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Why Project Accounting Benefits Architects

by Lucas HaydenArchitecture and Engineering, Project Management

Apr 28, 2021

Project accounting is—or should be—the lifeblood of all project-based organizations, but architecture firms are a special breed. Because these firms balance multiple complex projects at once, many of which have different costs associated with them, proper project accounting often provides an extra challenge—and extra reward when done correctly. What is project accounting for architects, and why is it so important? In this blog, we will take a closer look. What is Project Accounting? Project accounting includes monitoring the finances, profitability, and resources of projects. Every direct or indirect cost should attribute directly to a project. Project accounting must be done at every stage of the project lifecycle, from initiation to execution to closeout. There’s a lot of overlap between project accounting and project management; the finances of the project hold a direct line to the status of the project, and more and more, Project Managers are expected to keep a pulse on the finances of projects, not just the logistics. The Benefits of Project Accounting for Architects Turning the corner and beginning to put project accounting best practices into place is certainly an adjustment for your business—but it’s well worth it. Why? As an architecture firm, projects are your business. When project teams are confident in knowing where each project stands, they’re confident in knowing where the financial health of the entire firm stands. Let’s walk through the smaller benefits that come together to form this big picture. Clarity and Control Over Projects Far too many projects start out with good intentions and what seems to be reasonable deadlines, then surprises and adjustments occur. The project team didn’t have the information available to predict or suggest these unexpected events and are left scrambling. Before you know it, the project is totally derailed, and it ends up being late and over budget. But, when project teams take the time to manage the financials of a project, it unlocks a new world of insight for your stakeholders. Project Managers and executives now have all the information they need at their fingertips to closely monitor project status. They can see current project costs, upcoming expenses, and how profitable the project is at any given time. They can see when the project is starting to creep into the red and quickly course correct to bring it back from the brink. An integrated, project-based ERP tool with real-time dashboards and custom reporting puts all project accounting information in one system and makes it even easier to get this crucial real-time data in front of your stakeholders. We will talk more about the role an ERP plays in achieving the benefits of project accounting later in this blog. Assigning the Right Resources at the Right Time An architecture firm’s most important resource is its people. They make projects come to life—both in conducting the actual project requirements and organizing the project accounting and logistics. Whether a project succeeds or fails is all about getting the right people staffed and funded accordingly. With accurate project accounting, Project Managers will know exactly how much money is set aside for staff salaries and other associated costs. This enables them to compare how many people they think they need for a project with how many they can reasonably hire and take action accordingly. Even better, they can understand the staff budget in context with the profitability and financial status of the entire project. They may discover the 30 employees they set money aside for might actually be too many and they can course correct and choose to allocate the extra money to strengthening other parts of the project. On the other hand, they may suddenly discover that the project is understaffed and can assess the status of the entire project to determine if and where they can pull money from and resolve it or if they need to have a larger discussion of adjusting the project scope. Cloud ERP solutions with project accounting functionality enable businesses to optimize their critical resources while forecasting future demands, costs, and planning capacity—helping to take the guesswork and manual effort out of resource management. Reduce Errors and Redundant Work Proper project accounting requires strong organization and regular monitoring of all projects. Once a firm gets into the habit of updating the project financial status as soon as changes happen, it provides key project stakeholders with the latest information and can reduce errors. For example, once an outstanding invoice receives payment, it should be marked as paid and the income should be reflected in the project reports right away. This will help reduce the chance of the Project Manager reaching out to the client again asking for payment and either causing tension with that client or resulting in payment being sent again. Project-based ERP systems are helping to automate project accounting for architects. Project teams can rely on automated calculations and data updates, helping to reduce data entry errors and redundant work. How a Project-Based ERP Brings it all Together Acting on project accounting best practices and transforming your firm’s processes might seem intimidating, especially for firms that manage their projects and financials in spreadsheets or legacy solutions. Proper project accounting requires that teams see the whole picture—not an easy task when they have to navigate a dozen spreadsheets and even more versions of the truth. Project-based ERP solutions open businesses up to a new world of automated project management, financials, and project accounting. Project data across the organization is captured and stored in a secure, central database that’s easily accessible by authorized users from any connected device to eliminate wasted hours spent updating and managing individual spreadsheets or hunting for information. By managing transactions, costs, and revenue in one single solution, every dollar is tied to a project and is updated in real-time, so stakeholders have visibility into the architecture firm’s health on demand. “We’ve achieved return on our investment in Unanet A/E with efficiency improvements alone – we can get the detailed financial data we need quickly, right when we need it. Unanet A/E has also added visibility and accountability. Now, every Project Manager knows exactly how much money is in their project budget and how much they’re spending, which is critical when you’re working big projects with tight budgets.” —Joseph Courtade, Director of Finance & Administration, Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers To learn more about project profitability and how a project-based ERP can automate the process, download our white paper.

