Do I Stay Or Do I Go? The Importance of a Go / No-Go Process

project pursuit
March 22, 2018

Do you continually battle with your staff on whether your firm should pursue a project? Having a process on how to determine what projects your firm will pursue makes it clear to your staff which projects and clients you are chasing and which ones you aren’t. The decision should not be determined on your “gut feeling.” There must be a clear direction and clear strategy for winning the project. That’s where the use of a simple Go / No-Go Sheet comes in when in project pursuit mode.

Depending on the size of the firm, a Go / No-Go Sheet will be completed by a principal, project manager, and a strategic marketing member. (In some cases, you may have more than three people.) If these positions are one and the same, then fill one out regardless. This also allows you to record what you have pursued22 vs. not pursued. Such historical data can be helpful when going after projects in the future.

Don’t make it complex. It should be really easy and only take 3-5 minutes to complete. There are several different formats of Go / No-Go Sheets for architects, engineers, and construction firms. Modify one to your firm’s preferences. The factors may include:

  • Relationship Strength
  • Expertise in Geographic Market
  • Knowledge in Industry
  • Differentiator
  • Project Team Availability
  • Pricing/Profit Margin
  • Cost to Respond
  • Consistent with Strategic and Marketing Plan

These factors all play into the decision of moving forward with an RFP/RFQ. Think about each one carefully and be honest with yourself and your team. Share the Go / No-Go Sheet with your team members, because this allows any of them to participate in the process. Your team understands the importance of recording the information and can make decisions about project pursuit, in the event that the principal or CEO is unavailable. (This also means you trust your team and are empowering them, because you’ve set up your strategic plan and they know the direction the firm is going.)

Completing a Go / No-Go Sheet gives you the discipline to stop chasing projects you shouldn’t and start pursuing the ones you should. It will save you and your staff time and money! Instead of chasing a project you have little chance of winning, you can channel that effort toward build relationships surrounding those projects you have a much better shot at winning. It keeps you and your staff honest about what you’re pursuing and keeps you focused on your strategy and the clients that meet your business goals.

Here is an example of a Go / No-Go Sheet.  Go / No-Go Decision Matrix