Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats
A SWOT analysis provides programs and organizations with a clear, easy-to-read map of internal and external factors that may help or harm a project, by listing and organizing a project’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT can clearly show a program its chances for success, given present environmental factors.
Image: The Principles of Successful Freelancing
Create a chart with columns titled "Helpful" and "Harmful," and rows titled "Internal" and "External." Sort out factors that impact your organization, and place them in the appropriate rows/columns:
|Helpful (Positive Impact)||Harmful (Negative Impact)|
- Try to look at your organization from an external perspective, even when assessing internal factors: What would others say about your organization?
- Try to verify/quantify statements when possible, rather than making general statements about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
- You may end up with what seems like too many factors to consider, at which point it might be helpful to start prioritizing them
- Consider: How can you convert weaknesses into strengths? Use strengths to overcome threats? Use strengths to maximize opportunities? Use strengths to compensate for or minimize weaknesses?
- SWOT analyses can be performed on multiple levels of an organization: Might it be more helpful to perform one just on your program? division? a specific process?
|Mind Tools: SWOT Analysis|
|Bplans.com: How to Perform SWOT Analysis|
|Business Owner's Toolkit: Case Study: Life Designs Architecture|
|CPS HR Consulting: SWOT Analysis Examples (PDF: 71KB / 6 pages)|