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  • Go/No Go Decisions – what are the best practices?

    Posted on November 4th, 2014 Sally Orcutt No comments
    Go/No Go Decisions - what are the best practices?



    I participated in a LinkedIn Group conversation recently on best practices for using the Go/No Go process, the question was asked, “How do you go about processing Go/No Go decisions at your company?

    People agreed the single most important consideration is consistency. Beyond that, there was a strong voice for adding objectivity to the process. Every firm has Pete Pessimist and Sue Sunshine working for them. And, while they should be involved in the decision-making process, adding objectivity is important to increase win rates. Three themes emerged from that conversation that I’d like to share.

    Form or Meeting: 

    There were several different opinions on this. Size of firm and size of project seemed to play a role in the decision. For those firms that opted for meetings rather than form completion, they still use a list of questions to ensure decision makers are asking the right questions each time.

    If you use a form, keep it simple. Some firms did some detailed analytics to find the ‘Go’ and ‘No Go’ zone. However asking your team to go through this level of time investment each time will have team members resisting. If your firm does this detail, try and keep it in the background.

    Communication is Key: 

    Go No Go Decision

    Whether you use a form or have a list of questions, let them be dialogue starters not decision makers. Several firms indicated they did not have anyone complete a form. Instead, they use the form as a guide and bring their team together to have a conversation.

    Be intentional about who comes to the Go/No Go meeting. Besides the project champion, include a straight talker who will help bring up hard truths that the group may not want to hear.

    Risk(s) of Inconsistency: 

    Firms that crank out proposals without a consistent Go/No Go process reduce cost-effectiveness of their marketing budget and lower their hit rate. However, a No Go decision today should be revisited. Situations change. But, without consistency in the decision-making process, you risk wasting marketing resources (time and money) on opportunities that were losers before you started.

    Creates a time crunch that may reduce individual quality. If your marketing department feels like a hamster on a wheel, some proposals are likely to be rushed. When that happens the worst case scenario may not be that your firm does not get selected, it may be the impression left by the quality of your submittal.

    Know your Firm

    In the end, all firms operate differently. Some firms feel more comfortable with hard, quantifiable data. Others make strong decisions with anecdotal information. When making the Go/No Go decision on proposals, those engaged in the conversation feel the best practice is probably to include some of both.