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Product Strategy

Success Factors


What are success factors?


Definition of success factors

Success factors are all of the different internal and external influences which can impact the potential success of a business.

What do we mean by success factors? A success factor is an essential component or action needed to guarantee an organization's success.

The phrase first appeared in the business analysis and data analysis industries. User engagement, for instance, is a success factor for an information technology project.

Success factors can also relate to the process of recruitment. A success factor can be any trait, attitude, skill, knowledge, motive, value, or any other characteristic crucial to success.


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What are the 5 critical success factors?

1. Strategic Focus

This refers to the roles of leadership, planning, and management and incorporates these key elements:

  • A customer-driven company based on up-to-date surveys from customers

  • The company’s core values are seriously taken into consideration by all members

  • Leaders set an example with their commitment to the firm’s values

  • Focused on having a competitive and sustainable advantage

  • Purpose-driven goals expressed by an inspiring but realistic vision

  • Tactics, responsibilities, and clear strategy back all goals.

2. People

Staff should be chosen based on personal strengths, talent, and attitude. People should be given equal development opportunities and should be rewarded for any desirable high performance, no matter if it’s as a team or individual.

3. Operations

Processes should be fine-tuned, optimized, and aligned to deliver the best customer value. They should also be explained clearly to all responsible staff, so they understand the responsibility to create and maintain that value.

4. Marketing

Marketing refers to sales, customer relations, and overall responsiveness. A company should monitor customer values, needs, satisfaction, and feedback. The company’s unique brand should be positioned based on sustainable and long-term advantages. 

5. Finances

Financial success factors include assets, equipment, and facilities. A business should control cash flow and guarantee profits through efficient financial processes. Management should understand the financial data they track and maintain competitive pricing for the best customer value.

What are examples of success factors?

Generally speaking, increasing employee satisfaction, brand awareness, and improving profit and sales are great examples of success factors. Here are some more specific examples of success factors in different industries:

1. Hospitality

  • Frequent customer feedback

  • Efficient marketing

  • Attractive menu

  • Reliable and high-quality service

  • Increased profit margins

2. Media

  • Sourcing news ethically

  • Encouraging diversity in all departments

  • High written quality

  • Achieve the best production value possible

3. Health

  • Indiscriminate patient care

  • High hygiene standards

  • Excellent verbal communication

  • Quick treatment options

4. Retail

  • Maintaining a clean shop

  • Improving product offerings

  • Better communication with customers

  • Optimized marketing campaigns

5. Banking

  • Increased financial security

  • Increased overall client retention

  • Ensure success against other competing banks

  • Lower costs for customers

6. Manufacturing

  • Imposing safer manufacturing processes and procedures

  • Increasing employee satisfaction

  • Creating high-quality products

  • Keeping production costs low without affecting quality


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Success factors are sometimes referred to as "success indicators" or "success requirements".

The importance of success factors

Success factors are important because they:

Help teams prioritize 

Critical success factors make prioritizing the most important tasks and processes for achieving specific goals easier. They can reduce the risk of wasting time and resources on work that offers little value. 

Improve teamwork

Identifying critical success factors can define and clarify a company or project’s objectives. Teamwork should improve when everyone understands the shared goals they’re working towards. 

Are a key part of planning

Planning is a core element of product management, and critical success factors can help make it more effective. Product managers should find building a product plan more straightforward with a clear set of factors to follow. 

Help you stay focused

It’s easy to get distracted by new possibilities when developing new products. But that can lead to dead ends and take a product team’s focus off high-priority tasks. Well-defined critical success factors can reduce that risk and empower teams to maintain their focus.

Help you align processes to your goals

With critical success factors, goals become more concrete than abstract. Product managers can determine which processes are necessary to reach those objectives and progress at a steady pace. 

Critical success factors in product management

Now that we understand why success factors are so important let’s explore the most important critical success factors specifically in product management:


Your product must meet (and ideally exceed) your customers’ unmet needs. But to build a product that solves customer problems better than anything else, you must understand your target audience in depth. 


If your product doesn’t offer value for money, why should anyone invest in it? The product has to improve the users’ lives in one way or another, whether that means collaborating more efficiently or delivering a better experience to their own customers. Identify how you can create value from the start. 


Another of the top critical success factors in product management is providing a solution with features that help users achieve their goals. Consider all use cases and what your product must be capable of to facilitate that. 


Targeting a specific market is paramount to creating a relevant, valuable product. That’s where customer research comes in, including surveys and interviews.


You need to be able to meet the likely level of demand and deliver a consistent experience to maintain customer loyalty. 


Stay within budget — it’s that simple. Exceeding available funds will make it more difficult to generate a profit. 

What are Success Factors

General FAQ

What are the 5 critical success factors?
The five critical success factors are strategic focus, people, operations, marketing, and finances.
How to find success factors?
The first step in finding and identifying success factors is understanding the overall objective of a project and the processes required to achieve it. This may involve hosting an in-depth discussion with managers across different departments, and gathering ideas from all employees. The next step is to identify the factors that are crucial to reaching those goals, and recognizing which failures or oversights could derail the project. A process should be established for monitoring the success factors and determining whether they are being achieved. All success factors should be communicated to the teams involved in a project at different levels, to ensure everyone is aware of the objective(s), the risks to avoid, and how success will be measured.
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