1st Edition

Critical Success Factors Simplified
Implementing the Powerful Drivers of Dramatic Business Improvement

ISBN 9781439811177
Published November 20, 2009 by Productivity Press
156 Pages 59 B/W Illustrations

USD $42.95

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Book Description

Critical-to-success factors (CSFs) have become essential elements to strategic planning and no business can achieve consistent success without effectively adopting them. To take full advantage of CSFs, however, an organization must first understand what they are and how they can be used to drive organizational initiatives and processes. Critical Success Factors Simplified: Implementing the Powerful Drivers of Dramatic Business Improvement provides a concise manual on CSFs that will teach you how to identify and select the right CSFs, measure their impact, and adjust them as needed to reach your goals.

In the first section of the book, Howell, a mechanical and industrial engineer responsible for award-winning initiatives in the military, public utilities industry, and private business gives you an education in CSFs, outlining the highly acclaimed Rockart CSF method. He also demonstrates two powerful techniques for identifying external CSFs, a simple process for generating internal CSFs, and a road map for creating an organization-wide CSF program. The second section of the book covers specific applications of CSFs, from strategic planning to individual pursuits.

CSFs can be employed at all levels of an organization to initiate new ideas, increase productivity, or improve customer service. They can direct a huge corporation or facilitate a departmental improvement. Fleeting success can be achieved through mere luck, but most often sustainable success is accomplished with a plan that focuses in on those factors that you must address to accomplish your objective. This book will help you create such a plan.


Table of Contents

Rockart’s Four Types of CSFs
Categorizing CSFs
Why Should You Implement CSFs in Your Organization?
Getting Started

Identifying CSFs: External CSFs
Environmental Scan
Evaluating the Findings
SWOT Analysis

Identifying CSFs: Internal CSFs
The Original CSF Method
Example: A Construction Company
The Five-Phase CSF Method
Phase 1: Scope
Phase 2: Collecting Data
Phase 3: Evaluate and Organize the Data
Phase 4: Identify and Select the CSFs
Phase 5: Analyzing and Validating CSFs
A Simple but Effective Method

The CSF Achievement Model
Step 1: Define the Goals or Objective of the Initiative You
Wish to Achieve
Steps 2 and 3: Identify and Select Your CSFs
Step 4: Determine Subfactors for Each Selected CSF
A Call Center Example
Traditional List
Writing the CSFs
Step 5: Measure CSF Implementation Progress
Method 1: Stages: Start to Finish Implementation Method
Method 2: Critical Success Levels
Method 3: SMART Objectives and Targets
Method 4: Traditional Industry Measures
Method 5: "Traffic Light" Measures
Method 6: Surveys
Method 7: Striving for Coverage: The "Scatter Approach"
Selecting the Right Indicator
All CSFs Are Not Created Equal
Graph the CSF’s Performance
Step 6: Monitor and Take Action
Six-Step Process Example: Implementing a Productivity Program
Step 1: Define the Goals and Objectives of the Initiative
Step 2: Identify the CSFs
Step 3: Select the Appropriate CSFs
Step 4: Determine Subfactors for Each Selected CSF
Step 5: Measure CSFs’ Implementation Progress
Step 6: Monitor and Take Action
Implementing CSFs Organization-wide

Strategic Planning and CSFs
CSFs to Ensure Strategic Planning Success
Relationship between KRAs and CSFs in Strategic Planning
Example: A Barbershop

A Systems Example Using CSFs: ISO 14001
The Selected CSFs
Measuring the CSFs

Benchmarking and CSFs
Benchmarking Overview
CSFs for Benchmarking
Measuring the CSFs

Critical Success Measures for Process Success
Process Example
Critical-to-Success Measures
Recap of the Type of Measures Used

Improving Job Performance through CSFs
Gathering the Information
Determining the CSFs
Example: A Blackjack Dealer
Identify CSFs, Measure, Track, and Take Action
Example: Military Recruiter

CSFs for Individuals
Opportunities to Use CSFs
Example: Buying a House


Appendix A: Key Result Areas
Appendix B: Brainstorming
Appendix C: Modified Nominal Group Technique
Appendix D: The Traditional CSF List for Management Initiatives
Appendix E: The CSF Method

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If you want to be a senior executive or project leader, or if you are a senior executive or project leader and want to keep your job, read this book and put its principles to work. Employing these principles will enable you to identify what is critical and track these performance elements to achievement.
—Joseph A. "Bud" Ahearn, Major General, US Air Force (retired), Vice Chairman, emeritus, CH2MHill, Ltd