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Megan Miller
Megan Miller
Megan Miller is a senior product marketing specialist for Herndon-based Deltek, the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms and government contractors, and can be found at

Improve Your Goal-Setting Game! Using Effective Benchmarking & KPIs to Reach Project Success

February 5th, 2016 by Megan Miller

The process of setting and meeting goals is the engine that drives all project-based businesses, and AEC firms are no different. But setting goals can be difficult – and it can be easy to lose energy and focus with even the most clear and actionable of goals.

Within the AEC industry, firms often set themselves up to fail by setting goals that are unrealistic or vague. You may have a goal, but no actionable plan to make it happen. Or, you may have created a goal that simply isn’t feasible.

So, how do you know what goals are realistic? In a word: benchmarking.

Turn to a trusted resource like the Deltek Clarity Report, compiled from responses to the Annual Deltek A&E Clarity Survey, to help benchmark your firm against the competition and drill down on key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, thanks to Deltek’s 2015 Clarity Report, we know that the average win rate is 47.6% and high-performing AEC firms are reaching 50%. Metrics such as these will help you determine what average firms are doing, what high-performing firms are doing and where you measure up.

Once you see where you stand, you can set realistic targets for where you want to be. So, what steps can your AEC firm take to accomplish your goals? Start by asking a few key questions:

  • What actions will your firm take to make progress?
  • How and when will you check the pulse of your progress?
  • What is the plan to make adjustments, if needed?

Let’s examine how those questions translate to actionable steps. For example:

  • What are the actions your firm will take to make progress?
    • Enter every opportunity into your Client Relationship Management (CRM) system.
    • Establish a “Go/No-Go” checklist for each market.
    • Use a “Go/No-Go” checklist for any opportunity greater than $50,000.
    • Add a “Go/No-Go” checkbox to your CRM for monitoring.
    • Track and review all “No-Go” reasons needed to be tracked and reviewed.
  • How and when will you check the pulse of your progress?
    • Review opportunity pipeline reports in weekly department meetings.
    • Update missing and outdated opportunities within two days.
    • Department managers should follow up to check progress.
    • Review “Go/No-Go” report monthly to evaluate progress.
    • Monitor “Win/Loss” report and review on a monthly basis.
  • What is the plan to make adjustments, if needed?
    • Review project history of particular departments or clients; discuss adjustments needed to increase win rate.
    • Evaluate wins and losses for trends; communicate new approaches quarterly.
    • Change reviewers in the “Go/No-Go” process to ensure objectivity.

The 37th Annual Deltek A&E Clarity Survey is now open. Participate to get priority and free access to this year’s report to ensure a benchmarking boost – then combine benchmarks and KPIs with a plan for frequent pulse checks to ensure actionable goals for your AEC firm’s success.

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