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Latest Enhancements to Unanet A/E Driven By Customer Feedback, Requests

by Lucas HaydenA/E, News and Announcements, Product Releases

Apr 05, 2021

This week Unanet A/E released a new set of features that give A/E firms enhanced usability, new functionality and increased visibility into their project lifecycles and businesses. The most important part of these latest features is the fact that each and every one was designed specifically in response to customer feedback and communication. Unanet invites a two-way dialog with its customers to ensure they have the functionality they need to run their businesses. One unique way we are committing to customer engagement is by the launch of an upgraded customer suggestions portal enabling faster feedback loops to development teams to meet the needs of the customer community more quickly. Customers will benefit from real-time status updates on their suggestions and new unlimited customer voting. These upgrades position Unanet A/E as the most customer-focused ERP provider in the industry, driving project performance with full visibility to the status of A/E projects in real-time, all the time, from any device. Unanet Pay is one of the industry’s most innovative features built on a robust ERP. With Unanet Pay, A/E firms can automate and optimize invoicing, online payments and collections, accelerate AR resolutions and drive business growth. New fee functionalities allow customers to share the cost of merchant fees with their payers and provides flexible setup allowing label overrides for better customer presentation. Fees can be applied after a set number of days, based on percentage, and tailored to meet requirements on a client, project or invoice basis. Project Central enhancements provide project managers with clear insights to their projects with many new capabilities: an interactive project list view, flags based on personalized project performance criteria, customized aggregation, dynamic project search, and tailored row coloring for easier grid views. The Unanet A/E desktop user experience is a modern redesign of the user interface styling that offers updated look and feel for more intuitive workflow, a redesigned login screen for consistent experience throughout the application, and updated grids for better visibility and usability. To learn more details about Unanet A/E’s new release please visit Unanet A/E 2021.3 Release Notes (login required).

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Latest ERP Updates for GovCons Deliver New Mobile Capabilities, Fixed Asset Tracking and SCA Support

by Kim KosterGovCon, News and Announcements, Product Releases

Apr 05, 2021

GovCons have told us they are on the go and working from remote locations more and more, so they need enhanced mobile capabilities that enable them to track information, submit timesheets and expenses from anywhere. They’ve also told us that enhancements to the finance and accounting modules will give them an even more refined and elegant way to conduct some of their day-to-day business. It’s with these customer requests in mind that we delivered the latest features and functionalities to Unanet’s project-based ERP. For GovCons, Unanet’s new release delivers three primary enhancements: Mobile Time & Expense capabilities, Fixed Assets tracking, and Service Contract support. A new Mobile application allows busy GovCon professionals to input time and expense on their own devices anywhere, anytime, making expense input easy. Supervisors will also be able to approve their employees’ timecards and expense reports from their own mobile devices. Unanet’s mobile applications are high-rated and user-friendly, giving customers best-in-class capabilities. Future improvements include data capture directly from scanned receipts, enabling users to create an expense item in under 30 seconds. A new native Fixed Asset tracking and depreciation solution that calculates and records depreciation expenses to the general ledger, tracks asset in-service dates and locations and records disposals to complete the asset lifecycle. Unanet’s reports and its unique dashboard make the tool more intuitive and user-friendly than any other on the market. The Service Contract Act (SCA) requires GovCons have the ability to comply with the wage determination in their contracts. Offering advanced SCA support, Unanet will now automatically calculate the correct costs for export to their payroll system, including pay in lieu of benefits. Additionally, complete wage determinations history for each contract is available to support Department of Labor audits. This is the second major release from Unanet for its GovCon platforms this year, further underscoring our commitment to innovating and enhancing our software to ensure GovCon customers have the latest technology to meet their ever-changing needs. Unanet is committed to being a trusted counselor and knowledgeable expert to help GovCons navigate increasing change and complexity in their industries, through insightful, simplified project and financials management, contract management, invoicing, timekeeping, security compliance and more.

