Over Fentress’ tenure, we have compiled a broad base of data, experience, and first-hand knowledge. We continually apply these resources to aid decision-makers in developing and refining policy directives. Our policy work includes: evaluating business processes; assessing potential impacts from proposed policies, programs, or legislation; and justifying facility and resource needs to external stakeholders. We develop professionally written documents and graphical presentations for our clients that display trends, articulate challenges, communicate findings, and recommend strategies. We have produced national-level studies addressing wide-ranging issues, as well as regional and local studies focused on a specific topic or concern. High-level managers in both business and government have successfully used our studies to address Congressional inquiries. A sample of our policy studies and related work follows:
Cost-Benefit Analysis – Fentress has used cost-benefit analysis to provide decision-makers with options and recommendations on the best course of action. Perhaps our most frequent application is determining the benefits of consolidating space compared to the costs of the associated renovations. We also apply cost-benefit to assess competing facility project alternatives, such as constructing a new facility or renovating an existing facility. Cost-benefit analysis helps our clients ensure they receive the greatest benefit for the lowest cost.
Cost-Effectiveness Analysis – Often, it is difficult to quantify a policy or program’s benefits in dollar terms. In such cases, Fentress uses cost-effectiveness analysis. This approach enables our clients to make decisions by examining the programmatic, mission-related, impacts of various policy alternatives. For example, we use facility-specific data to measure the benefits of having space that aligns with an organization’s mission. These data can be used to weigh competing alternatives–such as expansion, consolidation, or relocation—to determine which course will yield space that offers the greatest improvement to the overall mission.
Risk Analysis – What if an important decision is not made? Or a critical action is not taken? Fentress uses risk analysis to help our clients demonstrate the effects of deferring decisions–for example, not funding needed facility projects. In this case, the effects include deterioration of the existing asset, inability to meet tenants’ operational requirements, and risks resulting from the lack of properly secured space. Financial impacts are also addressed, such as the risk of remaining in a costly leased space when less-expensive alternatives exist.
Surveys – Fentress’ analysts are experienced in social science research, economics, and advanced statistics. As such, we are skilled at developing and administering surveys, analyzing results, and presenting findings. We have used customized electronic surveys to gather detailed data in such disparate areas as: measuring the quality of buildings’ architectural design; assessing facilities’ alignment with tenants’ organizational missions; and compiling tenant occupancy and inventory information. Our methods for sample selection, survey design, and data analysis employ well-accepted and defensible quantitative techniques.
Qualitative Analysis – Data and trends provide critical support for policy decisions; however, decisions often cannot be based solely on numbers. Thus, in addition to rigorous statistical methods, Fentress uses subject matter experts to gain insight into programs, validate data, develop defensible assumptions, and intuitively predict future trends and resource demands. In our experience, first-hand knowledge gleaned from subject matter experts provides vital context for understanding numeric data. Fentress uses a variety of techniques to engage subject matter experts, including individual interviews, focus groups, cross-impact analyses, Delphi analyses, and SWOT analyses. The art in our process is our ability to blend rigorous data analysis with the intuition and experience of subject matter experts.
White Papers – Fentress’ wealth of data and experience have enabled us to consult on a wide range of issues and complete relevant policy studies. These include: analyzing demographic, workload, and human resource trends; assessing real property ownership options; and developing “hot spot” analysis for space demand planning. Our professional reports and accompanying recommendations have been used by decision-makers to quantify policy impacts, support critical decisions, and justify project funding.