Let’;s say that you have a car, and want to get from point A to point B. The critical success factors would be: a car that works, a gas tank that’;s full, you know how to drive, and a key to start the car . Oh, and do not forget that, if you do not know how to get there, you would need a road map or a GPS.
Critical success factors "are the essential areas of activity that must be performed well if you are to achieve the mission, objectives or goals for your business or project." (definition courtesy of MindTools) They are closely associated with your mission and vision (you can find about this at MindTools.com, if you are needing help to formulate your mission).
I am going to summarize a five step process that can help you accomplish your goals.
Step 1: Define you personal mission and your strategic goals.
You have to get very clear about who you want to be, what you are going to value, and what you want to achieve.
Step 2: For each strategic goal, ask yourself, "What are the essential action steps that I need to achieve in order to accomplish this goal?"
It is suggested that you keep this fairly simple, focusing on 4-5 actions at most. For example, one of the goals I have this year is to help my son re-decorate his room.
Therefore, my main action steps would be as follows:
a) Make sure that I have at least two days set aside to work specifically on this task. Make sure that I take two vacation days in order to make this happen.
b) Make a list of all the materials we will need in order to refinish his room.
c) Have a planning meeting with my son and my wife to discuss the materials they want (color of paint, decor, budget)
d) Remind myself of the reasons I am doing this, since I am not one who likes either ‘;handy’; skills or ‘;interior design.’; (Reasons / Why: I love my son, it will mean a lot to him, it will show him that I care about him, it will bring me joy and fulfillment, and it will meet my mission of "bringing hope through service." )
Therefore, the above action steps are the critical success factors needed for me to accomplish this strategic objective: re-decorating my son’;s room. It will be helpful for me to put these critical success factor action steps on my weekly planning agenda, so that I can include them in my daily "to do" activities.
Step Three: Evaluate the list of candidate CSFs to find the absolute essential elements for achieving success – these are your Critical Success Factors. You may find that, as you review the actions listed, you may be able to combine some of the steps, or that you think of other steps that may come to mind. Try to synthesize everything into a 4-5 action list.
Step Four: Measure for success! Without you give yourself a deadline for each action item, your critical success factors will remain inactive! All of us are capable of procrastinating, so the best way to conquer procrastination is by establishing a target date for each item. You can do that by reviewing your to do list daily. That to do list will include these critical success factors. By chipping away at those success factors, you will reach your goal on time!
Step Five: Continue to monitor you mission, goals, and critical success factors. The absolute best way I have found to do this is by daily reviewing my dreamboard, mission statement, and strategic objectives. I have recorded all of this onto my iPhone recording app, so that I can listen to it daily. Add your critical success factors to my daily top six activities to do for the day, so that you can stay on track with accomplishing what is most important to you.
In a couple of months, when I have finished helping my son re-decorate his room, I am going to sit back, with my arm around his shoulders, and I will say to him, "Son, I am so glad that I took the time to write about the Best Way to Get What You Want! "