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SWOT Analysis Takes You Halfway

A SWOT is a proven strategic planning tool, capable of evaluating the direction of the company, new initiatives, projects, specific departments, etc. If you havent heard of SWOT, its an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Wh

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SWOT Analysis Takes You Halfway

A SWOT is a proven strategic planning tool, capable of evaluating the direction of the company, new initiatives, projects, specific departments, etc. If you haven’t heard of SWOT, it’s an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When conducting a SWOT analysis, it’s helpful to remember that the S and the W are Internal to the organization and the O and T are External. The objective of the SWOT is to determine the degree “the actual strategy is suitable and appropriate to meet the challenges and changes in the organization’s environment.”

Traditionally, most SWOTs begin with an evaluation of an organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses before tackling the external Opportunities and Threats. While this can be effective, you may want to consider an OTSW approach where the Opportunities and Threats are discussed first to provide your exploration of Strengths and Weaknesses with a richer context.

SWOT MATRIX

Whatever order you choose, Dagmar Recklies of http://www.themanager.org points out that the SWOT exercise is intended to take you halfway through the strategic planning process. In fact, the SWOT should allow you to approach the right type of questions rather than directly provide answers. You should have the information at your disposal to approach such questions as:

1. Is our actual strategy suitable and sufficient to successfully face the expected changes?

2. In order to exploit our opportunities or to minimise our threats – which strengths should we improve even more and which weaknesses should we try to fix?

3. Will our actual strengths and core competences fit the world of tomorrow?

4. Could our actual strengths become weaknesses tomorrow if we don’t enhance them?

5. In view of our opportunities, which is the best way to exploit our strengths?

6. How can we use our specific competences to prepare ourselves for the changes to come better than our competitors can do?

7. What in particular can we do better?

8. Could this be the basis for new core competences / businesses / services etc.?

Once you’re able to ask the right questions, you’re now in a position where you can manage the issue.