by Rick Draker
SWOT analysis came into vogue from research done by the Stanford Research Institute between 1960 and 1970. It developed as a solution to the failure of corporate planning at that time. SWOT analysis allows your organization, with relative ease and speed, to look at your operation in a new and holistic manner. A SWOT is simply a method of auditing your current business practices to ensure they are effective and reliable.
What the SWOT Process Does:
- Provides a low impact assessment of your organization in terms of time and cost invested
- Helps takes stock of current business practices
- Helps identify directions for your organization by identifying opportunities and strengths to build on
- Helps to target specific opportunities
- Helps to focus on ways to minimize threats and to correct weaknesses in operations
- Helps to identify those forces driving your business
- Helps to identify and understand the linkages among the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; e.g., how a strength can have an inherent weakness and what to do about it; or, how a strength may be linked to an opportunity
- Helps you take a hard look at your customers and their needs and wants
- Helps to better define the competition and how you can stand out in the market place
- Helps to better define your business goals and objectives
- Provides the basis for developing appropriate strategies and actions to achieve the defined goals and objectives
How the SWOT Process Works
The SWOT analysis utilizes six categories proposed by Albert Humphrey¹ (one of the founders of SWOT analysis) to anlayze issues and develop appropriate actions:
- Service or product offered or sold
- Process (how the service or product is being marketed)
- Client/Customer to whom the service or product is offered
- Distribution-how does service or product get to the customer
- Finance-costs, fees/process)
- Administration-how all of the above is managed
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are identified and documented for each of the above categories. Interconnections and interrelationships are identified and documented. Goals and objectives are formulated. Strategies to deal with the SWOTs are developed, priorities identified and an action plan articulated.
SWOT analysis is only one technique for examining your organization’s operation and moving it forward. It can be coupled with a strategic plan or business process improvement or risk management, gap analysis, and/or other tools.
What DrakerCody Provides
DrakerCody, Inc. will help facilitate your SWOT analysis, taking you and your team through the process step by step. We will help you and your team see the interconnections, obvious and subtle, among the identified SWOTs. We will help you develop a clear path to dealing successfully with these SWOTs, and positioning your organization to be more effective and competitive.
SWOT analysis is not complicated. We will help you keep it simple, and we will work to ensure it has minimal impact to your organization in terms of time and cost.
Call DrakerCody to discuss your situation and what we can do for you!
¹ Albert S. Humphrey, A.S.SRI International (2005). “SWOT Analysis for Management Consulting”.