Most people have heard of the technique called SWOT analysis, but what is it really

What can you use it for

And how can it help with your business or projects?

Join me to how you can use SWOT analysis in your work

And then use this to drive the results you deserve

What exactly is a SWOT analysis?

It is simply a technique you can use to assist you in any decision making process

You define the problem or outcome you want to work on, then use the analysis as one of the inputs to your decision making

It is not something that is only for businesses

You can use a swot analysis in most scenarios, as long as you can define the issue you are looking at

SWOT is an acronym thanks stands for

Strengths

these are the things that provide an advantage to you

An example may be your deep knowledge in a specific area

Weaknesses

these are things that may set you back

An example may be changes in technology that means your knowledge is no longer up to date

Opportunities

This is things items that are there for you to take advantage of

An example is a new niche or client in a market that you serve

Threats

These are things that can cause trouble to you or your business

And example here may be competitors in the market you are serving

Some areas where you can benefit from a SWOT analysis include

Exploring solutions to problems

Identifying potential benefits and issues with solutions

Looking at where your strengths and opportunities can be used to offset weaknesses and potential threats

And as an aid to making informed decisions about your business or project

The SWOT analysis gives you a snapshot of your current thinking

It allows you to see all the potential issues that you may face, and also the things you have that may mitigate them

The one down side to a SWOT analysis – it tends to focus more on weaknesses and threats

You are focusing more on the negative aspects of the problem or solution

Bear this in mind when using this technique, so you can get the most from it

So what is a SWOT analysis

Generally you see this written as a 2 * 2 grid

It has Strengths in the upper left

Opportunities in the lower left

Weaknesses in the upper right

And Threats in the lower right

The left hand column, these are things are positives things

These are things that are helpful to you

The right hand column has the negative things

Things that are not helpful and may need to be mitigated against

The top row, this is Internal factors.

These are things that are attributes of the business or yourself

The bottom for, these are external factors

This is things that come from outside

This may be other businesses, the current business climate, budget allocations

Well the list of these goes on

When completing the analysis its best to have the grid in front of you so you can put things straight into it

Brainstorming and using the six thinking hats is a good way to start filling out the grid

The aim is to identify as many items in the possible areas as possible.

After you have you grid, its time to start looking at it

To help with this we are going to work through an example

Don’t worry, you don’t need to have any knowledge, I’m going to keep this very high level and non-technical

You are an software company and you market a solid product to the desktop market

You have decided that its time for you to offer the product to the mobile market as well

To help you with the decision making you decide to perform a SWOT analysis

You have had a brainstorming session with various stakeholders and this has given you a completes SWOT grid

I’m going to highlight a couple of the items

But when done outside of an example you would look at each item in turn

You look at the Weaknesses, and have only one

The programming language for mobile is different that the desktop. Existing staff are not used to it

You would not look at your strengths, and also use the thinking hats to come up with ways to mitigate this

Mitigating something is coming up with a plan to remove the item

With this item you come up with two possible solutions

You can either train existing staff in the new language, or you can hire in extra team members to create the mobile version

With each of these you would dive a little bit deeper into them

You may even do a SWOT analysis on each of them so you can understand the pros and cons of each

This is where the SWOT analysis is helping you with your decision making process
If we look at one of the threats

Mobile needs a different way of doing things, so you may not have the smooth interface you want

Your clients are asking for a mobile application

This gives you the chance to talk to them about what they want and how they’d like it to work

By engaging them in the process they will feel some ownership in the new mobile version, which will lead them to buying it

You also may find things that can be taken from the mobile version and used to improve the desktop version

The use of the SWOT analysis allows you to dig deep into your solution and uncover things that need to be addressed

Have you ever done a SWOT analysis?

Can you are some details in the comments below?

What value did you get from it?

Again, can you share the details below

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To summarise, by using a SWOT analysis you can

Exploring solutions to problems

Identifying potential benefits and issues with solutions

Looking at where your strengths and opportunities can be used to offset weaknesses and potential threats

And as an aid to making informed decisions about your business or project
While doing the analysis you identify

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

These allow you to dive into each of these allowing you to improve your decision making.
And improved decision making leads to better business results.

If you are having trouble with your decision making process, why not give me a call.

I can help you to analyse your problems and help you to get the results you deserve

Please reach out to me on 0415 591672

I am based in Australia so please use the international dialling code if calling from another Country

You can also email me on garry@nextactions.com.au

or visit nextactions.com.au where you will find a link to book a free short introductory call

Do you have any topics you’d like me to cover

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