Critical Success Factors for Technology

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When a new technology is implemented in a company, it needs to have critical success factors to determine along the way whether it is faring well and, if not, what can be done to change it. These factors allow decision makers to gauge success objectively. Rather than just checking whether a system is performing as it should or whether it looks effective, critical success factors allow people to actually determine if it is fitting their individual needs.

User Involvement

A key critical success factor, particularly in information technology, is in user involvement. The best, most efficient system in the world is essentially worthless if people aren't using it.

So, most IT firms will use this as their critical success factor when they install their product. The actual numbers required will vary depending on the situation, but IT projects generally need a majority of the company to be using the product before they can say they've reached their critical success factor.

This is useful because it can act as a starting point for changes if success is not being reached. If people are not using the system, the IT company can take steps to engage them with it -- steps it would not have taken if it hadn't specified its critical success factor beforehand.

Change Management

A technology system is usually a big change. However, this is usually at odds with the people who work with it, because people, in general, do not like change. So the ability to smoothly change is another critical success factor in technology. People should be using the system, but they should not have to change their routine very much to do so. Indeed, if they have to change too much then they likely won't use it.

This success factor is examined through interviews and observation--checking how people do things in relation to how they did before.

Information

The more information workers have about the new technology, the better. This will ensure that the people who are using it are using it correctly. If they are not doing so, then the efficiency of the system will be lost or hindered by their poor skill and knowledge base.

So to examine for this, it is important to watch people using the system, and make sure they are doing things correctly. If they are not, though, they need to be told why they need to change their habits, to compensate for the "change-fearing" aspect mentioned earlier.

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