What are the elements of a SWOT analysis?

in Blog 

The purpose of performing a SWOT, (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats,) is to reveal positive forces that work together and potential problems that need to be addressed or at least recognized in ANY company. Before you conduct a SWOT session, decide what format or layout you will use to communicate these issues most clearly for you.

We will discuss the process of creating the analysis below, but first here are a few sample layouts-ideas of what your SWOT analysis can look like.

You can list internal and external opposites side by side. Ask participants to answer these simple questions: what are the strengths and weaknesses of your group, community, or effort, and what are the opportunities and threats facing it?

INTERNAL EXTERNAL
Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

Or if a looser structure helps you brainstorm, you can group positives and negatives to think broadly about your organization and its external environment.

Positives Negatives
 

·         strengths

·         assets

·         resources

·         opportunities

·         prospects

 

·         weaknesses

·         limitations

·         restrictions

·         threats

·         challenges

 

And here’s a third option for structuring your SWOT analysis that might be appropriate for a large initiative that requires detailed planning or many alternatives. This more elaborate “TOWS Matrix” is adapted from Fred David’s Strategic Management text (see “Print Resources”). Here a working table guides you to identify strategies by matching items in each quadrant.

STRENGTHS

1.
2.
3.
4.

WEAKNESSES

1.
2.
3.
4.

OPPORTUNITIES

1.
2.
3.
4.

Opportunity-Strength (OS) Strategies

Use strengths to take advantage of opportunities

1.
2.

Opportunity-Weakness (OW) Strategies

Overcome weaknesses by taking advantage of opportunities

1.
2.

THREATS

1.
2.
3.
4.

Threat-Strength (TS) Strategies

Use strengths to avoid threats

1.
2.

Threat-Weakness (TW) Strategies

Minimize weaknesses and avoid threats

1.
2.

You can then use this SWOT matrix to interview the CEO, President, Managers and employees. After these one-on-one interviews, you summarize the data you have gathered and submit a report on what SWOT OPPORTUNITIES present themselves through this process and present them to the CEO.

Use Pareto’s Principle to prioritize opportunities or use VOC (Voice of the Customer) techniques to implement these opportunities to improve your company. Continuous Improvement is what all companies should be doing daily

Chuck Intrieri
cmiconsulting93@gmail.com
714-389-2238

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