What's your KSFs? No, I'm not talking about where you get your fried chicken for dinner. That's KFCs. I'm talking about your "Key Success Factors."
Jack Davis, South Dakota State University Extension farm management specialist, says KSFs are essential in a farm businesses today.
"Managers and employees can be overloaded with information making it hard to focus on the true essential items that will lead to success," he says. "This is where identifying key success factors (KSFs) can help."
KSFs are the essential areas of action that must be completed if the business is to achieve its mission, objective, and goals. KSFs can create a universal point of reference to help guide and assess the success of the ranch or project. As a universal point of reference, KSFs help the team to know exactly what is essential. This helps people complete their assigned tasks so that, together, everyone helps the business reach the goal.
Key success factors are strongly related to strategic goals of the ranch or project, according to Davis.
"The strategic goals focus on the aims and what is to be attained, KSFs center on the most important areas of both what is to be attained and how It will be accomplished," he says.
The following steps will help you identify the key success factors for your ranch or farm business.
Create your ranch's strategic goals.
For each goal ask, "What activity is essential to achieve this goal?" (provides initial list of KSFs)
Evaluate the list of KSFs to find the absolute vital elements for achieving success. These are your key success factors. As they are identified and evaluated you may discover new strategic objectives. This becomes a loop of refining your strategy and key success factors.
Determine how you will monitor and measure each of the KSFs.
Communicate your key success factors along with your ranches strategy.
Keep monitoring and reevaluating your KSFs to make certain you keep progressing to your goals. It is useful to identify explicitly as possible how you will measure and monitor each one.
"By recognizing and communicating key success factors, you help ensure your ranch business is well-focused and avoid wasting effort and resources on less important areas. Making your KSFs clear and communicating them with everyone involved, you help keep the business on track to achieve its vision," Davis says.