2023 Mid-Year Snapshot
At the mid-point of 2023, Mission Critical continues to see dynamic and sustained growth in the North American civil infrastructure sector. In response, we have streamlined our project selection process to manage increasing demand, expanded our Interview Preparation and Coaching capacity, and continue to educate the market on the importance of early client preparation to maximize project success.
Managing Significant Demand
As additional Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds become available throughout the year, public agencies are expanding the use of alternative delivery procurement methods to gain the best value and meet rapidly expanding infrastructure needs. While CM/GC, CMAR, and Design-Build volumes continue at record levels, we also saw a substantial uptick in Progressive Design-Build and Best Value (BV) procurements in the first two quarters of this year.
This environment, combined with our strong performance as Alternative Project Delivery practice leaders (see: Technically Creative – Mission Critical’s 2022 Year in Review), has driven intense demand for our services. To handle this, we've streamlined our 2023 project review process and have set up a thoughtfully managed waitlist for 2024 projects. These strategic measures enable us to rapidly consider new projects while ensuring that each client benefits from our undivided focus and the necessary time investment to cultivate winning pursuits.
Expanding our Interview Preparation Capacity
In today's competitive landscape, many clients are finding themselves shortlisted and recognizing the need for comprehensive interview preparation and coaching. The evolution of project complexity has led agencies to enhance the role and importance of interviews in their selection process. These interviews serve as a valuable platform for agencies to assess the strength and compatibility of teams and individuals in an environment that encourages authenticity over scripted responses.
Throughout 2023, Mission Critical has seen a surge in requests from new clients for Interview Coaching as a standalone scope of service, a shift from our traditional model, where we primarily prepared teams as an extension of our Pursuit Management role.
In October 2023, we launch Mission Critical: Peak Preparation™, an optimized interview preparation approach combining individual training with in-person, group interview coaching. The Peak Preparation™ program avoids scripted narratives and equips each team member with robust tools to easily manage Q&A and scenario-based questions, using their existing knowledge and experience.
The Peak Preparation™ program helps teams prepare faster and more efficiently and reduces the number of large-group meeting days. Participants report they can better reduce and manage the anxiety typically associated with interview day.
Emphasizing the Importance of Early Client Preparation
Last, as we look through the end of 2023 and into 2024, we cannot stress enough the importance of early client preparation.
We believe in being strategic in our partnerships to navigate this competitive landscape and ensure our client's success. As you consider Mission Critical for your next project, here are three important areas we consider when evaluating projects for our team:
Client Groundwork and Pre-Positioning
At Mission Critical, we recognize the power of groundwork and preparation, which begins long before formal procurement processes. The early stages of any project present a valuable opportunity for clients to lay a solid foundation. When clients have already initiated contact with the agency—whether through pre-procurement meetings, relationship-building activities, or other forms of preliminary positioning—they are effectively setting the stage for a successful journey ahead.
This proactive approach serves a dual purpose. First, it enables our clients to better understand the agency's needs and expectations, informing their strategic planning and decision-making processes. Second, it establishes a baseline relationship with the agency that can smooth the way for more effective and efficient engagement down the line.
When we step in as your partner, this groundwork facilitates a smoother transition into our specialized roles as Pursuit Managers, Technical Writers, or Interview Preparation leads. It provides us with valuable context, allowing us to tailor our services more effectively to suit the unique needs and dynamics of the project at hand. This is why we consider client groundwork and pre-positioning as a significant advantage—it paves the way for us to amplify your success, ultimately leading to more compelling project pursuits and a stronger position in the alternative delivery market.
Project Timing and Identification
Mission Critical’s success is rooted in proactive engagement. Being ahead of the curve offers distinct advantages in the dynamic realm of civil infrastructure and Alternative Project Delivery. Mission Critical and our client teams can develop a deep understanding of their unique context, potential challenges, and opportunities by identifying viable projects in their early stages. This early engagement allows us to begin crafting a powerful and bespoke pursuit strategy, ensuring our clients are steps ahead when the project is advertised.
Engaging with projects pre-advertisement is not just a strategy; it’s a philosophy that underscores our commitment to fostering success in the Alternative Project Delivery market. This approach provides the necessary time and space to leverage our specialized services fully—setting the stage for a strong and successful project pursuit.
Team Formation, Synergies, and JV Relationships
In the dynamic landscape of civil infrastructure and public works, a well-composed team forms the backbone of any successful project pursuit. While not every team member needs to be identified and committed immediately, we know that each firm is a unique mix of skills, experiences, and perspectives.
Early identification of key team members helps Mission Critical and our clients identify strengths and gives us insight into potential challenges. This isn’t about highlighting weaknesses but understanding areas requiring additional support or resources.
For joint venture (JV) and Design-Build teams, onboarding Mission Critical early helps to catalyze planning, align objectives, and streamline operational processes. Early alignment is essential to identifying unique capacities and expertise within the JV or DB team, and driving effective and efficient project execution when the pursuit is released.
As we progress into the year's second half, we expect a continued upward spike in the volume of Alternative Project Delivery pursuits and a follow-on surge of our client teams preparing for interviews post-summer shortlist.
While we recognize the value of undiscovered or last-minute opportunities, we advise new and existing clients to analyze project timelines, engage in pre-procurement positioning, and assemble their teams as soon as possible. This proactive approach enables our clients to identify and vet projects that best meet their capacities, fosters early knowledge building, and maximizes team potential.
Mission Critical is excited to see the growth and expansion of CM/GC, Progressive Design-Build, P3, and other Alternative Project Delivery procurement methods. As we continue to help U.S. and international constructors win public works and private infrastructure projects in the Alternative Project Delivery space, we are committed to maintaining the focus, energy, and technical creativity that has sustained us since 2013.
To discuss projects or interview preparation for the remainder of 2023 or for information on joining our client development list for 2024, contact RoAnn Thorne at (602) 833-8673.