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© Transition Support  Last Edit 15/12/2017 00:29:20 

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What is the difference between measures of success and critical success factors?

Measures are the characteristics used to judge performance. They are the characteristics that need to be controlled in order that an objective will be achieved. There two types of measures - stakeholder measures and process measures.

Stakeholder measures respond to the question

“What measures will the stakeholders use to reveal whether their needs and expectations have been met?”

Some call these key performance indicators or KPIs. They are measures of success and  therefore can be considered to be Stakeholder Success Measures

Process measures respond to the question:

“What measures will reveal whether the process objectives have been met?”

Profit is a stakeholder measure of performance (specifically the shareholders) but would be of no use as a process measure because it is a lagging measure.

Lagging measures indicate an aspect of performance long after the conditions that created it have changed. To control a process we need leading measures.

Leading measures indicate an aspect of performance while the conditions that created it still prevail (e.g. response time, conformity)

Critical Success Factors on the other hand are those factors on which the achievement of specified objectives depend. They are therefore conceptually different from measures.

Critical Success Factors are the drivers and barriers to success. Get these wrong and you will undoubtedly fail. Drivers will help you succeed, they will propel you towards your goal. Barriers will get in the way and stop you achieving your goal. Some of these are external to the organization and out of your control. Others are internal to the organization and within your control. Examples include: