The Midlands outfit have picked up 10 points from their opening nine matches this term, which is four more than they had at this stage in Lambert's debut campaign last year.
The Scot feels that is a "good return" from their difficult start to the season, and believes that, with some more winnable games ahead, Villa can climb the table and begin to become a Premier League force again.
He told reporters: "We're trying to build something here. With the right overall philosophy, with an unwavering work ethic and with a bit of luck along the way, we can get something going here again, no question.
"We have faced five of the top sides already this season. That's some formidable start. We've got a good return from these games, too, and we've actually come away from matches in which we've been beaten feeling genuinely aggrieved.
"There has been progress, absolutely. It's been huge. We're only a year-and-a-bit into building this team but our fundamental principles are already clear. We try to win games, we play with hunger and desire and we play with pride. As a team, we keep learning and progressing."
Villa have not finished in the top half of the Premier League since the 2010-11 season.