BLUF: Key success factors (or KSFs) can be defined as the three to five broad areas on which your organization must focus in order to achieve its vision. KSFs should be specific; help identify performance measures and strategies; and help the organization prioritize its actions and investments. Although companies often confuse them, KSFs are not goals or even measures of performance. In "Keeping Score," Mark Graham Brown stresses the importance of periodic review as key success factors may change over time. KSFs specify broadly what you need to focus on to achieve your vision, and strategies provide the details of how this will be done.
In deciding on your key success factors, it helps to think about what your organization is known for, as well as what it is not known for. It is impossible to be successful if you try to be all things to all customers. Good organizations pick their niche and stick with it
Key success factors can be major weaknesses or deficiencies that must be fixed if the company is to achieve its vision. KSFs can be like very broadly defined strategies—for example, a KSF for a company in survival mode might be getting approval for a bank loan to fund company expenses for the next six months.
Following the guidance of many texts but in particular the methodology of Winning Score by Mark Graham Brown, the Carrier Team One Executive Steering Committee (ESC) formalized and adopted three key success factors. These key success factors represented the consensus of the Team One ESC regarding the three to five broad areas in which Team One must focus in order to achieve its vision. The purpose of the key success factors is to help identify performance measures and help prioritize actions (i.e., specific actions or implementing strategies). The Team One metrics were developed using the key success factors. The three Key Success Factors (KSFs) for Team One adopted by the ESC in May 2001 are:
* Manage by Cold, Hard Facts
* Knowledge Sharing For Value,
* Organizational Leadership Commitment to the Team One Initiative
For more information on KSFs, do a web search on Key Success Factors.