How to do a SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis made simple – date reviewed April 2016
This page has been developed to help you to carry out a SWOT or TOWS analysis. It can be used for strategic planning or business review purposes. This page is comprehensive. It contains many examples, templates and outlines
A SWOT analysis is a planning tool used to understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business. It involves specifying the objective of the business or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are supportive or unfavourable to achieving that objective.
SWOT is often used as part of a strategic planning process. SWOT or TOWS is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.
There are several ways of graphically representing a SWOT analysis on a matrix or grid. Several versions of a SWOT analysis grid/ matrix are shown on this page – use the one which is best suited to your application and preferred style. While at first glance this (A SWOT analysis) looks like a simple model and easy to apply, I can say from experience, that to do a SWOT analysis that is both effective and meaningful, requires time and a significant resource.
A true SWOT analysis cannot be done effectively by just one person. It requires a team effort.
The methodology (SWOT analysis) has the advantage of being used as a ‘quick and dirty’ tool or a comprehensive management tool, more importantly this is not a decision that has to be made in advanced as one can lead to the other. This flexibility is one of the factors that has contributed to its success, along with many believing it is light weight, due to their lack of its original purpose.
Is a SWOT Analysis an analysis?
The term “SWOT ANALYSIS” is in itself an interesting term. Many believe the SWOT is not an analysis, but a summary of a set of previous analyses – even if those were not more than 15 minutes of mini-brainstorming with yourself in front of your computer. The analysis or more correctly interpretation comes after the SWOT summary has been produced. See our slides on slideshar
The SWOT Analysis Matrix Model
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