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How to Establish Your Go/No-Go Process


Does your firm waste valuable time and effort on opportunities that you have no chance of winning? Is your team burnt out from working on projects that make little to no business sense? If you said “Yes” to either of those questions, then it’s time to establish a Go/No-Go strategy.

Fortunately, this guide has everything you need to build a Go/No-Go strategy and identify winnable projects that align with your business goals. 

What Is a Go/No-Go Strategy?

A Go/No-Go strategy is a set of “if this, then that” parameters that enable a business to qualify opportunities based on the likelihood of success. In other words, your Go/No-Go strategy helps you determine whether or not a business opportunity is worth the effort.

The criterion for the decision will vary from business to business and be specifically tailored to the needs of the business. The result of the process determines whether a company will move ahead with the process or not.

Improve Your Go/No-Go Process

It may seem counterintuitive, but walking away from a business opportunity is one of the best decisions your firm can make, especially when that opportunity prevents your team from working on projects that better align with your business goals. 

That’s why your firm must develop an effective Go/No-Go process— because every second your team spends on the wrong pursuits is time that they are not focused on opportunities that actually make sense for your business.

In fact, 80% of teams use a Go/No-Go process for RFPs. An increasing number of teams are implementing an evaluation method to determine the suitability of RFPs before dedicating time to a proposal.

Currently, 80% of teams employ a Go/No-Go strategy to evaluate their likelihood of success with RFPs. This indicates that over three-quarters of respondents find it beneficial to evaluate the potential customer fit prior to engaging in the bidding process.

How to Make the Right Go/No-Go Decision

The best way to ensure the success of your Go/No-Go decision-making process is to establish a set of criteria for new opportunities. These criteria should be based on experience, best practices, and the available resources. The following steps will help you determine those criteria and eliminate any gaps in your decision-making process. 

1. Establish Determining Factors

The first thing you should do before you submit an opportunity for Go/No-Go consideration is establish your determining factors, i.e. the basic criteria that determine whether or not an opportunity is even worth the effort. Here’s what to consider:

Project Type

The type of projects you undertake is the prime factor that determines whether the Go/No Go process is a viable solution for this opportunity. Here is where you ask whether or not the project falls within your area of expertise. 

Project Life Cycle

The project life cycle is the second determining factor that determines whether the Go/No Go process is a viable solution for this opportunity. This is where you ask whether or not you can complete the project in the allotted time. 

Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations of your firm are the third determining factor that determines whether or not you should submit the opportunity for Go/No Go consideration. If the opportunity does not comply with your firm’s established rules and regulations, then it is not a viable option for consideration. 

2. Initiate Pre-Positioning and Capture Planning

Now that you have qualified for the opportunity for Go/No-Go consideration, it’s time to gather the information you need to make an informed decision. The more information you collect about the project and the client, the more informed you will be when it comes time to make a decision. 

This stage is called pre-positioning or capture planning, and it enables the decision-makers at your firm with critical information, such as:

  • Project cost
  • Available budget
  • Timelines
  • Expected outcomes 

3. Gather Internal Stakeholders

Once you have collected all the relevant information about the project, it’s time to gather your internal stakeholders. These are the people in your organization who have experience with this type of project and/or client.

Ideally, you will want to gather subject matter experts (SMEs) who can think through both the project risks and benefits, as well as the opportunity, efforts, and costs. 

4. Deliberate With Subject Matter Experts

Now that you have assembled your team of internal stakeholders and subject matter experts, it’s time to evaluate whether or not the project presents a viable opportunity for your organization. Here is where you present the information you gathered in the pre-positioning stage and ask questions to determine whether or not the opportunity is justified and feasible. 

Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • Do we have the time and resources to create the proposal?
  • Is the project profitable considering budget and fees?
  • Would the project present a possibility to expand our expertise or market share?
  • Is the cost to develop our proposal reasonable?
  • What are the odds of winning the project?
  • How well do we know the client’s needs and preferences?
  • Is our competition better prepared or better connected than we are?
  • Do we have the resources to successfully complete the project?
  • Does this project fit into our corporate strategy and business goals?
  • How would our present clients react if we took on this project?
  • Is the project’s funding certain?

5. Make a Decision/Come to a Consensus

Once you have determined that the project is feasible and has a proper justification, you can move on to the fifth and final step in your Go/No-Go process— making a decision. If the project meets your established criteria, then it is a viable opportunity that is worth pursuing. If it does not meet those criteria, then the project is not worth the effort… yet.

You don’t have to throw out an opportunity because it doesn’t meet your Go/No-Go criteria. All you have to do is label it as “not yet,” “not this time,” or “not under these circumstances”. By doing so you allow stakeholders to leave the table feeling that their ideas have been heard and respected. You also leave the door open for later evaluation should the circumstances change.  

Submit Winning Proposals With OpenAsset

There are dozens, if not hundreds of factors to consider when evaluating a business opportunity. By establishing your Go/No-Go strategy, you make it easier for your firm to weed out the unqualified projects and focus on the opportunities that increase profits and grow your market share. 

However, when you do find a qualified project worth focusing your efforts on, you’ll need a tool to streamline your workflows and help you create winning proposals and documents in seconds.

OpenAsset’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution makes AEC proposals simpler, faster, and more successful. That’s why 99% of customers renew. With dozens of integrations and useful features, OpenAsset is the martech solution you need to create high-converting content, proposals, presentations, and much more.

Ready to improve your workflows and win more business? Contact OpenAsset to start your free demo today. 

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