The SWOT analysis is an extremely useful tool for understanding and decision-making for all sorts of situations in business and organizations.
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.
Completing a SWOT analysis is very simple, and is a good subject for workshop sessions.
SWOT analysis also works well in brainstorming meetings.
See also PEST analysis, which measures a business's market and potential according to external factors; Political, Economic, Social and Technological.
It is often helpful to complete a PEST analysis prior to a SWOT analysis.Please note: If you use SWOT Analysis as a 2x2 matrix method, then technically Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors (generally the case anyway), whereas Opportunities and Threats are external factors (this can be more difficult, since it requires you to ignore internal threats and opportunities).The SWOT 2x2 'internal/external' matrixmethod thus only considers external threats and opportunities.Strengths and Weaknesses, are 'mapped' or 'graphed' against Opportunities and Threats.To enable this to happen cleanly and clearly, and from a logical point of view anyway when completing a SWOT analysis in most business and marketing situations, Strengths and Weaknesses are regarded distinctly as internal factors, whereas Opportunities and Threats are regarded distinctly as external factors.Use SWOT analysis for business planning, strategic planning, competitor evaluation, marketing, business and product development and research reports.You can also use SWOT analysis exercises for team building games." Strengths/Threats Easy to defend and counter Only basic awareness, planning, and implementation required to meet these challenges.Investment in these issues is generally safe and necessary.In other situations it may be more useful to complete a PEST analysis as part of, or after, a SWOT analysis.See also Porter's Five Forces model, which is used to analyse competitive position.