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Glossary - F

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Facilities Audit

An audit of the physical and functional adequacy of a facility, with particular reference to the building fabric and building services components, to provide an input for life cycle cost analysis, short term maintenance planning and long term planning purposes. Should equally be fabric and function. A building audit is more the fabric and services. Source: G3

Facilities Management

The process of planning, managing, maintaining, rationalizing and accounting for facilities and associated services while simultaneously seeking to reduce the associated overall costs. The primary focus of facilities management is to provide the optimum level of facility for the least financial outlay. Source: G3


From an asset management perspective, a facility is a single management unit for financial, operational, maintenance or other output delivery purposes. It can be a complex of buildings (such as a school, a shopping center or hospital), a clearly defined entity (such as a discrete section of a road network, or a national park, or a port, or an area of crown land, or a sporting complex). It can be a significant built structure, (such as a dam, a large bridge or a CBD building). It can also be a protected entity (such as a heritage property or an area or thing of cultural significance). More often than not, a facility is a collection of things that provide a readily recognized community service. It is wise to develop all asset strategic plans at the facility level. Source: A4


The termination of the ability of an item to perform its required function. Source: S2 (AS/NZS ISO 9000:2000).

A condition at which a structure ceases to fulfill its functional purpose (such as leakage) or reaches a limit state (deflection, cracking). Usually failure not involving full collapse because most structures are considered unsafe or unusable well before they collapse. Source: G3

Failure Analysis

The logistical, systematic examination of a project or program, to identify and analyze the probability, causes, and consequences of real or potential failures. Source: A4

Failure Cause

The failure of an input resource (Human, Asset, Information or Financial) to meet the minimum acceptable output service delivery performance target. Source: A4

The circumstances or conditions during design or delivery of a service that have led to failure to meet customer needs and expectations. Source: A4

Failure Mode

The effect by which a failure is observed. Failure Modes are sometimes described as categories of failure. A potential Failure Mode describes the way in which a process, product or service could fail to perform its desired function (performance target) as described by the needs and expectations of the external and/or internal Customers. Source: A4

Failure Prediction

A procedure by which the potential for failure of an asset, facility or item is analyzed, the potential failure (asset distress) modes are identified and the likelihood and possible timing of failure are assessed. Source: S2


Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. Essentially similar to FMECA below, with the exception that in the instance of FMECA the results of the study are ranked in order of seriousness (criticality). FMEA is widely utilized in the design and development stages in the automotive industry. Source: A4

The study of potential failures that might occur in any part of a system to determine the probable effect of each failure on all other parts of the system, on other systems, and on probable operational success. Source: S2 AS 1057:1985

FMEA Element

FMEA elements are identified or analyzed in the FMEA process. Common examples are Functions, Failure Modes, Causes, Effects, Controls, and Actions. FMEA elements appear as column headings in the output form. Source: A4


FMECA (Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis) is more widely used in asset management then FMEA. It is qualitative technique for analyzing and evaluating a design of a service to ensure that the output process has the desired reliability characteristics by obviating those critical failure modes through employment of redundancy, providing alternate modes of operation, or any other means available. While it was developed for the design phase of a project or program it can also be a useful tool for managing risk in existing assets. It identifies assets critical to service delivery including threat and vulnerability, by assessing the risk of failure, prioritizing the consequence of failure, quantifying the risk cost, evaluating the acceptable risk level (risk appetite), and undertaking risk mitigation measures. Source: A4

The quantitative study of the potential failures that might occur in any part of a system to determine the probable effects of each failure on all other parts of the system, on other systems, and on probable operational success, the results of which are ranked in order of seriousness. Source: S2 AS/NZS ISO 9000:2000.

Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)

The study of the possible sequence of events constituting the failure of a system using the diagrammatic method of algorithms. Source: S2 AS/NZS ISO 9000:2000.

A technique by which many events that interact to produce other events can be related using simple logical relationships permitting a methodical building of a structure that represents the system.

Note: "Incidence Sequence Analysis" and "Failure Tree Analysis" are terms often substituted for FTA, and have the same meaning. Source: A4

Fast Track

Overlapping of actions normally carried out sequentially to ensure a speedier result. In general it refers to accelerating the construction or acquisition timeframe. Source: A4

Feasibility Study

A systematic investigation involving problem definition, the generation and analysis of alternatives and an appraisal and recommendation, to determine the form in which a project may proceed, ensuring it is functionally, technically, and financially feasible. It may also embrace wider economic and environmental aspects, and social issues. Source: N1

Finance Lease

A lease that effectively transfers from the lessor to the lessee substantially all the risks and benefits incident to ownership of the leased asset. Source: T2

Financial Analysis

A financial evaluation technique used to quantify the costs and benefits over time of a particular project to determine the real net value or return to the owner as a result of the project. Financial analytical techniques used include the quantification of real costs and returns through net present values (NPV) and internal rates of return (IRR). Source: T2

A project evaluation technique that is undertaken from the perspective of the individual or agency, rather than having an economy or system-wide perspective, as used in benefit/cost analysis. Source: S2

Financial Statements

Collective description for what in the private sector is termed the Operating Statement, the Statement of Financial Position, the Statement of Cash Flows and associated notes. In the public sector the equivalent documents are called the Statement of Net Assets, the Statement of Activities and Statement of Cash Flows. Source: T4 (modified)

Financing Activities

Activities such as borrowing and equity adjustments, that provide additional balance sheet financing. The sum of an organization's appropriation through the Consolidated Fund for the following items:

  • outputs
  • equity adjustment
  • administered items.

The fiscal limit represents the total contribution to the organization for the delivery of outputs for the year. Source: T44 (modified)

Fixed Cost

A cost that does not change with varying activity levels. Source: A4

Forward Estimates

Estimates (on a rolling three year basis) of future baseline funding requirements. Source: T4 (modified)


A measure of likelihood expressed as the number of occurrences of an event in a given time. Source: S2 (AS/NZS 4360: 1999).

Full Cost

The total cost of all resources used in the production of an output - the total of all direct and indirect costs. Source: A4


In the FMECA process, a Function could be any intended purpose of a product or process. FMECA functions are best described in verb-noun format with engineering specifications. Source: T4

Function Analysis

Information generated from a value-management study of a concept or project, that details at different levels the functions required of a facility or its component parts. Source: D1


In asset management it can refer to the functions that a software system carries out. However it more commonly refers to the capacity and capabilities of an asset component. Source: G1

Future Value (FV)

The estimated value of a present dollar amount at some point in time in the future, considering the time value of money. It is the value which an amount invested now with compound interest at the current discount rate will reach at some time in the future. Source: N1