5 Steps to Automating the Go/No-Go Process for Construction Companies to Improve Pursuit Decisions

For construction companies, deciding whether or not to pursue an opportunity is a strategic decision with long-lasting impact, from the cost and time it takes your team to prepare a bid or proposal, to the months or years it takes to build a project. Pursuit investments can easily run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it is not in your company’s best interest to respond to RFPs that might not be the best fit from a typology, schedule, resourcing, location, or profit margin perspective. It is critical to pick the right projects to pursue early in the opportunity lifecycle. This is where the right technology can help.

Why it’s important to automate the go/no-go process

In most construction companies, the go/no-go process has historically been a highly manual one. It often consists of either long meetings or a multitude of data points entered into siloed forms. These documents are filled out, emailed for input and approval, and stored in locations where they are difficult to locate and where the valuable data they contain isn’t analyzed or easily accessible for future go/no-go decisions. This is unfortunate because this data could mean the difference between wasting time on an inappropriate pursuit or, conversely, significantly increasing your win rate.

This is why automating the go/no-go process—including digitizing all the related assets—is key to going after the right opportunities.

Here are 5 steps to automating your go/no-go process:

1. Set your criteria

The first step is establishing key criteria for making go or no-go decisions and identifying potential risks. Attributes can include:

  • Does this opportunity align with our business strategy?
  • Do we have the right project and employee experience? Are those employees available?
  • Which competitors are also in the running?
  • Do we have the experience required to compete?
  • Do we have the resources and are they in the right location (or willing to relocate)?
  • Do we have subcontractor/vendor relationships in the right location?
  • Which risk factors in the construction and delivery process create risks for our delivery team?
  • Do we have a relationship with the client? If so, what does it look like?
  • What is the project timeline?
  • What is the projected profitability?
  • Is this a one-time job or is there a potential for future work of this type or in this geographic area (or both)?

contsruction360 allows you to create an automated form with predefined questions and appropriately weighted scoring criteria to help determine the pursuit viability for your company. These criteria can and should be unique to your firm and allow your team to objectively evaluate every opportunity.

Sample Go/No-Go Form in construction360

2. Define and score

Once you have identified the attributes to be evaluated, you need to clearly define each one and how it should be scored—e.g., yes/no or numerical based on strength. With your go/no-go decision criteria established, it’s time to determine for each type of project opportunity:

  • Can we succeed, considering the opportunity details and structure?
  • What does success look like for us at the end of the project?
  • Who should be contributing to or making a final decision?
  • What approvals need to be gained before moving forward?

Workflow processes can help you to correlate the amount of time and resources you’re willing to invest relative to the project size (projected revenue and profit), complexity, and risk surrounding a particular opportunity, and therefore, who needs to sign off on a “go.” For example, a rule could be configured like this.

If the project revenue is:

  • Less than $1M: Technical lead makes the go/no-go call; no need for further decision discussion
  • Between $25M and $50M: Need approval from the market sector lead; follow-up is optional
  • Between $50M and $100M: Need approval from the division lead and technical team buy-in
  • Over $100M: Need approval from the president and technical team buy-in

By automating the go/no-go process, construction360 automatically requests approvals from the appropriate people once the opportunity data has been entered, and then notifies the responsible individual when it’s time to take the next steps.

Approvals view of an opportunity in construction360

3. Score each go/no-go attribute

Scoring each go/no-go attribute helps you be more objective about which projects are worthy of pursuing. There are many different ways to score these attributes - here are three examples:

  • A green-yellow-red system, which distinguishes between advantageous attributes (greens) and less-than-advantageous attributes (reds), as well as some that may be in between (yellows). Your team can then focus on the yellows and reds, which might require more research to determine whether you should proceed.
  • Assigning a numerical score to each attribute—for example, rating the strength of or risk associated with each attribute with a score of 1 – 5.
  • Weighting criteria based on importance to factor a higher or lower percentage of the total score, which is then used to determine whether the opportunity is worth pursuing.

After scoring each attribute, you might want the opportunity to document the strategy to overcome risks or low-scoring items with a strategy to mitigate the risk or increase the score. constustruction360 allows you to customize your scoring system, keeps track of historical decisions, and can show you win/loss trends in your pursuits.

Go/No Go overview dashboard for multiple projects

4. Review each go/no-go decision

With all your questions and criteria addressed, the next step is for pursuit teams and decision makers to review each item. While some pursuits might warrant a team discussion, a lot of time can be saved by eliminating the need to meet to discuss every opportunity or send multiple emails. Automating this process with tools such as construction360 saves you and your team valuable billable hours.

5. Use construction360 to manage the go/no-go process

construction360 was designed specifically for the construction industry, allowing you to embed go/no-go processes directly in your CRM software, not as an external add-on. You can configure construction360 to your processes, matching your way of doing business—everything from which questions to ask and whose input is needed to who makes the final decision.

construction360 also provides dashboards and reports to simplify the approval process and help you stay focused on the projects that are the best fit—the checks and balances that help you ensure you’re investing in winnable pursuits.

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