Is Good Enough, Good Enough? Are You Settling for Mediocrity?

Posted by Megan Miller on March 13, 2018

39th Annual Deltek Clarity AE Survey

By: Megan Miller, Deltek Product Marketing

A classroom is full of all kinds of students – students that want to excel in everything, those that excel in certain areas academically, ones that are content with being good enough, and those that may struggle academically in one or more areas. And, the good news is, no student has to stay in any one of those broad generalizations. A student who has been content with a C average may decide that being average just isn’t good enough anymore. He or she may see what other students are doing and start working harder to improve their grades.

The Architecture & Engineering Industry is no different. Across the industry there are firms that excel, firms that are average and firms that are underperforming compared to industry benchmarks. But what is it that makes some firms great and outperform the rest?

What is a High Performing Firm?

For nearly 40 years, the Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Industry Report has delivered industry benchmarks in four key areas: financial management, business development, project management and human capital management.  

We break out high performing firms for each benchmark to highlight what they are doing differently.  By breaking out the industry benchmarks by high performing firms and all other firms, it helps high performers see where they excel and all other firms to identify areas for improvement. And, by participating in the Deltek Clarity study, you can see more clearly how your firm measures up.


39th Annual Deltek Clarity

Architecture and Engineering 
Industry Survey

Participate Now


Strive for Excellence

The purpose of the Deltek Clarity Industry benchmarks is to give firms an objective view of key metrics for other firms in the industry. If a firm currently has a utilization rate of 60%, is that good enough? Does that make them a C student or an A student? Without looking at industry benchmarks and market trends, the firm doesn’t have a great way to determine if they should be striving to be better or if that is good enough.

Looking at last year’s metrics, the average utilization rate was 60.1%, which is right in line with the firm above. But, the high performing firms had an average utilization rate of 62.7%. The firm now has to determine if good enough is good enough or if it’s time to step up their game and improve their utilization rate.

Go Beyond Good Enough

In an industry with fierce competition and increased mergers & acquisition activity, firms can’t settle for mediocrity in the way they pursue projects, deliver projects or run their businesses. Now is the time for your firm to dig in and identify how you can move beyond mediocrity. But, how do you go beyond being just good enough?

  1. Participate in the Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Industry Study – by participating, you will receive your calculated metrics so you can see how your firm measures up
  2. Talk to your teams – ask them what is keeping them stuck where they are and what is standing in the way of greatness. You will be surprised at some of the candid and helpful feedback you receive.
  3. Compare your metrics – use the Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Industry Report, coming in June 2018, to compare your performance against industry average and high performing firms
  4. Create an action plan – analyze where your firm is falling short and what steps should be taken to make a difference
  5. Move the numbers – with a plan in place, you can start to take steps to move away from mediocrity into greatness for your firm

Are your teams OK with just good enough or do they want to be more? Is it time to step up your game and work towards an A+?