The Key Success Parameters

Peter Drucker is credited[1] with the phrase: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Yet, modern project management has focused on process rather than culture. We at KSP (yes, we named the company after this model), recognized this issue decades ago and began developing a model that integrates culture with project management practices. Our goal was to establish tangible and implementable characteristics of high-performance cultures that integrate with and support modern project management practices. The result: the Key Success Parameters (KSPs).

The KSPs are briefly described below. Each KSP does not stand alone. They integrate with each other, feed each other, and support each other. Note that the first four define the culture. The last three integrate the mechanics of work into the culture. For more information, refer to our book, Culture’s Competitive Edge, the Keys to Sustained Organizational Growth.

The Key Success Parameters

No. KSP Description
1 Clear Definition There are two aspects to Clear Definition. 1) Clearly defining the deliverable to be produced using measurable requirements; and 2) Clearly defining roles and responsibilities.
2 Ownership Ownership is the strongest KSP for building motivation. Our unique model defines ownership as: the synergistic integration of responsibility, accountability, and authority.
3 Customer Focused Deliverables The deliverables focus helps align employees’ activities directly to the project’s deliverables, ensuring their time is productive.
4 Collaborative Spirit The key tool commonly used for this KSP is communication. The goal is to have project managers, team leads, team members, middle and upper-level management, vendors and client stakeholders working together to help drive the project forward.
5 Task Interdependencies Projects consist of a large number of interdependent tasks. The results of one task become the input into other tasks. If the products created by one team are faulty, the issue can create a ripple effect downstream. Similarly, schedule slips in one task may cause delays downstream.
Project management involves planning and coordinating the design, quality, and schedules of these interrelated tasks to keep the project moving forward.
6 Rigorous Quality The complex network of task interdependencies dictates that quality failures grow exponentially through the project. High-performance teams ensure quality at every step to eliminate rework.
7 Risk Management Projects exhibit inherent risks. Managing those risks increases speed and quality.

[1] Although well-credited with originating this phrase, no one has found it in any of Drucker’s writings. See Quora for more information.


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