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Leveraging Good Data for Growth

by Kim KosterBusiness Development & Growth, GovCon

Apr 05, 2021

In general, GovCon firms either grow or shrink – no one stands still. Looking for an exit in a few years? Growth is essential. Looking for a capital infusion? Growth is essential. Shopping for a better deal on a line of credit? – Growth is essential. Buyers, investors, and lenders are all becoming more sophisticated and they are always risk averse. They want to see that you can leverage the data from your systems to produce information and use that information to fuel growth. They also want to see that you have tools and processes that are capable and scalable. And that includes keeping the cost of those processes as low as practical so you can win the contracts you pursue and use all the information at your disposal to pick the right targets to pursue. Bottom line: Growth is essential, and good data will get you there. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#080808","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/643fe/growth-drivers-graphic-03.png","srcSet":"/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/46904/growth-drivers-graphic-03.png 81w,\n/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/36ed3/growth-drivers-graphic-03.png 163w,\n/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/643fe/growth-drivers-graphic-03.png 325w,\n/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/5eb64/growth-drivers-graphic-03.png 650w","sizes":"(min-width: 325px) 325px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/41bf9/growth-drivers-graphic-03.webp 81w,\n/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/85e00/growth-drivers-graphic-03.webp 163w,\n/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/5cace/growth-drivers-graphic-03.webp 325w,\n/static/9499cd126aec2eb464675ff14fe2b38d/4779c/growth-drivers-graphic-03.webp 650w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 325px) 325px, 100vw"}]},"width":325,"height":334},"alt":"","className":"wp-image-35833 aligncenter inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"1"} Growth Driver #1: Good Decisions Whether it’s a decision on where to make the next training or BD investment, which of three or four or five opportunities to pursue, or even whether to continue chasing a procurement when conditions have changed, fact-based decision making is the only path to success. Your ERP system should be able to give you data on cost of past performance for the same or similar efforts. It should be able to tell you which customers are profitable (and which are not). In fact, it should be able to give you a broad range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on everything from your current projects’ profitability to the trend of your indirect rates. These KPIs should be some of the factors you consider when deciding where to go next. Your win rate on previous proposal efforts should also be available – by customer, by line of business, or even by your internal business units. If not, why not? What you should know: Approximately 60% of firms use data analytics to boost process efficiency 57% of businesses leverage analytics to drive strategy Just over 50% of successful businesses use analytics to monitor and improve financial performance (Source: Business Analytics. Harvard Business School. 2019.) Data analytics can help GovCons target opportunities more accurately Analytics can also surface hidden costs and keep the indirect rates in the “win territory” How you can succeed: Make sure your systems can calculate your KPIs continuously and in real time so that information is available on demand when you need it and not “two weeks after the close” or “once a quarter.” Look for a tool that gives your users an experience with reports and dashboards that they can manage themselves Standardize your KPIs across teams and departments so everyone is looking at the same information Train your teams on reading and interpreting the KPIs to make the information actionable Whether it’s cost control, indirect rate trends, portfolio management or pipeline tracking, make sure the metrics you track actually matter. A few KPIs that deliver clear insights will be better than dozens that users have to dig through. Growth Driver #2: Better Proposals Proposal writing is always a challenge, always important, and increasingly difficult to manage. The RFP response is the difference between getting an award or not and many GovCon firms lack the processes required to consistently write a winning proposal. It’s not just the technical volume. Showcasing your subject matter expertise and experience is just the start. In today’s environment, you also have to price to win and that means knowing how your rates will be impacted by a win, what staff resources will be available to perform the work, and how a win might affect other ongoing work. Guessing at any of these factors, even if it is an informed guess, may not be a winning approach. Worse, even if your proposal is selected for award, a wrong guess could make your hard-won contract a losing proposition. It all comes