The SWOT Analysis

Step One of the SWOT Analysis Process

Distribute a copy of the SWOT Analysis Considerations form to all participants in the SWOT Analysis process three days prior to the brain-storming session.  Explain that these forms are to be completed and back to the facilitator by end of business the next day.

This document serves a dual function --

  • First, it will set the tone for the brainstorming session by suggesting areas of concern.
  • Second, it will serve to concentrate the discussion of the brain-storming session to matters which are demonstrably important to the participants. 

This document is meant to spur thought regarding the various influences inside the company and in the environment in which the company operates.  It is broken into two sections - Internal Considerations and External Considerations.

Internal Considerations are those over which the company has some control because they involve decisions made by company managers.  In a sense, these considerations are a report card for management.

As the participant reads through the list of Internal Considerations, she should rate each as a positive or negative for the future of the company. Then, once that decision is made, she should rate the importance of the Consideration.  For instance, if she decides that the "Company Reputation" is a positive factor, and sees this as very important for the company, she should input a "5" in the "Pos" column next to "Company Reputation".

If "Key Personnel Certifications" is perceived as a weakness in the company, but the participant believes  that this is of minor importance, she would enter a "1" in the "Neg" column in the "Key Personnel Certifications" row.

External Considerations are those over which the company has no control or very little control.  The considerations reflect the future view of the participants regarding the market and the economy in which the company operates.

Using the same process as above, participants should indicate positive or negative expectations and then rank those considerations from "1" to "5" regarding the importance of that consideration to the company.  I have added an "NA" column to the External Considerations which may be checked if the participant does not perceive that consideration to apply.

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