Improving Business Performance by addressing HOW things are Done:

A Discussion on Process & Value Streams

Goal Achievement Critical Success Factors

* Reposted from January 2006

AGILEdge  recently sponsored a study looking at goal achievement programs and processes around the world as well as our own to determine the critical successful factors for successfully achieving goals in organizations.  The ability to achieve goals is obviously a key success factor for individuals and organizations as well as for individual processes.  It's a life skill.  It's a business skill.  It's a success requirement.  It's also a skill that is in short supply.

  Many, but not all of these factors are like weak links in the chain - if you have all but that one satisfied, you still will more than likely fall short.   These critical success factors are divided between up-front activities and implementation activities as follows:

  •  Clear statement of Purpose with specifics so that participants (those who benefit) can visualize success.
  • Clear brutally honest description of present day realities and likely scenarios to go from now to goal achievement.
  • A comprehensive and realistic listing/plan for the resources you will need, updated regularly to take into account changes and bumps along the way.
  • Full understanding (which requires “hashing out”/surfacing) of underlying assumptions and their validity or invalidity
  • A mission/noble cause that inspires people and communications/leadership to ensure it continues to do so.
  • A catalytic mechanism, an enforceable way to ensure non-achievement has a major concrete “in your face” negative consequence.
  • Clear understanding of benefits of achieving goal
  • A full understanding of risks and challenges involved with the path towards goal achievement
  • An understanding, listing and communication of what you can NOT do as a result of this goal achievement process
  • An outline of key strategies and specific actions required and close monitoring of the who, what, when and how much associated with completing those actions.
  • An outline of new skills and capabilities required and actions embedded into overall action plan to raise these capabilities.
  • An explicit understanding and listing of the rules of the game and an understanding of how potential rule changes (ethical) may assist in goal achievement or even revising the goal to one more worthwhile.
  • If the goal you are after is not a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), associate it with a longer-term stretch goal that is one.
  • Full ownership and buy-in from all key stakeholders through effective  communications and involvement in ensuring these CSF’s are fulfilled.
  • Goal(s) associated directly with achieving excellence (world-class performance) in a specific area
  • A deep understanding of each team member involved  with the responsibilities given  aligned with strengths as well as awareness of any fatal flaws as they will derail your efforts.