Tips for AEC Technical Professionals: Crafting Winning Project Approaches


In the dynamic realm of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC), crafting a compelling proposal with a well-defined project approach is crucial to securing success with clients. The project approach allows you to demonstrate your expertise and grasp of the client's requirements, enabling you to present distinctive solutions that distinguish you from the competition.


Follow these updated tips to create a powerful strategic approach and stay ahead in today’s dynamic industry.


Start Early and Dive Deep


The key to a winning project approach lies in thorough research and brainstorming. For an ideal head start, begin your preparations before the Request for Proposal (RFP) is released. As soon as you hear about a potential project, schedule a meeting with the client and their internal project team to grasp their vision, challenges, and priorities. Take this valuable information back to your team and conduct brainstorming sessions to develop your Issues, Solutions, Benefits, and Proofs (ISBPs).


Identify the Core Issues


Delve into the top three or four critical issues the client is facing. Encourage a free flow of ideas during brainstorming, even if some may initially seem impractical. Hidden within seemingly trivial concepts may lie the key to success—the silver bullet solution that will make your proposal stand out.


Assess Client Benefits and Your Unique Value


Evaluate all the generated ideas and focus on the ones that offer the most significant benefits to the client. Additionally, identify the solutions that your team can deliver better than anyone else—a unique differentiator. Work with marketing to ensure you back up the proposed solutions with evidence of the team’s success from previous projects.


Weave a Compelling Story


With all the preliminary work completed, writing the approach becomes a storytelling process. Your ISBPs will serve as the backbone of the narrative. Take the clients on a journey through their project's potential success with your solutions. Emphasize the advantages they will gain by choosing your proposal and illustrate these benefits with examples from your past triumphs. Make the story about them; your team plays the supportive role.


Craft a Tailored Strategic Approach


Avoid falling into the trap of producing a generic project approach that merely regurgitates the RFP. Instead, leverage your research, understanding of the client's needs, and innovative solutions to create a highly tailored strategic approach. Show the clients why your team is the best fit for their project, and how you will help them achieve the successful outcome they desire.


By following these five tips, AEC technical professionals, along with marketing staff, can create winning project approaches that demonstrate expertise, address client needs, and set the stage for successful project execution. The key to success lies in preparation, innovation, and the ability to tell a compelling story that resonates with clients and sets your proposal apart from the competition.

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About The Author

Keri Hammond, FSMPS, CPSM

Keri is a long-standing trailblazer in the Utah AEC industry. Clients appreciate her ability to get things done – they know she does whatever it takes, with integrity, to help them build their business. Keri is known for her leadership and diplomacy; she motivates others with positivity, trust, and unwavering support.

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