Some managers use the phrase "key success factors" to refer to those competitive factors that are most important to the industry in question.
Some managers prefer to get at the same issues by asking: What makes the difference between success and failure in this business? Unfortunately, this type of assessment often becomes a simple exercise in developing lists.
Key success factors are those few critical or strategic factors that mean the difference between success and failure. Insightful conclusions are preferred over long lists.
Key success factors will vary from industry to industry, but within an industry each factor becomes a challenge to all firms competing for the same market.
Key success factors generally include exceptional management of several of the following: