Critical Success Factors in Project Management

Critical Success Factors in Project Management
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  • 0:03 Critical Success Factors
  • 0:35 Definition
  • 1:08 Important Concepts
  • 1:58 Examples
  • 2:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting
In this lesson, you'll learn about critical success factors in project management. We'll define the term and explore some of the important concepts pertaining to critical success factors.

Critical Success Factors

Mel works for Projects Are Us, a company that specializes in helping companies with project management, accounting, and administrative needs. While Mel has worked on a variety of projects, he has just received his first project management assignment. He wants to be sure that everything goes smoothly. So, before the project actually begins, Mel decides to list and clarify to the other members of the team the critical success factors of the project. Knowing these will help Mel's team make sure the project is a success.


So what are critical success factors? Simply put, critical success factors are the key parts of an activity that must be performed well so that the goals of the project are met. In other words, critical success factors focus on what needs to be achieved and how it will be achieved in areas such as quality, cost, and customer satisfaction. Knowing and understanding the critical success factors helps those working on the project know what is most important, helps team members focus their work, and helps measure and direct the success of the project.

Important Concepts

Here's a list of some important concepts and characteristics of critical success factors in project management:

  • The factors should be customizable. This means that each company or project determines its own critical success factors to help them achieve their goals and mission.
  • There should be about 8-12 factors. A typical company has several different critical success factors, though the number is flexible and can be adjusted as plans change.
  • And, there should be a clear identification of the right number and type of factors. Too many make it hard to really understand the most important elements of a project, while too few can limit success without clearly indicating what's most important to success. And the type of factor, be it sales projections or customer satisfaction, will determine the shape of the project.

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