Associate Director – Facilities Management Consultancy
Working in facilities management in the Middle East requires a great deal of knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the built environment – both things that Yazan Tuqan has in abundance. With a background in mechanical engineering, experience across the full facilities lifecycle and a thorough grasp of operational transformation, Yazan is well-positioned to help Mace usher in a new era of facilities management in the region.
- How did you get into facilities management?
With a background in mechanical engineering, I moved to the UAE in 2008 to pursue the dream of building, expanding and playing my part in a fast-paced, developing country. For four years, I worked on the construction side of projects in the region, but during this period I found myself more interested in the later stages, commissioning systems and preparation for live operations to handover to the client and the end user. I first encountered Mace in 2012, when I was asked to join the FM consultancy team on a project basis at a construction project in UAE. However, at the time I was more interested in expanding my skills in a career in strategic facilities management. Then a few years later in 2016, I was again approached by Mace to join the core FM consultancy team, where I joined as a consultant and started working my way through various projects within the region.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
The most interesting thing for me are the new challenges I face every day and being in a role where I have complete exposure to FM consultancy and the processes involved. I enjoy the continuous changes, new clients, being part of a much bigger journey and knowing I have the knowledge that can bring value to different clients.
- How do you redefine the boundaries of ambition?
Where the MENA region is concerned, facilities management is still a young industry. The general consensus is that FM is only applicable when it comes to providing services such as cleaning, security, general maintenance and that only a small workforce is required to carry out these tasks. The notion that it can be a contributor involved in driving vital decisions throughout the facility's lifecycle is not yet fully understood. So I feel it’s part of my responsibility to contribute to the maturation of facilities management within the region; by engaging in the facilities lifecycle early enough to infuse it with a purposeful design, and by working with different organizations on operational transformation and optimisation. In FM, we redefine the boundaries of ambition by exceeding international standards and influencing developments and organizations to achieve operational excellence.
- What's been your proudest achievement at Mace so far?
I feel great pride in getting where I am now, leading the facilities management consultancy team for Mace’s Operate business in the Middle East, and I get projects driven pride when the projects & programmes I worked on go live and adds value to the communities and cities. On a personal level, another proud moment was hearing the Facilities Management Middle East award host reading my submission and announcing Mace Operate as winners of the MENA FM Consultants of the year 2019.
- What are the key challenges you face in the FM world?
The biggest challenge for me is the change management process - taking all stakeholders and end users on a journey to adopt new ways of working, new technologies, and new processes. There are plenty of innovations out there that completely redefine FM operations, especially with the use of data insights and automation. However, technology is only as good as its users. We can deploy all sorts of solutions, but it’s up to the management teams and people on the ground to take it on board.
- Why Mace?
Through our Operate engine, Mace has wide exposure, strong market presence, extensive client partnerships and is a pioneer in developing the FM offering within the MENA region. Joining Mace was a great opportunity to be part of this journey, developing solutions, holding ourselves accountable for the implementation and generally adding value to our clients’ organisations, facilities and assets.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
A key skill is being able to understand client’s needs. There are usually two types of clients, those that don’t yet know what their requirements are and those who start with an idea that is a fraction of what is fully required. Understanding these two types and managing expectations is vital as is the ability to translate visions into tailored roadmaps and into tangible deliveries.
- What advice would you give to somebody looking to get into what you do?
First of all, start by understanding that facilities management is about designing end-user experiences throughout cities, communities and organizations, bringing those three concepts to life. In terms of a career path, there are few different paths you can take but in all of them it’s very important to be passionate, professional, precise, organized, strategic, with positive can-do mindset.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
A chef running my own cosy restaurant. However, I must acknowledge that my current career path plays a big part in my culinary approach and mindset. I often find myself planning a big gathering menu as I would work on a project, utilising my FM consultancy skills and even setting the preparation sheets in a Mace presentation template!
“I feel it’s part of my responsibility to contribute to the maturation of facilities management within the region; by engaging in the facilities lifecycle early enough to infuse it with a purposeful design, and by working with different organizations on operational transformation and optimisation.”