So you want to be more successful in your business. A good place to start is by identifying your critical success factors (CSF). A CSF is a key objective that is important to your organization’s overall success. For example, in a law firm, these could be some of the critical success factors:
An increasing market share evidenced by a growing volume of New Matter Revenues.
An uncompromised quality of legal services provided by the firm’s attorneys.
An inviting work culture that nurtures and retains top talent.
Sound business management practices that allow attorneys to do what they do best – service the clients – without concern for the financial health of the firm.
The CSF in your business or industry will likely be different than that of a law firm. Your CSF can usually be identified into one of several different categories. Examples are: Financial, Customer, People, Promotion, Innovation, and Product/Service. Grouping your CSF into categories makes it easier to match them with effective key performance indicators (KPI).
The frequency for tracking may vary. If your KPI is tied to revenue, you may track it monthly. However, KPI tied to employee or client satisfaction may need to be measured over longer periods, suggesting not more than quarterly or semiannual tracking. Regardless of the frequency of tracking a KPI, the trend in its development over time is what provides the evidence to whether you are progressing as planned.
Once you have identified your critical success factors and the key performance indicators that will measure them, you will have a valuable toolset to assist in your decision-making and guide your strategic planning.