Critical Success Factors (CSF) Analysis


When you first heard critical success factor, it may sound complicated or confusing but It’s actually as simple as understanding business strategies. As the name suggested a critical success factor is the company’s high-level goals imperative to meet. 

After myriads of study in the course of failure of projects, almost every management takes account every factor associated with project success which is nothing but critical success factor or CSF. 

This can be too specific and may not project manager know at beginning of a project and later affects the decision. As per Zwikael, 2001 outlook, the rate of project failure still high on which experts notified, this acceleration may take place due to CSF which hasn’t yet explored or enough managers should act upon. In this article we are going to review and develop an applicative list of CSF used by project managers but moving ahead, we need to first understand the purpose and meaning of CSF

Critical Success Factor

Critical Success Factor for any company consisting of a limited areas, if seems satisfactory that will result in fruitful outcomes for the company. Being aware of CSF is as much as important as analyzing business information as it can predetermine project success. 

In 1961, Daniel first introduced the term critical success factor, since then it is widespread across many business areas. Initially, CSF was also used to define the academic information of University of Sheffield and in today’s time it quantifies total quality management success rate.

CSF model is divided into three parts in which the first part focuses on project success, the second stage comprises a strategic level and the third level defines which area of project management should be received vast attention.

Similarly the two major characteristics of CSF 

  • Improving management and customer relationship
  • Ensuring effective management support

Although these two features can help the managers to solve project complexities but they still don’t get general decision making support that in turn, managers find difficulties during ideas implementation.

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Critical Success Planning Process

In order to configure the impact on CSF on the project planning process, we need to first evaluate the greatest influence on project success measure i.e cost overruns, technical performance and schedule overruns. 

As per Zwikael, 2004, when CSF has analyzed it was found Critical Success Factor influence customer satisfaction in least since the customer is not drawn by project outcomes directly. That means a proper identification of project activities is critical to be performed in the first place. 

For instance, if an activity is uncompleted amid planning phase, its last inclusion might have a strong influence on project outcomes. 

The Second planning process is Schedule planning which impact project outcomes but not yet discovered on the board level. The process directly impacts the schedule overrun as it contains information of the day project starts and end. Although Schedule planning may have less impact on technical development, it can affects stakeholders expectation much more(Al-Lozi, 2019).

The fundamental process of developing project plan involves the integration of several activities including duration, cost, risk, time and others. According to online assignment help experts; risk measures have a great impact on project.

The next step of critical success planning is budgeting impact i.e. “cost budgeting”, and procurement planning” influences greatly cost overruns but it may have a negligible impact on technical performance. 

Finally, an activity that hardly has any impact on project success i.e resource planning. But if the project is not performed well, the project will fail automatically (Kannan, 2018). In that course, the risk management process impact is low comparatively other project measures.

Critical Success Factor And Strategic Planning Relationship

John F. Rockart was the first person who emphasized the relationship between strategic planning and CSF. According to his perspective, organizational development can be improved if it increasing revaluing the procedures marked to gain competitive advantages. Although it doesn’t affect the project process on a concrete basis, they do have a large contribution to the project planning strategy (Janse, 2019). When CSF is combined with strategic planning, it function’s as an element that accelerates the company’s success rate.

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This article attributed to defining critical success factor and its importance in project accomplishment and how it affects the final outcomes. By reviewing various journals, we came to know a critical success factor is the company’s high-level goals and imperative to meet. Then we have defined CSF models that are of three-level in which first part focuses on project success, second stages comprise strategic level and the third level defines which area of project management should be received vast attention. Aftermath we have configured an impact of CSF on the project planning process and deduced a proper project activities identification is critical to be performed at first place.


Al-Lozi, M. S., Almomani, R. Z. Q., & Al-Hawary, S. I. S. (2018). Talent Management Strategies as a Critical Success Factor for Effectiveness of Human Resources Information Systems in Commercial Banks Working in Jordan. Global Journal of Management And Business Research.

Daniel, R. H. (1961). Management data crisis. Harvard Business Review. Sept-Oct, 111-112

Kannan, D. (2018). Role of multiple stakeholders and the critical success factor theory for the sustainable supplier selection process. International Journal of Production Economics195, 391-

Zwikael, Ofer & Globerson, Shlomo. (2006). From Critical Success Factors to Critical Success Processes. International Journal of Production Research – INT J PROD RES. 44. 3433-3449. 10.1080/00207540500536921.

Janse, B. (2019). Critical Success Factors. Retrieved [18 January 2021] from ToolsHero:

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