Value adding FM in practice: Using importance analysis at the Technical University of Denmark

Susanne Balslev Nielsen, Jacob Steen Møller, Tine Berg Krogstrup, Line Katrine Harder Clemmensen, Christian Bøge Lyndgaard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: In 2018 Technical University of Denmark (DTU) conducted its third study environment investigation since 2012 to gain insights into the students’ experiences at the university. This investigation aimed to give important feedback to the facility management (FM) organisation, DTU Campus Service and others involved in creating an attractive study environment at DTU. The investigation was is to answer the question: What matters the most for the general satisfaction of students and how will FM contribute to maintain and improve the general satisfaction in coming years? These are important insights for an organisation that constantly needs to justify that the value creation is higher than or at least the same as the associated costs. Method: The methodology consists of a mix of methods in a three-step process. The first step was the quantitative survey with 65 statements about the social, physical and aesthetic study environment in the spring 2018 sent to 10.535 students of which 3837 (36%) answered in full. Each statement was assigned a score from 1 (totally disagree) to 6 (totally agree). The second step was a quantitative investigation of the most important aspects in relation with the general satisfaction of the students through a so-called importance analysis. This analysis showed that not all aspects were equally important for the general satisfaction. The third step was the creation of a study environment investment plan based on the strategic direction given by the current student investigation and other relevant information like a similar staff satisfaction. Key findings: The importance analysis, based on the questionnaire survey conducted, identified the following 10 factors as the most important focus points in value adding management for the university as a whole: absence of loneliness, good contact with fellow students, availability of lecturers also outside of normal teaching time, easy access to information about one's study lines and the courses followed, tidy and well-kept outdoor areas, tidy and well-kept premises, easy way finding, selection of social events, well-functioning informal learning environments and absence of stress symptoms in everyday life. Intended impact of the study on research and practice: Of the 10 most important aspects there are aspects, which FM has a direct or indirect influence on. This is reflected in the new action plan, developed by DTU. The DTU approach can give inspiration to others who are conducting user feedback via surveys, in particular the set of questions and the “importance analysis”. The case study adds to the growing literature on added value in FM, university FM and FM value creation. The study environment investigation focused only on students, not the researchers and other staff at DTU. Other investigations cover their views; and the FM-organisation might need to balance conflicting views with the results of the student environment survey.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of EFMC 2019
Number of pages15
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventEuropean Facilities Management Conference, EFMC, 2019 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 12 Jun 201914 Jun 2019


ConferenceEuropean Facilities Management Conference, EFMC, 2019


  • Action plans
  • Facilities management
  • Study environment
  • Survey
  • University
  • Campus services


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