Friday, February 18, 2005

SWOT Analysis

Harry Joiner, in "Quantifying the Innovation Value of Technology" links to a great form you can use if you need to perform a SWOT analysis. Link. If you find yourself in the position of having to need to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) in an exisiting, operating business you are most likely, in a word, screwed. SWOT analysis do provide value and this sheet is very handy in providing you a solid base from which to start. Remember, it is a tool. Not a solution. It should serve as a magnifying glass, highlighting linkages you may not have realized existed.

The key to any good analysis resides in digging deep down into root causes. If you are unwilling or most likely, unable to get to the root of your issues, SWOT analyses and strategic sessions of any kind are completely pointless. If the people in the room do not trust each other, you have to solve that problem first. If there is no trust between the participants, if they are all fighting for their own fiefdoms, the strategic analysis is doomed before it begins.


Run With the Hunted said...

I hate to disagree with you here, but I must. I know for a fact that SWOT (with a few modifications) can absolutely be effective as long as the decision makers (and stakeholders) embrace it and are willing to accept the reality of the results.

clanlally said...

Despite my sloppy writing, we are really in agreement. My overall point I was trying to make is that if the stakeholders don't trust each other (i.e. don't embrace TRUTH and REALITY) then the SWOT becomes an exercise in futility. In a team, organization, community, etc that communicates with each other, SWOTs should be inherent to the communication process.

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