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Critical Success Factors

Updated on August 4, 2010

Teamwork and project management. (3rd ed.)

Critical Success Factors: Paul Coby - IQPC interview: Part Seven

Critical Success Factors

 Rockart defined CSFs as:
"The limited number of areas in which results, if they are satisfactory, will ensure successful competitive performance for the organization. They are the few key areas where things must go right for the business to flourish. If results in these areas are not adequate, the organization's efforts for the period will be less than desired."

He also concluded that CSFs are "areas of activity that should receive constant and careful attention from management."

Critical Success Factors are strongly related to the mission and strategic goals of your business or project. Whereas the mission and goals focus on the aims and what is to be achieved, Critical Success Factors focus on the most important areas and get to the very heart of both what is to be achieved and how you will achieve it (, 2009).

References: 2009. Critical Success Factors. Retrieved. November 29, 2009. from:

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All of my projects, weather personal or business, involve the following steps:

Step One: I Establish my project's mission and strategic goals –

One of my projects involved, Converting an existing program from JCL (RPG) to a more portable language C++. So, the goal was to secure individuals that knew RPG and C++. This was not as easy as it sounds. We wound up with two programmers. One was an expert in RPG and familiar with C++ and vice versa.

Step Two: For each strategic goal, I ask myself “what area of my projects activity is essential to achieve this goal?"

The most important goal was to get the database backed up and converted to the new programming variables while the programmers were writing the new language code. Therefore, the team consisted of: One Team Leader, Two Programmers, One System Analysis, and One Data Entry Operator.

Step Three: I evaluate my list of candidate CSFs to find the absolute essential elements for achieving my success – Thus, I determine my Critical Success Factors.

Success Factors:

  • Assemble my team
  • Backup my Data
  • Convert the Data Base
  • Write the New Code
  • Test and Debug New Code
  • Merge Data into new Program and verify same.

Step Four: I Identify how I will monitor and measure each Critical Success Factor.

  • Each step along the way I gave specific project milestones along with timelines.

Step Five: I communicate my CSFs along with the other important elements of my project's strategy.

  • I applied constant communication between the different department heads as well as the business owner.

Step Six: Keep monitoring and reevaluating my CSFs to ensure that I keep moving towards my goals.

  • pre-planned potential roadblocks and handled them accordingly. I also put into play constant monitoring and troubleshooting. Communication is the key factor in all of my steps.

In conclusion, I feel that all of the CSF steps are just as equally important. Furthermore, the most important of all of these steps beginnings and ends with a well executed plan and consistent goals throughout the entire scope of the project. Moreover, by implementing the above steps we completed our project under budget and on time.


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    • cluense profile image

      Katie Luense 8 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Thank You for your comment!

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 8 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      6 steps to project success -- good job