back to what you know and whether you can leverage that information to help you win. What you should know: 77% of firms say individual awards make up a significant portion of their revenue Nearly 70% of companies win less than half the contracts they bid on 66% of GovCons still use Excel to estimate their costs, even though they realize a need for better technology Over 20% of contractors had a negative growth rate in 2020 Source: Unanet GAUGE Report 2020. How you can succeed: Understand the scope of the project and use that understanding to build a work breakdown structure (WBS) for it Estimate the resources required to perform the work and make sure the timing of resource availability works. If all the people with the right skill sets aren’t available when and where you need them, develop a contingency plan for their acquisition Pay special attention to your estimates of personnel costs for staff not currently available. You can use To Be Determined (TBD) placeholders in your proposal (assuming it’s not for key personnel) but be sure the cost rate for those resources is realistic. There should be a lot of cost information available from your ERP system on similar past projects. Use it to benchmark your cost volume. It may tell you that the work can be done for less than you think. It may tell you that your proposal is consistent with prior projects, but make sure conditions haven’t changed. If that kind of information isn’t available, ask yourself why not. Growth Driver #3: Proposal Responsiveness Proposals often aren’t “one and done.” No one would dispute that the initial proposal submission should be absolutely the best you can do. Sometimes there’s no second chance, especially if the evaluation is Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA). But just as often, there will be amendments to the solicitation requiring a revised proposal. Sometimes it’s just a matter of clarifications or a change in the terms and conditions. Sometimes there is a substantive change in the government’s requirements. It’s not as common as it once was, but a round of Best and Final Offers (BAFOs) still occurs and the larger the procurement, the more likely that may be. It seems sometimes that a BAFO is nothing more than a mechanism to drive the price down – especially if there are multiple rounds of BAFOs on the same procurement. (Yes, that does happen.) The point is, refining the estimate, confirming availability of resources, or looking for alternative resources that might be more cost effective are all activities that should continue even after the proposal is in the hand of the Contracting Officer. You wouldn’t do that on a 90-day delivery order, especially if it’s a follow-on. But on a major procurement for a new customer or a must-win recompete? Definitely. And when it’s time to reprice, restaff or update the technical volume, the one thing you can count on is that the time allowed will be about half what it should be. Be prepared. And part of that is using tools that streamline that process. Manually updating proposals for changes, whether it’s a minor time shift or a major change in technical approach, can be time-consuming and error prone. What you should know: LPTA made up 28% of proposals for the respondents versus Best Value Over 50% of firms say their BD teams are under-resourced Companies with the highest win rates recognize the need for BD reporting tools Mid-Sized Businesses are using GWACs, MACs and similar vehicles for more than 32.5% of their annual revenue Source: Unanet GAUGE Report 2020. How you can succeed: Research matters: Know the customer before the solicitation is on the street – at least enough to know if your capabilities and qualifications are a fit for what they need. If it looks like your services are a stretch, don’t spin your wheels and waste resources chasing a low probability win. Standardize the criteria for your Probability of Win (Pwin) assessments and make those part of your “go/no go” decisions at every step. And, yes, reassess at every step. Don’t hesitate to cut your losses if conditions change. Research matters: Don’t rely on the solicitation to tell you everything you should know about the customers’ requirements. Every SOW has an unwritten subtext. The more you know about the customers’ real, day-to-day problems, the better equipped you will be to read between the lines of that solicitation. Research matters: Talk to the customers even after the proposal is in – just be careful not to violate the communication protocols of the procurement. When a solicitation amendment comes out that changes everything, well prepared offerors already know why it’s happening and how to react. Make sure your tools are up to the job. Managing three, four, or even five simultaneous active proposals is possible even with a manual process. What about 10 or 20? Whether it’s for estimating and pricing or technical volume management, put the infrastructure in place before the process becomes a problem. Want to learn more about GovCon strategies for success? Download the 2021 GovCon Success Guide for tips and best practices that will drive your firm to increased profitability.

