|#22 - SWAT SWOT! | Gary Rush Facilitation|
Last year, I began teaching SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) following a more rigorous method. I'll call it "SWAT SWOT" (Special Workshop Analysis Technique for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats).
SWOT is a method for describing a current situation. It is typically used in strategic planning, but it also is used in product development, annual planning of projects, or current situation analysis. I have used it in strategic planning, product development, and annual planning.
Brainstorm each list separately. Analyze each list to reduce to about 12 or fewer items each. Do this by discussing the items and asking the group to identify the key ones in each area. Number the list when finished.
Build a matrix (see below). Opportunities and Threats on top with Strengths and Weaknesses down the side. Explain the scoring process to the group. Each member gets "9" points (it is an arbitrary number and you may change it if you want more or fewer points). They assign the points based on the impact or leverage that each strength or weakness has relative to each opportunity or threat. The higher the impact, the higher the number. Ensure that they don't just spread them evenly - it should be based on a business understanding. Collect the scoring. Using a spreadsheet, calculate the final scores for each intersection, each column, each row, and each quadrant.
A new software company looks at its strengths as: experience, good people, creative ideas, and product integration. Its weaknesses are: newness to market and time to market. Opportunities are: integrated products, new market, and growing use of computers. Threats are: Microsoft, other large companies, and hardware manufactures. The group would build the matrix and one person may score it as follows (scored from 1 to 9 with 9 indicating greatest impact):