Critical Success Factor

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Critical Success Factor

A critical success factor (CSF) is an element that is necessary for a process or project to achieve its outputs or outcomes. It is thus a critical factor for ensuring the success of a company or an organization. In orgtology we use CSF’s to identify the risks of a project or process. Together with inherent risks, CSF’s should show all the uncertainties that any sequence of activity holds.


General Description...

Critical success factor (CSF) is a management term for an element that is necessary for an organization or project to achieve its mission. Alternative terms are key result area (KRA) and key success factor (KSF). A CSF is a critical factor or activity required for ensuring the success of a company or an organization. The term was initially used in the world of data analysis and business analysis. For example, a CSF for a successful Information Technology project is user involvement. "Critical success factors are those few things that must go well to ensure success for a manager or an organization and, therefore, they represent those managerial or enterprise areas that must be given special and continual attention to bring about high performance. CSFs include issues vital to an organization's current operating activities and to its future success." Critical success factors should not be confused with success criteria. The latter are outcomes of a project or achievements of an organization necessary to consider the project a success or the organization successful. Success criteria are defined with the objectives and may be quantified by key performance indicators (KPIs).


Author - Derek Hendrikz
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Synonyms: CSF