UK Facilities Management Guide
One definition of facilities management, provided by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is:
"A profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology."
This is to say, it is the management of many facilities and disciplines by one organisation, for another organisation. This is often contracted for a specific project, and can range from operating and maintaining one aspect of the project, i.e. catering, to the whole project in its entirety.
Examples of specific facilities include: cleaning; IT maintenance; security; building upkeep.
The contractor usually supplies its own human resources.
It is the responsibility of facilities management to ensure that all necessary resources and equipment are available and in place, so that an organisation’s staff can do their job, or carry out the functions of a specific project.
The services facilities management offers are sometimes considered to be divided into "hard services" and "soft services." Hard services include such things as ensuring that a building's environmental functions – such as the heating or air conditioning - are functioning within legal and operational guidelines. Soft services include such things as monitoring the tasks carried out within, or the upkeep of, the building, as pertains to cleaners, builders and electricians.