A SWOT analysis is a great tool to assist with strategic planning. What exactly is a SWOT?
It is a simple 2 x 2 grid where you can look at an organization’s:
If you have an organization with people in different functional roles, it is a great exercise to do this with a representative from each function and collectively this team decides what to capture in each category. This diversity of experiences and expertise will result in a more robust analysis.
In a smaller organization do try to engage more than just yourself. Perhaps there is a key external stakeholder (i.e., a major customer or an important supplier) who can support you with insights.
Another approach is to consider external facilitation. I have done this with a number of organizations, where I have interviewed a number of key personnel and then consolidated the responses in a report back that has been informed by my industry experiences.
For individuals, something else to consider is that this approach or analysis can be used to look at your own personal development. It is a great way to consider your strengths, find areas for improvements and gain insights as to what future opportunities there may be for you. If you have a mentor, coach or a supporter, consider asking them to participate in this exercise with you.
In the graphic associated with this article I have put some prompts/questions under each heading. You can follow that guideline or create your questions or thought starters. You can also search online for SWOT templates.
A SWOT analysis is not just for new initiatives. With the constant and rapid changes to the world and markets around us, it can be a vital tool to make sure your strategy is still on track or whether it needs to be adjusted.