The CSFs are very important, more particularly in ensuring strategic focus!
Organizations large or small face the new VUCA reality –Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Can Critical Success Factors (CSF) narrow the universe of uncertainty in the Strategic Planning Process?
The CSFs are very important, more particularly in ensuring strategic focus, as the organization is aware of the key issues it needs to responds to, in order to create value in its core business. While these (CSFs) might not have changed much, due to the fact that at most of the CSF are closed aligned with the sector/industry competition pillars (what each industry player needs to deliver on to survive), what does change most often is the critical business activities which dictates what organizations do to respond to the CSF. For example, the four areas business should consider in their strategic planning will include:
- Internal factors that are specific to the organization.
- Strategic objectives that line up with the business' mission, vision and how the business will like to position themselves, their competitive strategy.
- External Influencers such as economy, technology, etc.
- Industry characteristics that the organization needs to stay competitive
- Industry structure (industry CSFs)
- Competitive strategy, industry position, and geographical location (strategy CSFs)
- The macro-environment (environmental CSFs)
- Organizational problems or challenges (temporal CSFs)
- Management perspective (management CSFs)
If you want to narrow the universe of uncertainty, aside from CSFs, you can do environmental scanning, force field analysis & consider frame-breaking & sustainable improvements in the organizational, operational, management & financial aspects of organization. Business environment is ever changing with increasing speed, however, the marketing mix conceptually is more static. How it is executed might be variable as customers, technology etc become more sophisticated but the principles, as guiding pillars still apply.