In 1984, as part of his master’s thesis titled A Study of Decision Criteria for Major Replacements, Renewals, and Planned Improvements at Selected University Campuses, a young Doug Christensen wrote the following:
"Today, procedures are being suggested as to how to determine what the real needs and priorities are for a university. In the future, these suggested procedures. and the resulting information, will assist administrators in determining what needs are important and how they assist in forming more specific priorities. However, the main concerns seem to suggest that confidence and understanding as to what is a priority, and how it is determined to be a priority will be the important questions…
Due to the increased importance of knowing how to manage aging facilities on university priorities, an exploration is needed to determine present decision patterns by physical facility administrators (physical plant)."
These words were nothing short of visionary. At a time when long-range facility planning was in its infancy, Doug Christensen wrote about the need to be more forward thinking and strategic in the administration of physical facilities. From his first asset analysis in 1972 until his death in 2016, Christensen devoted his life’s work to the study of strategic facilities planning. Starting with lifecycle projections of the Capital Needs Analysis Center at Brigham Young University and throughout numerous presentations, seminars, journal articles, and interviews, he was a champion and collaborator at the forefront of the development of total cost of ownership modeling of physical facilities.
This text is a compilation of the collaboration, research findings, and best practices that Doug Christensen employed in his work. It will delve into the strategic foundation of long-range facilities planning and the need for leadership in those efforts. It will outline methods for organizing the effort and determining the best means and methods to establish and operate an enterprise asset management solution. Lastly, this will touch upon the role of lifecycle planning in the overall total cost of ownership model.
Throughout his life, Christensen felt that knowledge should be shared. He espoused the notion that “a rising tide raises all ships.” By sharing all that he learned, he felt he was doing his part to grow the industry towards a more strategic method of leadership.
In addition to his seminars and published articles, it was his intent to author a text to be used to share this knowledge of how building Total Enterprise Asset Management or TEAM Solutions could impact the strategic plan of organizations. This text constitutes the portion of his research and writings that are specifically centered on effective capital needs planning as an investment strategy. While he did not live to see this work published, it does contain the introduction he wrote for the text, excerpts he wrote both for this text and other works, as well as many of the research findings and illustrations he developed both in an individual effort as well as a collaborative product with other colleagues. This text is aimed at sharing his findings and to help the future generation benefit from his life’s work.
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