– Digital images of facilities that allow managers to create digital representations of various building characteristics.
BOMA Building Owners and Managers Association International- Championing those who manage built environments for over 100 years, BOMA supports owners and managers of commercial properties.
CAD Computer Aided Design– A software system designed to help with the creation, development, and perfection of a design.
CAFM Computer Aided Facility Management– Software technology used to aid in the maintenance and management of the physical environment. CAFM is most often used for space and move management.
CFM  Certified Facility Manager
CIFM Computer Integrated Facility Management– Care of a building enhanced by facility software solutions.
COBie Construction-Operations Building Information Exchange– A data format that organizes facility information.
CMMS Computerized Maintenance Management System– A database of facility maintenance operations. The primary role of a CMMS is tracking upkeep on high dollar items.
CPPM Capital Planning Project Management– a solution that helps organizations increase fiscal controls and improve financial accountability for capital projects.
DBMS Database Management System– software that allows multiple computers to create, access and update data from a central location.
EAM  Enterprise Asset Management– A comprehensive system that handles all aspects of public infrastructure management. An EAM’s functionality includes HR, finance, and administrative issues.
FM Facilities Management
IAQ Indoor Air Quality
IWMS Integrated Workplace Management System– A comprehensive software that helps businesses manage their built environment. Often called the “Jack of all trades”, an IWMS handles real estate, facility and space management, maintenance management, project management and sustainability.
IAP  Indoor Air Pollutants– This includes indoor air contaminants such as smoke, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.
KPI  Key Performance Indicator– A metric used to evaluate actions critical to the success of an organization.
LCC  Life Cycle Costs– The total expense associated with an asset.
OA Office Automation
POE  Post-Occupancy Evaluation– Gathering feedback from former occupants about the building’s performance.
SBS Sick Building Syndrome– Situations where facility occupants experience illness directly related to time spent in a specific building.
SFP Strategic Facility Plan– an overall framework outlining a 2-5 year strategy based on overall business objectives.


Join us as we take the mystery out of the world of facilities management. To discover more about facilities management acronyms, check out our beautiful new infographic: The ABCs of Facilities Management!


Tags: IWMS, Facility Management, CMMS, CAFM, EAM