What are Critical Success Factors, and what are best practices, tools and templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of Critical Success Factors
Critical Success Factors are the core actions that underlie an organization’s strategic objectives that must be accomplished at the highest level possible in order to achieve the overall goals and mission of the organization.
Description of Critical Success Factors
Critical Success Factors are defined in direct association with the organization’s vision and strategy; without knowing what they are or being able to accomplish them, the organization would not succeed in reaching its strategic goals. Once the mission and strategic goals of the organization or project have been defined, it is necessary to identify the Critical Success Factors – the activities or business objectives that are absolutely necessary to achieve each goal. Making a list of potential Critical Success Factors will allow you to narrow down the vital few, usually no more than 3 to 8. These factors should have a clear and significant effect on the performance and sustainability of the organization as a whole, or of the particular project in question. After they have been established, the next step is to identify what the key performance indicators are for each Critical Success Factor so the organization can monitor is progress against achieving them. Communicating the Critical Success Factors across the organization helps align and mobilize staff to work towards the same overall objectives and minimizes inessential outputs.
Tools & Templates
While there is not a standard format or template to define and create Critical Success Factors, most teams and organizations simply create a list or chart to identify strategic goals and related Critical Success Factors.
upBOARD's Online Critical Success Factors Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Critical Success Factors techniques, upBOARD’s online Critical Success Factors tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other business strategy best practice tools and templates, including:
2 X 2 Matrix, ADL Matrix, Affinity Diagrams, Baker’s 4 Strategies of Influence, Balanced Scorecard, Benchmarking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Bowman Strategy Clock, Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop, Business Model Canvas, CAGE Distance Framework, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Landscape Analysis, Contingency Planning, Core Competence Analysis, Critical Success Factors, Discovery Driven Planning, Economic Value Added, First Mover Advantage, Five Forces Model, Force Field Analysis, Gap Analysis, GE McKinsey 9-Box Matrix, Go To Market Strategy, Hambrick & Frederickson’s Strategy Diamond, Hedgehog Model, Hook Model of Behavioral Design, Hoshin Planning System, Kay’s Distinctive Capabilities Framework, Key Outcome Indicators, Kotler’s Five Product Levels Model, Kotler’s Pricing Strategies, Lafley & Martin’s Five Step Strategy Model, McKinsey 7S Model, McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mission Statements, Mullin’s Seven Domains Model, OGSM Framework, Ohmae’s 3-C’s Model, Partner Relationship Management, PEST Analysis, PESTLE Analysis, Porter’s Diamond, Portfolio Management, Purpose Statements, Pyramid of Purpose, Scenario Planning, Simonson & Rosen’s Influence Mix, SMART Performance Metrics, SMARTER Goals, SOAR, Strategic Goals, Strategy Map, Strategy Roadmap, Strategy Uncertainty Map, SWOT Analysis, TOWS Matrix, Triple Bottom Line, USP Analysis, Value Chain Analysis, Value Disciplines Model, Value Net Model, Values Statement, Vision Statements, VRIO Analysis, and Weisbord’s Six-Box Model.