Three Strategies to Win More High-Impact Work

Strategies to win more work

Many clients talk about their desire to win more work in specific markets, such as healthcare, institutional, science, and technology buildings—yet find owners in these sectors selective and sophisticated. Breaking into a new market may be difficult, but with the right strategies in place, architects and design engineers can demonstrate value to owners and grow their businesses.

While many focus on the all-important RFP, a successful transition likely requires more foundational shifts. Here are a few top strategies for winning high-impact work.

1) Diversify Your Team

Specialized project teams are the groundwork for effectively responding to owner needs. Assembling project teams with specialized roles like a design manager on the construction side or a designer focused on constructability demonstrates that a firm understands the complex needs of high-impact projects, such as hospitals. Specialized roles also ensure that there is a dedicated focus on coordination and constructability reviews that are crucial for these projects to be completed on time and within budget. Bottom line, a diversified project team shows the owner that your team has the experience and capabilities to effectively deliver the project, navigate complexities, and collaborate across different disciplines.

While procurement methods such as integrated project delivery or design-build might not be specified, be prepared to discuss team members’ experience with different delivery methods, project outcomes, challenges faced, and lessons learned.

2)  Demonstrate Agility Through Technology

Technology solutions and processes like BIM, laser scanning and reality capture not only demonstrate a firm’s forward-thinking strategies, but enable dynamic planning and management of changes. For most complex projects in today’s environment, BIM is a nonnegotiable—and it’s value more than simply creating a model. It’s about collaborating within the model across a project lifecycle and gaining efficiency. That said, when using BIM, it’s important to establish model component/layer naming standards and model management protocols to maintain organization and integrity as the project evolves. Develop model exchange formats, file types and sizes suited to your project’s collaboration needs and team capabilities to optimize performance—and provide training to ensure proper adoption and governance. Mobile reality capture technologies, such as laser scanning, keep teams connected in the field and allow issues to be captured, communicated, and addressed more quickly as projects progress and evolve. The more current and accurate your as-built documentation is, the more agile responses your team can have to make effective field adjustments.

3) A Partnership Approach

A partnership-focused project approach aligns all team goals with the owner’s objectives. Establish frameworks for true collaboration between all project partners through integrated project approaches, co-location, model/data sharing protocols, etc. to optimize outcomes. Use in-depth interviews with owners to gain a thorough understanding of their challenges, priorities, and project goals. Establish transparent communication protocols and hold regular check-ins with owners to ensure their evolving needs are addressed. Leverage owner feedback to continually improve processes like value engineering, change management, and decision-making. Consider assigning the owner’s representatives, design managers, and superintendents as single points of contact for their disciplines. In some cases, co-locating project teams to facilitate seamless coordination and decision-making might be necessary.  

By proactively implementing strategies in these areas, firms can continuously improve their capabilities for delivering high-impact projects in a competitive environment, where relationships, technology, and skill diversity matters.

For a more in-depth dive into these strategies, listen in to the What Your Competitors are Doing Differently: Strategies to Win More High Impact Work on-demand webinar or contact U.S. CAD, an ARKANCE Company.

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