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Boosting RFP Win Rates: The Power of a Strong Go/No Go Decision

Alexandra Harrison By Alexandra Harrison February 15, 2024

Boosting RFP Win Rates: The Power of a Strong Go/No Go Decision


In the high-stakes world of Request for Proposals (RFPs), companies in the engineering and construction industries often find themselves in a critical balancing act. Striking a balance between taking on too many opportunities or missing out on profitable ones is crucial. One tool that can help tilt the scales in your favor is a robust Go/No Go decision process. This article explores why a strong Go/No Go decision process is vital and how you can implement one to increase your RFP win rates.

Understanding the Importance of the Go/No Go Decision

Let’s delve into the potency of the Go/No Go decision process and its far-reaching influence on your RFP success. Picture this as your company’s secret weapon to navigating the treacherous waters of RFPs. It’s more than just a yes or no question. It’s a carefully crafted process that allows your firm to strategically evaluate each RFP opportunity that knocks on your door.

This evaluation doesn’t only consider the profitability of the project but also considers if it’s an ideal match for your firm’s capabilities and resources. Like a compass guiding a ship, the Go/No Go decision process directs your team, allowing it to save precious time and resources by avoiding bids that aren’t worth pursuing. It eliminates the time spent chasing unattainable or unsuitable projects and redirects it towards those that align with your firm’s strengths and strategy.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. With the Go/No Go decision process, not only are you avoiding potential pitfalls, but you’re also opening the door to a higher caliber of RFPs. This well-tuned process helps you identify and focus on those golden opportunities that are most likely to result in a winning bid.

So, imagine how elevating your decision-making process to this level of strategic precision could radically improve your RFP success rate. That’s the transformative power of a robust Go/No Go decision process. It’s not just about winning more RFPs; it’s about winning the right RFPs.

Evaluating Your Firm’s Compatibility with the RFP Project

At the heart of the Go/No Go decision process lies a crucial question: Is your firm an ideal fit for the proposed project? Begin by dissecting the project’s vital elements – the scope, the projected timeline, the allotted budget, and the technical prerequisites. Do these components align with the resources, expertise, and bandwidth at your firm’s disposal?

Reflect on your firm’s track record with similar projects. Have you previously embarked on a similar journey and reached the destination successfully? Does your team have the know-how to navigate the terrain that this project represents? If the mirror reflects a mismatch between the project’s demands and your firm’s capacity, it might signal a ‘No Go.’

However, don’t be too quick to press the ‘No Go’ button. Often, challenges present opportunities for growth and expansion. If the project appears slightly beyond your reach, assess if stretching your resources could potentially lead to long-term gains and new capabilities for your firm.

Remember, the goal is not just to win more RFPs but to win the right ones. Winning a project for which your firm isn’t the right fit can result in strained resources, missed deadlines, and potentially damaged client relationships. So, weigh the pros and cons and then decide – is it a ‘Go’ or ‘No Go’?

Analyzing the Client and the Competition

Unleashing the power of a robust Go/No Go decision process also entails diving deep into your potential client’s world and sizing up your competition. Start by peeling back the layers of the client’s past experiences and current reputation. Investigate their project history and try to understand their benchmarks for success. It’s equally crucial to get a grip on their payment tendencies, to ensure your firm doesn’t end up chasing unpaid invoices.

Moreover, try to decipher their ethos. Do they place a high premium on quality, and more importantly, are they willing to pay for it? If you find a client that understands and appreciates the value your firm can bring to their project, you’ve found a potentially fruitful partnership.

Equally significant is the act of scanning your competitive landscape. Who else might be lining up for the bid? Can you identify their likely selling points and potential weaknesses? And crucially, how does your firm stack up against them? Are your capabilities a notch above the rest or is there an area where you lag?

While this part of the process might seem like a hefty task, it’s an essential part of making an informed Go/No Go decision. The insights gleaned from this exercise can provide valuable guidance and can be the difference between investing your resources in a promising bid or wasting them on a losing proposition. So, pull out your magnifying glass and get to work – your next winning bid could hinge on it.

Streamlining Your Go/No Go Decision Process

Crafting a streamlined Go/No Go decision process calls for the formulation of explicit and measurable evaluation parameters. These parameters should not only be free from bias but should also reflect the strategic objectives of your firm. Implementing a scoring system can aid in making the process quantifiable and more precise.

In this system, you can assign specific scores to diverse aspects such as alignment with your firm’s strategy, potential profitability, and compatibility with the project. This approach fosters a more objective analysis, eliminating the risk of pursuing projects based on subjective factors or emotional bias.

Imagine transforming your decision-making process into a well-oiled machine that efficiently sifts through the sea of RFPs, identifying those worth your time and effort. This streamlined process not only increases your win rate but also ensures the projects you undertake align with your firm’s strategic goals and capacity.

So, begin crafting your scoring criteria, design your evaluation system, and watch your decision-making process evolve from a guessing game into a strategic, well-tuned machine. Your Go/No Go decision process is about to become a powerful tool in your RFP arsenal, setting you up for a journey of winning more right RFPs.

Involving Your Team in the Go/No Go Decision Process

No Go/No Go decision process should ever be a solitary endeavor. The power of collective wisdom cannot be underestimated in enhancing this crucial strategic process. Inviting input from your team members from diverse departments can inject a spectrum of viewpoints that can enrich the evaluation process significantly.

Can your technical team handle the demands of the project? Is your marketing team ready to tackle the competition? Can your finance department manage the projected cash flow? These are valuable questions that can only be answered when the relevant team members have a seat at the table during the Go/No Go decision-making process.

Moreover, fostering a culture where everyone’s input is valued creates an atmosphere of inclusivity and ownership. Your team will likely feel more invested in the success of the project when they have a hand in the decision to pursue it.

By harnessing the insights of those who know your firm’s strengths and weaknesses best, you’re fortifying your Go/No Go decision process, ensuring it’s comprehensive and effective. Not only are you leveraging your team’s collective wisdom to pursue the right RFPs, but you’re also fostering a stronger sense of teamwork and shared accomplishment.

Remember, the Go/No Go decision process is more than a strategic tool; it’s a team effort, a collaborative journey towards selecting the most fitting and promising projects to pursue. As you start involving your team more in the decision-making process, you’ll see your Go/No Go decision process become even more potent, and your RFP win rates soar.


In the ever-competitive arena of RFPs, adopting a robust Go/No Go decision process is a game-changer for engineering and construction firms. This strategic tool enables your team to evaluate each RFP opportunity, enhancing your chances of winning not just more, but the right bids. This process is not a quick fix, but rather a calculated strategy that takes into consideration your firm’s capabilities, the potential client’s profile, and the competitive landscape. By establishing measurable parameters, involving your team, and keeping the focus on project alignment and potential profitability, your Go/No Go decision-making becomes a powerful ally in your RFP journey. With the right process in place, your firm can confidently navigate through the sea of RFPs, efficiently selecting those that best match your strengths and strategy. Remember, it’s not just about winning more bids; it’s about winning the right ones. Here’s to higher RFP win rates and a stronger, more strategic future for your firm.


Within the Precision Proposal System, we work with your team to develop a Go/No Go process and template that aligns with your unique pursuit strategy. Contact us today to join the Precision Proposal System and start winning.

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