SWOT analysis is used as a method of assessment and is a commonly integrated tool that is used with project management as well. Ideally, SWOT analysis should be used at the earliest stages of decision making for improving strategies or a continuous improvement program. It is meant to be the first stage of action since it helps determine the subsequent stages. Ideas that can come after SWOT analysis include new ideas, decision-making capabilities, strategies, and identification of problematic areas, redefining current processes and potential change.
It is up to the organization as to who to choose to take part in SWOT analysis. The owner, CEO of the organization should be included in the process along with grass-root stage employees. SWOT analysis can be performed as often as necessary. Many companies find it beneficial to perform SWOT analysis on a quarterly basis in order to keep up to date with the problems and high points of the processes and to get rid of the problems before they affect/ effect the organization in a substantial manner.
SWOT analysis draws attention to the four points labeled in the name. In order to improve an organization, the advantages and disadvantages need to be recognized and analyzed in order to come with up with a good plan of action. Those involved in the SWOT analysis are required to come up with individual tables that are divided into four columns (relating to each element). This makes it easier to make comparisons.
The Strengths and Weaknesses are internal elements in the organization. This can include resources such as capital, financial and human resources, as well processes that are currently used in the organization. In order to get the most out of the SWOT analysis, those filling in the strengths and weaknesses should be as honest as possible. The external elements covered by SWOT analysis include trends, such as economic or market, demographics and funding.
About the Author: Shruti Bhat PhD, MBA
Dr. Shruti Bhat is an award-winning Business Excellence Leader, Global Continuous Improvement Mastermind, Best-selling Author and Speaker. She is Continuous Improvement Advisor to several start-ups, mid-size and growing firms in Canada, USA, India, Africa and Emerging markets. She has authored eight business books and is an invited speaker at several national and international conferences, symposia and workshops.
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