The inspiration behind our fable - DMA Group
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This month DMA Group published a fable – The Tale of the Forgotten Building and the Three Engineers – a look at how our built environment has been failed by the traditional approach of the UK maintenance industry, and how it needs to radically change to deliver better service, greater efficiency and support our national net zero agenda.

At DMA, we’ve always preferred business books crafted as a fable. Our favourite is undoubtedly The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, which in fact inspired us to create our own. It highlights the challenges of a new CEO at a struggling Silicon Valley firm, and how she takes control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helps it succeed as a team. Story time over, the author Patrick Lencioni goes on to provide tips for overcoming the human behaviours that he says corrupt teams – absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results. It’s a brilliant book for anyone struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading or managing people.

We intended creating something similar about our industry – showing where we’d all been going wrong and how we could get back on the right path. But without lecturing. After all, having been around for 219 years, we’d clearly been part of the problem ourselves, characterised by low service levels and systemic inefficiency, all of which has given our industry a poor reputation.

Repeatedly disappointed with expensive proprietary CAFM systems, five years ago, we recognised the need for change. So we began developing our own tech-enabled service management platform to make buildings work better by automating our business processes from A-to-Z. It now drives everything we do, and it’s already making a massive difference to our people, our service partners and our customers.

By illustrating a problem, without preaching The Tale of the Forgotten Building and the Three Engineers looks at our industry-wide challenges from different perspectives – how a disjointed approach to maintenance can adversely affect the condition of a building and frustrate engineers, often leading to them leaving the industry, or not being attracted to join in the first place.

While it’s focused on one forgotten building and three individuals, it’s a story repeated in thousands of buildings and plantrooms around the country.

We hope it resonates with the wider maintenance market and is the spark which leads to permanent change, not just at DMA, but across our whole industry.