Factors Critical to Delivering Change Successfully

Final Survey Findings

Helping organisations change successfully is at the heart of our business. 

To explore the factors behind effective change, we surveyed a wide range of people with different experience of change initiatives, asking them to rank 10 Critical Success Factors (CSFs) “in order of their importance to the overall success of a change initiative”. 

We deliberately asked for a ‘forced ranking’ of the CSFs to get a relative weighting, but we also gave respondents an opportunity to nominate an additional CSF to make sure we hadn’t missed anything vital.

Relative CSF Weighting - Average Response

Overall, our findings were that respondents placed significantly more relative importance on Leadership, Purpose and Stakeholders.  They placed relatively less on Governance, Delivery Process and Performance Management.  Blueprint & Roadmap, Business Case & Funding, Resources and Plan were ranked closer to the mean importance.

Change Management professionals placed even more importance than the average on Leadership, whereas Project/Programme Managers placed relatively more importance than the average on Purpose and Blueprint & Roadmap.

Those with experience of larger initiatives (over $10M) tended to place relatively more emphasis on Leadership, Stakeholders, Resources and Performance Management and relatively less emphasis on Purpose, Business Case & Funding and Plan than those with smaller project experience.

We surveyed a range of different roles, from Managers to Top Level Executives, but on the whole their relative rankings were very similar - although the more senior people had notably stronger opinions!

Some interesting cultural aspects are apparent: Americans seem to emphasise factors which drive structure, like Blueprint & Roadmap, whilst Europeans prefer factors which enable flexibility, such as Governance.

Despite one or two outliers, there is remarkable similarity in CSF ranking between different industries - which we believe is very significant for the application of these results to change initiatives across sectors - see ‘Viewpoint: Are CSFs Unique?’

Overall, these results point to a powerful way to help organisations understand the overall chances of success of a change initiative and, more importantly, focus their efforts on those factors which are most likely to increase their chances of delivering successfully.  

We’re building these ideas into our Rapid Assessment approach, giving clients a fast, effective way to turn insight into action.  See ‘Spotlight: Refining the Rapid Assessment’ to find out more about how this could help your organisation.

Full Report

To examine the report in detail, please use the following links:

 To open a downloadable pdf version of the Full Report in a new window, click here.

A big “thank you” to everyone who took part in the survey.  We appreciate your time and your insights.

Please leave a comment, or to contact us directly, either to discuss the survey or for more information about Houghley Ltd: contact us at enquiries@houghley.co.uk; or phone us on +44 (0) 845 604 2335.


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