Business Case: How to Describe Critical Success Factors

In the executive summary of your business case, you need to outline the critical success factors which underpin your project.

For example, give the readers different ways of judging how the project will be deemed successful should it reach the goals you have identified as success factors.

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Business Case: Sample Critical Success Factors

Let’s say you work in a call center. You decide to buy new Contact Management Software to speed up customer calls by 200% – this will one metric you can use to judge how successful the new software.

The success of the project would be how effective this system worked when handing X amount of calls within 24, 48 and 72 hours.

Business Case: Capturing Critical Success Factors

Let’s look at how to capture Critical Success Factors and add these into the Business Case document.

In the call center, we’re going to add new software to respond to customer queries.

  • If the software processes 1000 emails per hour, it fails the test
  • If the software processes 2000 emails per hour, it passes the test at the lowest level
  • If the software processes 5000 emails per hour, it passes the test at the highest level

In other words, the software is judged to be a success if it passes the success factors, which in this case would be 5000 emails per hour.

Business Case: Who Identifies Success Factors?

The next point is who identifies the Critical Success Factors. This is worth examining as the team members who define the business rules are usually involved in defining Critical Success Factors.

This team – usually the project stakeholders – will look for the following:

  • Where the new system can improve the existing processes
  • How this can be achieved with the new software, service or tools
  • How success can be measured against specific metrics.

Conclusion

Critical Success Factors are a fundamental part of every Business Case. To make the document as practical as possible, identify areas where you can measure the success of any new tool, product or service. This metric allows you to see in absolute terms where and how the investment is justified.