Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. (S.W.O.T.)
This is a simple and recognisable framework for a high-level view on anything, to separate negatives from positives, and risks from reward potential. Tending to be familiar in business-studies, it can also be applied to any competitive or development area, for example; sports, design, decision-making, product development, branding, relocation etc.
Think of it as a summary view of an organisation – almost like your written accounts – but on your brand’s income (strengths), expenses (weaknesses), assets (opportunities) and liabilities (threats).
What does a SWOT Analysis look like?
Generally it would be created as four lists of bullet-points – a reasonable target could be to have one side of paper per list.
What is SWOT Analysis for?
It is a useful way to communicate to a team, or just oneself, on the views as to where something is, and where it could be. This in-turn collates high level areas of concern for subsequently assigning them to those most able to affect or improve them, starting by writing-up as epic projects and tasks for attention and resources.
It is also a useful way to benchmark oneself against competition, in looking to build strengths where others are weak, act on opportunities, and reduce threats or spread risks.
Does SWOT Analysis work?
This kind of simple analysis and breakdown into achievable tasks, can help to be decisive in directions as to whether to compete head-on with like-for like matching – or diversify with seeking alternatives.
It is also a great way to get a number of people to agree on a list that anyone can contribute than any one single thing, and is an exercise in comparing, and helping to highlight differences in self-perceptions to other’s perceptions – usually significant other’s who’s relationships could be better or worse depending on a common perception and goals.
It is a useful exercise to start with one’s own team or organisation – and then ask third parties to do the same – and compare for perception differences – that can also be added to the most relevant of the four lists.
Try it! It’s just a handy document to start, add-to and have in your documentation collection – to review from time-to-time, and always have handy to share with others when needing to succinctly explain where you think something is in yours or your team’s view.
S’WOT are you waiting for? (sorry 🙂 )