Author: Mike Fletcher
What activities does your business need to do very well in order to succeed?
Critical Success Factors (“CSF”) represent those very important activities that your business would need to excel at in order to ensure success, to exploit the opportunities identified in its SWOT matrix. There would be only a handful of such activities for your business, but these will require careful and continuous deliberation in order to achieve your business’ Vision. These CSF’s could impact either the business-as-usual activities or the new / change activities.
CSF’s are also known as Key Result Areas (“KRA”), and communicate to your employees the very important activities that need to be managed carefully to exploit your business’ opportunities and secure its success. It is common to incorporate these KRA’s into your employees’ job descriptions as overarching requirements for the activities they are delegated responsible for. The performance management process would then help assessing their performance against these KRA’s, aligning their performance with your business’ Vision and Strategic Objectives.
Although all of your business’ Strategic Goals are important to achieve its Vision, you would need to analyse very carefully which of those are the most important, or essential; these then require resolute focus. You should be able to identify 1 such activity per Strategic Objective, meaning you would have at most between 5 and 7 CSF’s to focus on. These CSF’s would be styled in the same way as the other Strategic Goals i.e. using the SMART acronym, so that the desired outcomes can be measured.
You would monitor the achievement of these CSF’s in the same way as for all Strategic Goals i.e. by reviewing the appropriate Key Performance Indicators (covered in the previous post).