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BUSINESS NEWS NORTH CAROLINA STATE PORTS AUTHORITY SELECTS DEWBERRY FOR LIMITED SERVICES CONTRACT Dewberry , a privately held professional service firm, has announced that it has been awarded an on-call contract by the North Carolina State Ports Authority for professional services, valued at approximately $750,000. Under the contract, Dewberry may provide port engineering services, including structural investigations or analyses of wharf, mooring, and breasting structures; design of repairs and modifications to existing wharf structures, mooring systems, and on-dock rails; design of security and surveillance infrastructure; federal and state level grants; electrical infrastructure, including high-mast lighting systems; condition assessments; and more.

Additionally, provide environmental services, including mapping of plant and animal communities throughout NCSPA properties; development of national and state analysis and regulatory compliance documents; erosion and sediment control plans; spatial acquisitions of natural and social features; analysis of existing NCSPA water distribution systems and sanitary sewer collection systems; and more. the firm may “In accordance with NCSPA’s 21st century strategic vision and targeted investments, the organization is on track to become the fastest- growing U.S. container port complex by the end of the decade,” says Dewberry Project Manager Matthew Payne, PE, PMP. “Our team of port and intermodal experts is excited to have the opportunity to work with NCSPA

to expand and improve its infrastructure in an effort to help them achieve these goals.” Dewberry is a leading, market-facing firm with a proven history of providing professional services to a wide variety of public- and private-sector clients. Recognized for combining unsurpassed commitment to client service with deep subject matter expertise, Dewberry is dedicated to solving clients’ most complex challenges and transforming their communities. Established in 1956, Dewberry is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, with more than 50 locations and more than 2,000 professionals nationwide.

EDUARDO SMITH, from page 3

overall success. People needs relate to impacts to the client’s staff, their customers, constituents, neighbors, or society at large. Technical needs are, of course, our specialty. But we want to guard against blind spots in our technical assessment where problems extend beyond our areas of expertise. We’ll seek outside help if necessary. ❚ ❚ Outcomes before strategy. Project success is realized by achieving specific outcomes, which need to be defined before shaping project strategy. In our profession, we have a tendency to define project success as a sound technical solution delivered on time and within budget. At SCS, we’re pushing our staff to connect their work (and definition of success) to the client’s ultimate return on investment. Thus, we can’t outline a sufficient strategy until we clearly understand what the project needs to achieve. ❚ ❚ Strategy before scope. Experienced technical professionals can produce a detailed scope of work rather quickly. And that’s part of the problem. Without a project strategy that weaves our technical approach and solution together with client goals and ROI, we tend to revert to simply doing what we’ve done before – often without understanding what it is we’re really supposed to accomplish. No wonder clients often treat us as a commodity. Strategy defines the larger project narrative that positions us to deliver distinctive value to clients. ❚ ❚ Clients before projects. Like most every other firm in this business, SCS could be described as a project-delivery company. That’s what we do. But it’s important to recognize that projects are not really the focus of what we do. They are merely the means to an end – satisfying our client’s needs and aspirations. Strategic thinking in the context of projects unavoidably puts the client at the center. By contrast, when we become consumed with the details of executing the project, we can easily lose sight of why we’re doing the project in the first place. Strategic thinking enables us to enlarge the value and impact of our work, connecting it much more than a technical solution. That’s why developing more of it in our firm has become a priority for me. EDUARDO SMITH, P.E. is senior vice president of client success at SCS Engineers. Contact him at

Let me clarify what I mean by strategic thinking. You can find a wide variety of definitions on the internet, but a couple of recurrent themes are apparent: 1) Seeing the big picture, and 2) focusing on desired results. Strategic thinking involves a broad examination of factors, inevitably extending beyond narrow realms of expertise. Critically, it must be viewed through the lens of the client, to the extent possible, since they define success. Strategic thinking is also necessarily driven by desired outcomes. Neither of these major themes are routinely integrated into the typical AEC project, particularly on the engineering and scientific side of the business. “When planning a project, most of us are inclined to see a technical problem in need of a technical solution. Yet the client is more likely to see a technical problem that creates business impacts, thus requiring a technical solution that delivers business results.” At SCS Engineers, we are endeavoring to strengthen our strategic thinking through a results-oriented project planning framework and in-project coaching for our project teams. We try to involve as many team members as practical, because we want to encourage strategic thinking at all levels. And we want to identify those individuals, particularly younger professionals, who show an innate ability to think strategically, so we can help them develop those skills further. The project planning framework that we’ve introduced is based on a few core principles that help promote strategic thinking. These can be summarized as follows: ❚ ❚ Problem definition at three levels. We break down client needs at the strategic, technical, and people levels, with the intent of better aligning our perspective with that of the client. Strategic needs are those that impact the client’s

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