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3 Ways to Improve Accounts Receivable Collections

by Lucas HaydenA/E

Apr 05, 2021

Firms like yours need new ways to improve Accounts Receivable collections to ensure an optimized cash flow, especially if these challenges sound familiar: Disparate systems lead to billing oversights and errors Lack of collaboration, process automation, and easy visibility within your firm fosters a longer billing cycle and makes collection efforts more difficult Spreadsheet chaos makes it difficult for your stakeholders to trust your financial data, hindering strategic decision-making Inefficient processes cause cash flow bottlenecks Why does this matter? Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of improving the AR process.   The Benefits of Optimizing Accounts Receivable Collections Improving and optimizing your AR process opens your firm up to a world of possibility. Your finance team will have to correct fewer errors, resulting in a shortened, more accurate invoicing cycle, quicker payment approvals, and faster payments. All of these benefits work together to improve AR aging, AR Turnover (DSO), and of course, cash flow. The impact of optimized AR isn’t just financial. With automated and streamlined operations in place, your teams operate in tandem, fostering a positive impact on company culture as well as customer experience and engagement. So, how can your firm make all this happen? Let’s assess some strategies. At the core of these strategies is technology paving the way for collaboration, automation, and better decision-making.   1. Establish Bill Review Standard Procedures to Reduce WIP Without a clear, streamlined bill review process, your invoices take longer to get out the door, your WIP (or Unbilled) increases, and it takes longer for you to realize that revenue. It’s certainly worth spending time on creating standard procedures for time entry close and bill review- and specifically engaging your Project Managers in bill review. Establishing a smooth process can increase regular engagement from Project Management, ensuring they are regular participants in the process and able to make decisions at every step of the way. Your Project Managers are closest to the work and in the best position to ensure your invoices are accurate before going out the door. Once you’ve established standard processes, keeping stakeholder engagement up is key. Host regular refresher training for Accounting and Project Managers on process and procedures to retain adoption. Conduct mid-cycle Project Manager reviews to keep a consistent pulse and ensure that no WIP gets left behind. Finally, measure the success of your bill review procedures with key performance indicators (KPIs) using an integrated ERP and Analytics tool. Key metrics like unbilled per PM/Project and unbilled aging are what you want to keep an eye on. Your ERP solution can go beyond just measuring these metrics and provide a single system for accounting bill review and adjustments, enable seamless online bill review, and help align your Project and Accounting teams.   2. Adopt a System that Supports Invoicing Automation Adopting an ERP solution that supports automated invoicing is one of the crucial ways to improve invoicing and AR collections. Automated invoicing means that upon review, invoices can be queued up, processed, and delivered en masse with just a few button clicks. If your team is invoicing one at a time, this is a huge first step. An ERP will enable you to standardize invoice designs and templates, saving manual effort and time spent editing invoices in Microsoft Word while still meeting your clients’ individual needs. Automated invoicing also makes bill review a standard part of your invoicing process and encourages your PMs access invoice drafts themselves and stay in the loop. With an automated solution, you can email your invoices and get them into the hands of your customer faster, track their engagement, and set up automated invoice reminders to keep the process moving. An online payment solution allows your customer to easily pay your invoice via ACH and credit cards all in the same system, leading to a quicker AR resolution. Your ERP should also help facilitate accepting online payments. This allows your customer to easily pay your invoice via ACH and credit cards all in the same system—even automate the receipt posting back to the GL—all leading to quicker AR resolutions.   3. Gain a Full View of AR Collections to Reduce AR Aging Having a full view of AR collections is paramount to keeping tabs on AR and being strategic in your collection efforts. After all, more cash=more growth for your business. The key is using a solution that provides real-time insights into AR and financials. With an ERP solution, your Billers and Project Managers alike can view and track aging days, invoice amounts, project and client data, and PM or business units all in one solution. As discussed above, having access to all of this helps increase PM engagement and improves the AR collections process and strategy.   Improve Collaboration, Break Through Bottlenecks, and Increase Cash Flow Adopting an ERP solution to manage and streamline your accounting processes will help your A/E firm move away from spreadsheet chaos and outdated systems and toward a fully integrated system with powerful insights. Learn how Gilmore & Associates, a civil engineering and consulting firm, reduced their DSO by 5 days, received a 2x increase in electronic invoice payments, and has saved 100+ hours per year with Unanet Pay. Download the success story. To hear about how M S Benbow, a multi-discipline, integrated engineering consultancy, leveraged Unanet A/E Analytics and Innovations to solve problems, gain efficiencies and put their data to work, watch our on-demand webinar: Achieving Operational Excellence with Analytics & Innovations.

