From Deepwater Horizon to Present Day – Building a Go/No Go Process to Support a Firm’s Marketing Plan and Win New Work


March 7, 2017 3:35 pm - 4:50 pm

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Rebecca Maddox

When I was hired by the professional infrastructure and environmental services company Cardno in 2011, just over one year following the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, admittedly, our technical staff – primarily biologists, ecologists, geologists, economists, and engineers, were still on a bit of a “high” from the amount of work this terrible tragedy brought to our organization. Our firm had been hired by BP for natural resource damage assessment and recovery and my colleagues experienced a surge of seven-day work weeks, sometimes around the clock, to keep up with emergency operations and environmental data management in the wake of this incident.

Senior leadership recognized that one day, this Project would come to a close and our firm needed to build a healthy backlog to keep the staff who worked so tirelessly billable with new work. When I joined Cardno, the term “Go/No Go” was nebulous at best to most staff not just in my Tampa office, but across the U.S. Eastern and Midwest Regions that my BD and Proposal Team (of 2) had to support. After pulling multiple shifts into the 2 and 3AM hours to meet client deadlines in just my first six weeks of being on board, I requested a meeting with my supervisor to discuss the Go/No Go process. I distinctly remember him sharing, “I don’t understand. Isn’t it all a Go, Rebecca?” In that moment, I bit my tongue and thought, I might just have my work cut out for me. Please join me for this session on Building a Go/No Go process to support a firm’s marketing plan and secure new work in a highly strategic and effective manner.

Takeaways/learning outcomes

 A strong Go/No Go process helps solidify a Pursuit Team’s understanding of what supports the firm’s Marketing Plan, and what does not.

The benefit of a strong Go/No Go process is in the thoughts and discussion it generates. There are dozens of Go/No Go templates to choose from – use the one that works for you and your firm and don’t be afraid to modify it on a regular basis to meet changing needs.

A highly effective Go/No Go process while it will take time, ultimately leads to a stronger backlog.

The Go/No Go process crosses over into an understanding and appreciation of staff utilization rates. It is important to understand the pressures of being billable to work most effectively with technical staff in achieving the ultimate goal of winning new work.