5 Keys to Delivering Better AEC Projects

In my many years working within the professional services world, and AEC specifically, one of the most common questions I’ve been asked is: “How can we win more projects?”  

I wish the answer were something as simple as “invest more in marketing and sales,” or “cast a wider net.” Instead, my answer to this question is always a bit more complicated.  

You see, winning more projects starts with nailing the ones you already have. Crazy, right? Winning more work starts with knocking your current work out of the ballpark. The more successful projects you can deliver to your current clients, the more likely they are to come back to you or tell a peer about their experience with your firm. That networking goes a long way toward winning future AEC projects.  

Naturally, the next big question is: “How can we deliver better projects to our clients?” 

Again, this isn’t a simple question to answer. There are many different factors that impact project delivery that it’s impossible to identify one to focus on. Fortunately, after speaking with countless firms and analyzing what they each do best, I’ve been able to identify what I see as the top 5 keys to delivering better projects and have written a series to explain the significance of each.  

When reviewing each key, consider your own firm’s current project operations. How is your firm run? Is there room for improvement? Are these things you haven’t even considered? Chances are, by focusing on these five keys, you may be able to improve project outcomes – and win future business because of it.  While we will detail each key over the course of several articles, here is an overview of what we have identified as the top 5 keys to delivering better AEC projects: 

Key #1: Build Accurate Service Measurements 

Project success starts from the moment you bid on a job – the more accurate your initial service assessment and projected cost/revenue analysis, the more likely you are to deliver on time and within budget.  

Accurate service estimates are crucial to the success of any project, and in turn, the success of your AEC firm. If you haven’t already moved your service estimate process to a digital tool, it’s time to do so. The streamlined estimates and enhanced accuracy these tools provide are well worth the investment.  

Explore strategies and the benefits you will obtain by building accurate service measurements.  

Key #2: Track Project Progress 

Everyone tracks the progress of a project, right? After all, you need to know when the project will be complete and how much revenue your firm stands to gain. Tracking project progress just makes sense.  

While it may seem straightforward, progress means different things to different roles. For example, a project manager may view progress as the percentage of work that has been completed on the project to date. Your accounting team will likely view progress as the percentage of the contract that has been billed, or the percentage of the contract that has been recognized as revenue. Harmonizing these views of project progress helps keep everyone on the same page.  

Learn how you can improve outcomes by tracking project progress

Key #3: Maximize Project Collaboration and Communication  

It’s no secret or shocking revelation that collaboration and communication are critical to the success of any project. However, when dealing with the complexities of AEC projects, collaboration and communication are even more important.  

Providing individuals and teams the tools needed to exchange ideas and share information in real-time is vital to the success of your projects. The more team members can collaborate, both internally and with the client, the more likely you are to achieve successful project delivery. 

Explore best practices for maximizing project collaboration and communication across your project teams.  

Key #4: Optimize Utilization of Your Firm’s Resources  

Maximizing valuable resources is one of the main goals of any business. For AEC firms, no resource is more valuable than the expert staff members. Maximizing the skills and time of your professional services staff is critical to the success of any project, as well as the satisfaction of team members.  

Tracking and managing employee utilization before, during and after projects can help maximize the effectiveness of individual staff members and the entire project team. Effective resource allocation can also improve billable labor, help to manage workload, and identify opportunities for proactive training or skills enhancements.  

Learn about tools and processes you can employ to optimize utilization of your firm’s resources.   

Key #5: Empower Stakeholders with Insights  

Keeping all stakeholders informed of the current and future status of a project can be difficult. The challenge is compounded when each stakeholder has a different perspective of the project and relies on different metrics to determine success. 

Sharing information in a way that each stakeholder group can understand and utilize is critical to empowering teams to do their best work.  

Explore the best ways you can empower stakeholders with insights.  

Chat with our AEC experts 

These five keys are important to the success or failure of AEC projects. Be sure to check back for the next article in the series. In the meantime, to learn more about the tools and processes your AEC firm can deploy to improve your project delivery, contact HSO ProServ today.  

Gary Mills serves as Senior Vice President of Finance, Planning & Analysis for HSO | ProServ. Gary’s diverse industry background brings a unique perspective to the company, with more than 30 years in corporate finance, banking and commercial real estate.

In his role as CFO of HSO | ProServ, Brian Lounds leverages deep experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to drive excellence into the organization’s financial and practice management practices. Having worked with Dynamics solutions since 1998, he has a strong understanding of technology solutions and their application
to business initiatives.

Whit McIsaac is CEO of HSO | ProServ and brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem to drive the group’s overall business strategy. Whit was Co-founder and CEO of aec360 and legal360 prior to merging these practices into sa.global, where he served as CEO of the Americas prior to launching HSO | ProServ.

Andy Yeomans brings nearly 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics sales and marketing experience to lead the HSO | ProServ sales organization. Under Andy’s leadership, the organization has shown strong growth and has consistently been recognized by Microsoft as a top performing partner, winning multiple Microsoft Inner Circle and Partner of the Year awards.

Jan Dahl Sorensen’s deep experience with Microsoft Dynamics gives him a unique foundation to guide the HSO | ProServ client success team. As part of the original development team under Damgaard Data, Jan has been working with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions since 1995.

Joe Stuckey is EVP and Director of CRM Product Development for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM product development efforts across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Joe leverages the power of Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform technologies to design and develop purpose-built industry solutions.

Paramesh Rajan is VP, Technology at HSO | ProServ. Paramesh has served in many Microsoft Dynamics project and program management roles over the past 20 years, and currently drives the development of the organization’s vertical ERP and HR solutions and outsourced development services.

A highly respected Microsoft Dynamics veteran, Jen Wisemore serves as CAO for HSO | ProServ. Jen was instrumental in the launch of sa.global’s US subsidiary in 2007 and has served in a wide variety of roles within Microsoft Dynamics consultancies across sales, pre-sales, program management, and leadership capacities.

John Aschenbrener is Director of Delivery Services for HSO | ProServ. John brings over 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics project and program management, consulting, and architect experience to his current role where he is responsible for driving PMO standards, methodology, and overall project delivery.

Add text here

In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Sean Skiver brings nearly 25 years of broad Microsoft Dynamics experience to provide strategic leadership around product development and client delivery services across the organization’s solutions and industry segments.

Amy Spencer leads the team that is responsible for go-to-market strategies, messaging, and demand generation in the US.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey and has 25+ years of experience in marketing management for technology and professional services companies.

As Vice President of Human Resources for HSO, Kristen Ramerini is responsible for initiatives including recruitment, onboarding, professional development/career progression, performance management, culture, and employee retention. Prior to her position with HSO, she worked in human resources and recruiting for Seviroli Foods on Long Island and CCN, Inc. in New York City. She holds an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and is PHR certified.

Darren Gooding is VP of Delivery for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM delivery across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Darren applies his 25 years of experience and HSO’s industry focused intellectual property to successfully deliver large-scale, global engagements that ensure customer success.