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Expert Advice: How to Make the Right Go/No Go Decision

by Sarah LorekAEC, Construction, Cosential, CRM, Uncategorized

Mar 07, 2021

Is your firm wasting time and money pursuing projects that… You have no chance of winning? Don’t make good business sense? Don’t fit your firm’s strategic goals? You’re not alone. Tons of firms go after every single opportunity that comes their way, thinking that gives them the best chance of winning as many new projects as possible. That’s simply not the case. Every second your firm spends on the wrong pursuits — every phone call made, every email sent, every piece of marketing collateral produced — is time you’re not focused on opportunities that actually make sense for your firm. And spending hours and hours chasing projects your firm ultimately loses will demoralize and burn out your marketing and business development staff. Not exactly a recipe for success. That’s why it’s crucial to develop an effective Go/No Go process. Consistently making the right Go/No Go decisions will empower your firm to focus on high-probability, high-profit projects. [Free tool]: Make Go/No Go Decisions in Seconds Below, industry experts share their advice for developing a Go/No Go decision-making process that supports firm-wide success.   5 Expert Tips to Improve Your Go/No Go Decisions Keep the Big Picture in Mind for Projects Understand Where Your Firm is Today and How You Plan to Grow Commit to the Process Only Pursue Opportunities that Inspire Passion Seek Outside Information   1. Keep the Big Picture in Mind for Projects One thing many firms lack when creating a Go/No Go decision-making process is a strategic firmwide plan. Without knowing your goals and how you define success, it’s impossible to know which projects are worth pursuing. “You have a ‘Go/No Go’ process, and sometimes your senior folks actually follow it. But you lack a major tool that would make your ‘Go/No Go’ process truly efficient: a PLAN! “The ‘Go/No Go’ process is designed to help you say ‘no’ when ‘no’ is the appropriate answer. The hard part is determining when ‘no’ is the appropriate answer. With a Strategic Plan, Marketing Plan and/or Business Plan, this determination is much easier.” — Bernie Siben, CPSM, AEC marketing consultant   2. Understand Where Your Firm is Today and How You Plan to Grow Go/No Go decision-making is about determining which projects you’re most likely to win and putting your firm’s effort into those opportunities. But that’s only half the story. It’s also important to develop a strategic plan for growth and view Go/No Go decisions based on where you see your firm several years down the line. “The framework of a go/no-go tool must blend strategy and historical evidence. For instance, the firm must use criteria that helps define its success, coupled with a blend of factors that enable the firm’s strategic plan. “For example, Brand X Construction’s ‘sweet spot’ is defined at $7 million in project revenue. This is an important characteristic to understand, as it helps create a picture of the ideal customer or project. Notice this does not say ‘average project size.’ It is important to conduct a thorough study of where a firm excels and where it does not. “The strategic growth niches also help define categories that are worthwhile targets. Without them, the firm might acquiesce and simply engage in identical work. While it may be currently profitable, it may also be myopic and fail to include a balance of long-term strategy.” — Gregg M. Schoppman, consultant at FMI [Get the Guide]: Top 5 Ways to Win More Work with an AEC-Focused CRM   3. Commit to the Process Your firm will never follow any process 100 percent of the time. And that’s okay. There are certain circumstances you can never plan for. You need to respond to each situation appropriately, regardless of the rigid rules you’ve put in place. But be careful. