Case Study

Prioritizing Facility Operations & Maintenance Projects – Creating a Strategically Aligned Process for a Nobel-Prize Winning Hospital Network


The University was founded in 1890, and is a world-renowned academic institution with several Nobel prize winners among its faculty and alumni. The University is also home to a major hospital network, which consists of the University Hospital and the School of Medicine.

In total, the University has over 16,000 students, employs nearly 20,000 faculty and staff, and hosts several thousand more people each day who visit the campus and hospital. For a busy, thriving urban campus, maintaining a safe, comfortable and secure environment is critical.

Our client was the Hospital Network’s Executive Director of Operations, Facilities Planning, Design and Construction. He is responsible for managing all facilities operations, covering more than 6.5 million square feet, including maintenance, infrastructure, utilities, and deferred maintenance. Recently, he was also given responsibility for design and new construction.

The Challenge

Keeping a facility of this size and importance running smoothly day in and day out is a monumental challenge. Although the University has an endowment of more than $8 billion, our client had to work within a very limited budget allocated to the Hospital Network. With some buildings over 100 years old and having to endure a harsh Midwest climate, there was never enough money or resources to do all the necessary maintenance, and the log of deferred maintenance just kept growing.

Further complicating matters was a pending review by the Joint Commission, a non-profit organization that accredits more than 21,000 US health care organizations and programs. In preparation for the inspection and re-accreditation, our client retained a consultant to conduct a Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) to identify, prioritize and quantify facility deficiencies that require attention. In total, the FCA identified over 4000 items amounting to nearly $1 billion in repairs.

With so many needs, a limited budget, and a very important inspection looming, our client needed help prioritizing work in alignment with the hospital networks strategy and turned to us for help. Our client was overwhelmed and needed a much more strategic and transparent approach to prioritizing and funding projects.

The Solution

Over a six-month period, we helped our client solve their problem by applying the 5-step Allovance process through the Allovance Software. This would ultimately enable our client to create a short-term plan for prioritizing, selecting and approving projects as well as a five-year strategic plan aligned with the hospital networks strategy.

It was important to our client for the decision-making methodology to be dynamic, allowing for projects to change as strategies and priorities change. Additionally, the client required the methodology to incorporate emerging projects that surfaced throughout the year and have enough flexibility to include these projects into the decision model.

Fortunately, this is all possible within the Software, and a key aspect of how our solution was designed. If the strategy changes, models can be easily updated to allow for re-prioritization of projects. Also, with Allovance, each project is scored independently and then compared to other projects. If a new project emerges during the year, it is scored independently and may replace a previously selected project.

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