Considering the large amounts of time that are put into building up proposals and implementing projects, AEC firms must weigh the pros and cons of pursuing each business opportunity. In addition to invested time, money spent can amount to tens of thousands of dollars, and subject matter experts may be required to exhaust most of their resources on just one project. Furthermore, the demand wrought on by responding to proposals can have marketing teams with their backs against the wall. Therefore, it is critical for AEC firms to use tools like aec360 CRM optimize their go/no go decision-making process.
Why should AEC firms digitize their no/no-go process?
The go/no-go process can be extremely manual for many firms, requiring a long paper trail of documents and forms that are exchanged and revised within the company. These documents that prop up the no/no-go decision-making process are decentralized and outside the bandwidth of visible and tangible business data. This lack of information and central coordination on these decision-making processes makes it nearly impossible for firms to make more informed pursuit decisions in the future. For this reason, AEC firms should digitize their go/no-go process using software that can allow them to visualize, manage and optimize their processes for the future.
Setting up your go/no-go automation standards
To get started with the automation of the go/no-go process, your firm will need to decide on important criteria that can identify a make-or-break project and help explore associated project risks. The following criteria that can be leverage include:
- Who are we competing against for the project?
- How much revenue can be derived from this project?
- What is the timeline for the project?
- How is the existing relationship with the client?
- Do we have sufficient human resources to support the project?
- Do we have clear expertise and relevant experience that creates a competitive edge for this project?
- Does this project open the door for subsequent opportunities?
- Is our marketing strategy aligned with the pursuit of this project?
When defining your firm’s key criteria questions within the aec360 software, there are different ways to measure potential answers. Answers can be scored based on various options which are weighted differently, or they can be yes, no subjective answers.
Establishing process workflows
After setting up your defining go/no-go attributes, standards of success based on varying types of project opportunities must be established. Key stakeholders and decision makers should also be identified, and certain approvals and workflows must be implemented.
By setting up workflows that suit each potential pursuit opportunity, your firm can weigh the pursuit scenario’s complexity, size and risk against the available resources and time for the project. To illustrate this, imagine that your firm is using the criteria of potential earnings and project size as a key decision criterion for pursuing a project. The resulting rule could be:
- If the potential project earnings are less than $300,000, then the technical lead will make an executive no/no-go decision for pursuing a project.
- If revenue is projected to be from $300,000 to $1,200,000 then the market sector lead will have to sign off on the decision as well, with follow up being an optional discussion.
- If projected earnings are $1,200,000 to $2,500,000, then an approval would require both technical team buy-in and an ok from the division lead.
- Any projects with projected earnings of over $2,500,000 will need technical team buy-in and president approval.
By leveraging solutions like aec360 to automate key decision-making processes, the system will automatically have requests pending from the relevant decision makers, based on the criteria of the project proposal and existing no/no go proposal outcomes. The individual responsible for overall process will have an overview and updates on the workflow.
Quantifying your go/no-go criteria
Firms can more clearly understand the viability of a certain project pursuit by properly scoring their go/no-go attributes. An example of a go/no-go attribute scoring includes using a green-yellow-red system in which there are clear gos (green) and no-gos (red). The area in between (yellow) represents unclear go/no-go decisions where your firm can invest more time in discussing and deciding the appropriate approach.
Using aec360, it is also possible to assign a numerical score to each go/no-go attribute. Using the numerical scoring system, firms can use a 1 to 5 score that can measure the risk or strength associated with a criteria. Furthermore, it is possible to weight certain criteria so that it will have either more or less influence on the overall go/no-go score. By quantifying your go/no-go criteria your firm can make decisions more objectively.
Going over your go/no-go criteria
After the key decision criteria and decisions have been worked through and filled out, key decision makers and stakeholders will have one available digital space in which they can view all the pertinent go/no-go decisions. Each member of the pursuit team has their own digital access to reports and results, with the ability to comment, review, and give their own ultimate decision. All of this online information is stored for safekeeping, so that reports can be formulated and these decision-making processes can be referenced later.
Using aec360 to customize your firm’s go/no-go process
aec360 was particularly made for firms in the engineering, construction and architecture industries, opening up the opportunity for go/no-go processes to be directly embedded into existing the CRM solution. Firms can customize and optimize the workflows in aec360 to align with their business methods and strategies, having control over key parameters including who the decision makers are at each step of the processes, and what criteria should influence a decision and how.
Reports and dashboards in aec360 assist firms in staying focused on their core capacities and choosing the right projects, by optimizing the approval process. By using aec360, firms can objectively quantify their pursuit decisions, allowing them to put time and resources in projects that will best serve both their interests and goals, as well as that of their clients.