Ever tasked by your teacher or professor on a topic and have no idea where to start? Ever been scratching your head thinking of what to write to fill in the number of words required in an essay? Let me introduce you to something that may help you in these aspects and at the same time, boost the quality of your project or essay- SWOT analysis.
SWOT is an acronym for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. It is often used as a method to evaluate a project or business venture. A SWOT analysis can be carried out on a company, place, person, industry or place (for the sake of this article, these will be referred to as ‘organization’. It identifies the internal and external factors that are favourable or unfavourable to achieve that particular objective.
Who introduced SWOT
The origins of the SWOT technique can be accredited to Albert Humphrey, an American business and management consultant, who led a research project in Stamford University, Using data from many top companies in the 1960s and 1970s, the project’s goal was to find out why corporate planning failed.
How to use SWOT
The overview of the SWOT matrix is as such:
These are some of the questions that one can ponder upon in filling up the matrix above:
- What does the organization do better than others?
- What is the organization’s unique selling point?
- What advantages does the organization have?
- What are the strengths that the people in the market see?
- What can the organization improve on?
- What do people in the market see the organization’s weaknesses as?
- Due to what factors is sales lost?
- What are some interesting trends?
- What are some good opportunities that you can spot?
- Is there some new technology that the organization can adopt to help it?
- What are the opportunities opened up as a result of the organization’s strengths?
- What are the organization’s competitors doing?
- Is changing technology threatening the organization’s position?
- What obstacles do the organization face?
More about SWOT
The one great advantage of using the SWOT analysis is that it is extremely versatile. This is because it can organize information, provide insights into barriers that may be present during a change and identify key strengths that the organization may have to counteract these barriers.
The SWOT analysis can help the organization to ascertain if achieving a particular goal is obtainable, allowing organizations to set achievable goals. It helps organizations produce practical and efficient outcomes. Of course, there are also some limitations that the SWOT analysis can produce. One of the biggest limitations seems to be the oversimplification of the issue at hand, as it does not seem to weave the complexities of a problem into the matrix.
In conclusion, the SWOT tool is extremely beneficial to the initial analysis of a problem as it provides a bird’s eye view to it. It is also a great way to communicate a problem to someone who is not exposed to it. However, deeper analysis of the problem needs to be done before implementing a solution to ensure its appropriateness in addressing the problem.