Critical success factors (CSFs) are strongly related to the mission and strategic goals of a company because they provide the performance requirement that is fundamental for the company's success.
Whereas the mission and goals focus on what is to be achieved, critical success factors identify the most important areas required to achieve goals.
Advantages of Identifying CSFs
They are simple to understand.
They help focus attention on major concerns.
They are easy to communicate to co-workers; they are easy to monitor.
They can be used in concert with strategic planning methodologies.
Identifying CSFs is extremely important because it keeps people focused. Clarifying the priority order of CSFs, measuring results and rewarding superior performance will improve the odds for long-term success.
Examples of CSFs
Positive cash flow, revenue growth and profit margins;
New customers and/or distributors;
Customer satisfaction with the company's products and services;
High product or service quality;
New internally developed products or services that increase business among existing customers and attract new ones;
Strategic relationships that bring new products or services to increase business among existing customers and attract new ones;
Increasing the company's intellectual capital; that is, what the company knows to be profitable; and,
Employee attraction and retention.