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Critical Success Factors

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1 INTRODUCTION Lot of research went on since 1960s in the field of Critical Success Factors (CSF). CSFs are few factors in any project which lead it to success/failure. The concept was put forth by Ronald Daniel in 1960s. The report presents a critical review on the Literature of CSFs. Understanding the difference in 'success' for various organizations, projects and members in the team is d and thus, the significance of a generic classification among CSFs is proposed [Morris and Hough (1987)]. The CSFs were classifies into theoretical and empirical in history [W Bellasi and O I Tukel (1996)]. To have evidence that projects differ in the factors which affect their success/failure, these were few summaries quoted: * "The Channel Tunnel was a political project. It was born of political will and died due to political indifference ... The city ensured that there were good termination clauses in the Agreements. British Rail has no real commitment to the project, and indeed saw it as a diversion of time and much needed finance ..." * "The Thames Barrier ... required construction skills of higher order ... deserves fullest recognition ... to the issue of project overruns ... the setting included inflation, the local labour relations climate and the traditional way of working imposed by ICE form of contract and the lack of real, proactive project management ... unwillingness to delegate decision-making authority to a single 'Project Manager'" * "The APT project failed not because the technology was too advanced ... ...read more.


Schultz, Slevin and Pinto (1987) made first attempt to do that. Critical success factors were grouped to be 'strategic' or 'tactical' where strategic factors include project mission, top management support, project scheduling and tactical factors include client consultation, human resource management like, hiring and training [Schultz, Slevin and Pinto (1987)]. Analysis and listing out CSFs is not the only action required to ensure success of the project, but Table-2 Seven lists of CSFs. Martin (1976) Locke (1984) Cleland and King(1983) Sayles & Chandler (1971) Baker, Murphy and Fisher (1983) Pinto and Slevin (1989) Morris and Hough (1987) Define goals Select project organizational philosophy General Management Support Organize and delegate authority . . . Major project commitments known Project authority from the top Appoint competent project manager Set up communications and procedures. . . . Project Summary Operational concept Top management support Financial support Logistic requirements . . . Project manager's competence Scheduling Control systems and responsibilities Monitoring and feedback . . . Clear goals Goal commitment of project team Onsite project manager Adequate project team capability . . . Top management support Client consultation Personal recruitment Technical tasks . . . Project objectives Technical uncertainty innovation Politics Community involvement . . . [Adapted: Belassi, W. & Tukel, I. (1996). A new Framework for determining critical success/failure factors in projects. International Journal of Project Management, 14(3), pp 143] The performance should be continuously measured at every stage of project life-cycle. Practically, the strategic and tactical operations come up at every stage of the project-life cycle. ...read more.


Cooperation and timely response of suppliers and sub-contractors required at every point of value activities. If it is a technical project, the level of technical changes or innovations going on in the market is a critical factor to be considered. If the project duration is 2 years and by the time the project gets completed if market explores an innovation towards the same task, it might lead to failure of project from an organizational point of view though it can be termed success to team members. 3.4 Execution/Implementation: Execution and status should be continuously monitored to get the advantage over listing out factors in advance. System Responses are actions expected to implement the identified CSFs. 'System response' (figure-2) may help monitor the performance of each group. [Belassi, W. & Tukel, I. (1996)] Success or Failure Figure-2 [Adapted: Belassi, W. & Tukel, I. (1996) A new Framework for determining critical success/failure factors in projects. International Journal of Project Management, 14(3), pp 144] 4 CONCLUSIONS: The report identifies how 'success' and 'success criteria' differs from various projects and organizations and thus, emphasizes on grouping the critical success factors based on various dimensions and sources available for an organization to obtain them. The report reviews the literature on Critical Success Factors since 1960s and attempts to look at various factors generated and derive a set of factor groups, suggesting that it would help an organization/ Project Manager develop critical success factors specific to them. The report emphasizes the importance of execution and monitoring of the performance of the listed critical success factors by 'system response' approach [W Belassi and O I Tukel (1996)]. ...read more.

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