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Mission critical refers to any factor of a system (equipment, process, procedure, software, etc.) whose failure will result in the failure of business operations. That is, it is critical to the organization's 'mission'.
As a rule in crisis management, if a triage-type decision is made in which certain components must be eliminated or delayed, e.g. because of resource or personnel constraints, the mission critical ones must not be among them.
According to Tandehill Human Capital, in the human resources field, there is a category of jobs called mission critical. Mission-critical jobs are those jobs that help the organization maintain or develop its distinct competitive advantage. Because of the importance of these jobs, they are typically paid a premium to market. When determining mission-critical jobs, organizations consider:
- A job’s expected contribution to long-term organizational success
- The criticality and/or unique contribution of a job to achieving ongoing long-term objectives
- The difference in contribution level between having an average performer and a high performer in the job.
Because of the pay premium available to mission critical jobs, the group is typically very limited (no more than 5% of all jobs) and the entire leadership team must be in agreement as to which jobs are mission critical.
See also 
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