Sunday, March 30, 2008


The SWOT model

A SWOT analysis process generates information that is helpful in matching an organisation or group’s goals, programs, and capacities to the social environment in which it operates. The ‘SWOT’ itself is only a data capture exercise - the analysis follows later.

Strengths: positive tangible and intangible attributes, internal to an organisation and within the organisation’s control.

Weaknesses: internal factors within an organisation’s control that detract from the organisation’s ability to attain the desired goal. Which areas might the organisation improve?

Opportunities: external attractive factors that represent the reason for an organisation to exist and develop. What opportunities exist in the environment, which will propel the organisation? Identify them by their ‘time frames’.

Threats: external factors beyond the organisation’s control which could place the organisation mission or operation at risk. The organisation may benefit by having contingency plans to address them if they should occur. Classify them by their severity and probability of occurrence.

It is important to note the strengths and weaknesses are intrinsic value-creating skills or assets, or the lack of, relative to competitive forces. Opportunities and threats are external factors which are not created by the organisation, but emerge as a result of the competitive dynamics caused by future gaps in the market.

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