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SWOT Analysis
A multi-dimensional analysis of the context of the organization for the purpose of establishing value and developing goals and policies.



Purpose of the Analysis
The primary objectives of the SWOT Analyis are listed below.


Scope of the Analysis
Listed below are the different facets/dimensions of the SWOT analysis.
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats
The following table provides an example of a SWOT correlated to a PESTLE Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a study done by an organization to identify it internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. The internal factors are those things over which the organization has some control, such as resources, skilled labor, investments and machinery. External factors are beyond the organization’s control but can be leveraged to its advantage or mitigated against.
The key to a successful SWOT analysis is to ask the right questions




SWOT Questions

Opportunities (external)
  • What are the current and emerging trends?
  • Any changes in social patterns, population profiles, lifestyle changes?
  • What is missing in the market?
  • What could be done today that isn’t being done?
  • Who can support the organization and how?
  • Etcetera…   
Strengths (internal)
  • What are the organizations assets?
  • What advantages does the organization have?
  • What are the organization’s competencies?
  • What does the organization do better than others?
  • What is unique about the organization?
  • What do others say that the organization does well?
  • Etcetera…
Threats (external)
  • What obstacles does the organization face?
  • What are the negative tendencies in play?
  • What are the competitors doing that might cause difficulties?
  • Are new government regulations going to affect the organization?
  • What might cause problems in the future and how?
  • Etcetera…   
Weaknesses (internal)
  • What areas need to be improved on?
  • In what ways is the organization not efficient?
  • Where is the organization incompetent?
  • Where is the organization lacking in knowledge, skills and attitude?
  • What should the organization avoid doing?
  • Etcetera…
A SWOT analysis is not about simply listing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It requires significant consideration in designing appropriate questions to be addressed by the organization’s knowledge resources.




Process
Listed below are some of the keys steps associated with the PESTLE Analysis
  • Arrange a workshop of knowledge resources
  • Conduct the PESTLE Analysis - identify each context (social, economic, etc)
  • Conduct the SWOT Analysis
  • Corrrelate the PESTLE to the SWOT
  • Communicate the findings
  • Goals - Establish objectives for the organization
  • Policies - Establish policies that correlate with the goals.
  • Strategy - Develop strategy to satisfy the goals.



Benefits of a Context Scan
  • Awareness of Issues & Trends – An understanding of its external and internal contexts will help the organization raise its awareness about issues and trends.
  • Effective Communications with Stakeholders – Information on the contexts can be used to effectively frame the discussions with the organization’s stakeholders.
  • Design of the Asset Management System -  An understanding of the nature and complexity of the context issues will help the organize establish an appropriate scope and boundaries for its asset management system.
  • Development of Policy and Strategy – An understanding of the various contexts (legal, political, social, technological, economic and environmental) will inform the organization in the development of appropriate policy, strategy and plans.
  • Appropriate Treatment of Risks – Awareness and analysis of issues will ensure that risks are identified and appropriate managed.



Evaluation

  • Provides a high level analysis


Workshops help to elicit qualitative data within the organization
Fig. Workshops help to elicit qualitative data from knowledge resoruces within the organization for the purpose of compiling the SWOT Analysis.


See also:
  • Context of the Organization
  • Strategic Planning


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