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking every opportunity deserves special consideration. That’s just not true. In the vast majority of cases, you should follow the strategic Go/No Go process you put in place to give your firm the greatest chance of success. “Be wary of end runs around the go/no go process. Sometimes there are bona fide emergencies or other reasons to stray from the committee review process, but the odds of getting stuck with a losing, or expensive, project increase if the go/no go process requirements are too easily sidestepped. “One example is that a business unit may delay asking for a ‘go’ decision, then claim it is too late for management to say ‘no go.’ The theory may be that commitments have been made to the subcontractors or JV partners, or that estimators have already done so much work and would be demoralized if the plug is pulled. Effective management should not allow this ‘end run’ tactic to be rewarded.” — Tom Porter, JD, DBIA, EVP at Barton Malow Company   4. Only Pursue Opportunities that Inspire Passion You can’t afford to think of every single Go/No Go decision solely in terms of numbers. While metrics and data are crucial to success, your firm and your clients consist of people, and that means emotions and mental states play a role in every task and initiative. Before making a final decision, find out how your staff feels about pursuing and working on the potential project. Their excitement — or lack thereof — just might sway your choice. “Are you ALL in it to win it? Mentally, we are wired to believe we can do anything and sometimes we can climb seemingly impossible mountains. The whole team must recognize the ‘fire in the belly’—the passion and inner drive to take action—when pursuing the win. If everyone from leadership to seller/doer, PM to marketing professional has the fire, then: GO. If even one person has reservations about getting to the top of the mountain, you will likely not get to the top: NO GO.” — Frank Lippert, FSMPS, CPSM, partner at Go Strategies   5. Seek Outside Information Even if you have the ability to access and analyze mountains of data about a potential opportunity, there’s likely certain information you can’t learn on your own. Take some time to research what those outside of your firm have to say about the client you’re evaluating. “Working with unappreciative clients, will sap your time and energy from working with great clients and designing top projects. You must research both the company and its leaders online and through speaking with colleagues, contractors, and furniture suppliers.” — Richard N. Pollack, FAIA, FIIDA, managing principal at Pollack Consulting   Take an Objective Approach to Go/No Go Decisions By developing and implementing an effective Go/No Go decision-making process, you’ll empower your staff to focus on the opportunities that make sense for your firm. While your total pursuits will decrease, your hit rate will likely improve at a level that increases your total wins and/or profits.   Want actionable tactics that can drive results? Get the calculator below! const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#a8b8b8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/895a1/Go-NoGo-update.png","srcSet":"/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/c6630/Go-NoGo-update.png 243w,\n/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/e8d4d/Go-NoGo-update.png 485w,\n/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/895a1/Go-NoGo-update.png 970w","sizes":"(min-width: 970px) 970px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/5b201/Go-NoGo-update.webp 243w,\n/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/ed8b1/Go-NoGo-update.webp 485w,\n/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/116d9/Go-NoGo-update.webp 970w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 970px) 970px, 100vw"}]},"width":1997,"height":514.6907216494845},"alt":"Go No Go Decisions_blog CTA","className":" inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"1"} Download this 17-point, weighted-scoring tool to quickly and objectively determine which projects are worth pursuing.   If you liked this article, you might also enjoy: [Blog post] How to Get Free Construction Leads [eBook] Top 5 Ways to Win More Work with an AEC-Focused CRM [Blog post] Quick Tips to Improve Your Go/No Go Assessment