CHAPTER 18

Identifying the Organization’s Critical Success Factors

Many organizations fail to achieve their potential because they lack clarity regarding the more important things to do. This lack of clarity means that often staff members will schedule their work based around their team’s priorities rather than the priorities of the organization, that performance measures are often meaningless, and that many reports are prepared that serve no purpose. As Exhibit 18.1 shows, even though an organization has a strategy, teams often are working in directions very different from the intended course.

EXHIBIT 18.1 Discord with Strategy

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This mayhem stems from a complete lack of understanding of their critical success factors (CSFs). While most organizations know their success factors, few organizations have:

  • Worded their success factors appropriately
  • Segregated out success factors from their strategic objectives
  • Sifted through the success factors to find their critical ones—their critical success factors
  • Communicated the CSFs to staff

If the CSFs of the organization are clarified and communicated, staff members will be able to align their daily activities closer to the strategic direction of the organization, as shown in Exhibit 18.2.

EXHIBIT 18.2 Alignment with Strategy

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Benefits of Understanding ...

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