With every organization, process or product there are some critical factors on which their success depends. The success of a book is not whether there is an unwanted printing mark on a page -
Critical success factors either drive or impede your performance and constrain the manner in which a process operates. 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. You can change these should there be the motivation to do so. This is where we enter the arena of the management of change. It is not only technological change but changes in attitude, behaviour, belief etc that may be needed depending on what the goal is and the environment in which this goal is to be achieved.
The CSFs can be determined simply by asking the question of the organization or a particular business proposition, What factors affect our ability to get it right, or to realise our vision or to fulfil our mission, or to achieve out objectives? It rather depends on the level at which you ask the question. The result might be a mixed bag of things, some of which may be more relevant to a process risk assessment. Two techniques have emerged that are more methodical, one is a PEST analysis and the other is a SWOT analysis. A PEST analysis measures a market whereas a SWOT analysis measures a business.
PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological) analysis measures the market relative to a particular organizational goal or business proposition. It serves to identify what is going on in the external environment that could affect the future direction of the organization or the success of a business proposition. Strategies that do not take these influences into account are invariably doomed to failure.
The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis looks at the organization itself or a business proposition or indeed a competitor. The PEST affects the SWOT but not visa versa. Without a clear understanding of an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats business plans may fail, goals will be missed and new product or service development programmes will fail to live up to their potential. The analysis of strengths and weaknesses looks inwards on the organization, whereas the analysis of opportunities and threats looks outwards and can therefore be derived from the PEST.
Critical success factors shape your objectives.
© Transition Support Last edit 12/12/2022
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