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  • Writer's pictureTristan Wilson


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?,” Alice asked the Cat.

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

Lewis Carroll, 1865

According to Thorsteinn Gardarsson, the Icelandic Founder of Action Day Planners, research shows that “97% of people are walking the same path as Alice, i.e., they have not set any goals.”

Random un-commissioned plug: I have used an Action Day 8x11 yearly planner for 8 years straight and believe it is a phenomenal tool to keep a life, at least this one anyways, in good order. I have fallen out of practice at times during that stretch, and have found things to be better while actively using it than without.

Goals are tough because they require direction and commitment. They are a necessity in nearly any worthwhile endeavor because they encourage us to confront the fears we all have embedded in our DNA and take action. They also need to be revisited and updated to reflect change and evolution. That tingling sensation that runs down your spine after checking an item off the to-do list - what’s that all about? We are all goal-seeking creatures, and it hits a nerve.

Understanding business priorities is fundamental. What matters most and in what order: Gross profit, top line revenue acquired, market share, tons/cubic yards/labor hours, dollars left on table, gain/fade, or perhaps throughput? How clear is it to the business development and estimating teams what really matters to the company, and why? Do market conditions align with the goals? Are they realistic, achievable, and easy to understand?

It is refreshing when leaders take the time to outline the goals, accountabilities, and metrics associated with what true success looks like, communicates what simple steps should lead to accomplishment of those goals, and invites team collaboration on the plans. It’s up to ownership and/or senior leadership to determine what the project acquisition goals are and implement a process to communicate them to the team. For instance, is the goal to safely and with high quality install 400,000 tons this year at X profit percentage or perhaps to generate $20MM in revenue with X backlog at the end of the year? Once measurables are established and bought in on, it is the team’s responsibility to move the ball forward with the understanding that plan compared to actual is key. “Just win baby” doesn’t cut it.

At Edgevanta, we are building a technology to help solve the project acquisition process for highway contractors. We welcome you to share what project acquisition success looks like to your company, which metrics matter most and why, and finally how all of the above are best conveyed, measured, and analyzed by the teams responsible.


Tristan Wilson

CEO and Founder

Edgevanta, LLC

This is the 7th deep dive of a multi-part series on the project acquisition process of the construction cycle for highway contractors.


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