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Critical Success Factor (CSF) is a business term for an element which is necessary for an organization or project to achieve its

mission. For example, a CSF for a successful Information Technology (IT) project is user involvement. A plan should be implemented that considers a platform for growth and profits as well as takes into consideration the following critical success factors:

Money: positive cash flow, revenue growth, and profit margins. Your future: Acquiring new customers and/or distributors. Customer satisfaction: How happy are they? Quality:How good is your product and service? Product or service development: What's new that will increase business with existing customers and attract new ones? Intellectual capital: Increasing what you know that's profitable. Strategic relationships: New sources of business, products and outside revenue. Employee attraction and retention: Your ability to do extend your reach. Sustainability: Your personal ability to keep it all going.

Key success factors generally include exceptional management of several of the following:

Product design Market segmentation Distribution and promotion Pricing Financing Securing of key personnel Research and development Production Servicing Maintenance of quality/value Securing key suppliers

Relation to Key Performance Indicator A critical success factor is not a key performance indicator (KPI). Critical success factors are elements that are vital for a strategy to be successful. KPIs are measures that quantify objectives and enable the measurement of strategic performance. An example:

KPI = Number of new customers. CSF = Installation of a call centre for providing quotations.

Business Systems Planning In this day and age, technology has presented itself as an enabler to most every industry and organization. For hi-tech enterprises, technology is the lifeline that supports growth and success. For other industries, where technology doesnt play as visible a role, the information age has presented new means for delivering service and for reducing costs. The Pariveda Solutions Business Systems Planning offering defines and plans the applications and technical architecture within an enterprise. Our services ensure that your IT investment enables your business strategy. The goals of a Business Systems Plan (BSP) are to:

Understand the issues and opportunities with the current applications and technical architecture Develop a future state and migration path for the technology that supports the enterprise Provide business executives with a direction and decision making framework for IT capital expenditures Provide IS with a blueprint for development

The result of a BSP project is an actionable roadmap that aligns technology investments to business strategy. Whether your IT department is large, small, or non-existent, Pariveda Solutions will help you align your IT expenditures to your corporate strategy and goals.

Business Systems Planning

focus on concept and design of integrated corporate database and not on organisational structures or management techniques shift from individual applicatiosn to data and information idealistic in assuming that information systems can be built from scratch

Stages of the BSP Processes

gaining the committment preparing for the study starting the study defining business processes defining business data definign information architecture analysing current systems support interviewing executives determining architecture priorities reviewing information resource management

reporting results

Value chain
The value chain, also known as value chain analysis, is a concept from business management that was first described and popularized by Michael Porter in his 1985 A value chain is a chain of activities. Products pass through all activities of the chain in order and at each activity the product gains some value. The chain of activities gives the products more added value than the sum of added values of all activities. It is important not to mix the concept of the value chain with the costs occurring throughout the activities. A diamond cutter can be used as an example of the difference. The cutting activity may have a low cost, but the activity adds to much of the value of the end product, since a rough diamond is significantly less valuable than a cut diamond. The value chain categorizes the generic value-adding activities of an organization. The "primary activities" include: inbound logistics, operations (production), outbound logistics, marketing and sales (demand), and services (maintenance). The "support activities" include: administrative infrastructure management, human resource management, information technology, and procurement. The costs and value drivers are identified for each value activity. The value chain framework quickly made its way to the forefront of

management thought as a powerful analysis tool for strategic planning. Its ultimate goal is to maximize value creation while minimizing costs. The concept has been extended beyond individual organizations. It can apply to whole supply chains and distribution networks. The delivery of a mix of products and services to the end customer will mobilize different economic factors, each managing its own value chain. The industry wide synchronized interactions of those local value chains create an extended value chain, sometimes global in extent. Porter terms this larger interconnected system of value chains the "value system." A value system includes the value chains of a firm's supplier (and their suppliers all the way back), the firm itself, the firm distribution channels, and the firm's buyers (and presumably extended to the buyers of their products, and so on). Capturing the value generated along the chain is the new approach taken by many management strategists. For example, a manufacturer might require its parts suppliers to be located nearby its assembly plant to minimize the cost of transportation. By exploiting the upstream and downstream information flowing along the value chain, the firms may try to bypass the intermediaries creating new business models, or in other ways create improvements in its value system. The Supply-Chain Council, a global trade consortium in operation with over 700 member companies, governmental, academic, and consulting groups participating in the last 10 years, manages the de facto universal reference model for Supply Chain including Planning, Procurement, Manufacturing, Order Management, Logistics, Returns, and Retail; Product and Service Design including Design Planning, Research, Prototyping, Integration, Launch and Revision, and Sales including CRM, Service Support, Sales, and Contract Management which are congruent to the Porter framework. The "SCOR" framework has been adopted by hundreds of companies as well as national entities as a standard for business excellence, and the US DOD has adopted the newly-launched "DCOR" framework for product design as a standard to use for managing their development processes. In addition to process elements, these reference frameworks also maintain a vast database of standard process metrics aligned to the Porter model, as well as a large and constantly researched database of prescriptive universal best practices for process execution. Linking Value Chain Analysis to Competitive Advantage What activities a business undertakes is directly linked to achieving competitive advantage. For example, a business which wishes to outperform its competitors through differentiating itself through higher quality will have to perform its value chain activities better than the opposition. By contrast, a strategy based on seeking cost leadership will require a reduction in the costs associated with the value chain activities, or a reduction in the total amount of resources used. Steps in Value Chain Analysis

Value chain analysis can be broken down into a three sequential steps: (1) Break down a market/organisation into its key activities under each of the major headings in the model; (2) Assess the potential for adding value via cost advantage or differentiation, or identify current activities where a business appears to be at a competitive disadvantage; (3) Determine strategies built around focusing on activities where competitive advantage can be sustained Primary Activities Primary value chain activities include: Primary Activity Inbound logistics Operations Description

All those activities concerned with receiving and storing externally sourced materials The manufacture of products and services - the way in which resource inputs (e.g. materials) are converted to outputs (e.g. products) Outbound All those activities associated with getting finished goods and services to logistics buyers Marketing and Essentially an information activity - informing buyers and consumers sales about products and services (benefits, use, price etc.) Service All those activities associated with maintaining product performance after the product has been sold

Support Activities Support activities include: Secondary Activity Procurement Human Resource Management Technology Development Description This concerns how resources are acquired for a business (e.g. sourcing and negotiating with materials suppliers) Those activities concerned with recruiting, developing, motivating and rewarding the workforce of a business Activities concerned with managing information processing and the development and protection of "knowledge" in a business

Infrastructure Concerned with a wide range of support systems and functions such as finance, planning, quality control and general senior management