Also known as: Internal-External Analysis, SWOT Matrix, IE Matrix
A SWOT analysis aims to identify the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieving the objectives of the organisation, service or project.
The name SWOT is an acronym for the four parameters the tool examines: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
A SWOT analysis helps teams/organisations to focus on their strengths, minimize threats, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to achieve strategic objectives.
Essentially, teams/organisations can work out what they are doing well, where they can improve, and where they sit in relation to other teams and organisations.
Materials needed: whiteboard or flipchart, pens or post it notes.
The 7 simple rules for successful SWOT analysis
Be Specific: Avoid vague descriptions or fuzzy defitions.
Be Objective: Ask for input from well-informed and objective sources
Be Realistic: Be realistic about strengths and weaknesses, be practical in judging sections.
Apply Context: Distinguish between where the organisation or project actually is today, and where is could be in the future.
Contrast and Compare: Relate strengths and weaknesses to critical success factors.
Short and Simple: Avoid needless complexity and over-analysis. Keep it brief - never more than a page
Update plans and goals: Once the key issues are identified, define the action steps to achieve change