SWOT Analysis in Strategic blueprint Planning
With adequate & analyzed information, we need to establish the list of strengths & weaknesses (Internal) and opportunities & threats (external). Strategy blue-print is mainly based on 'how to leverage on strengths & opportunities?' and ''how to mitigate or manage the threats and weaknesses?'
SWOT is last foundation element for building strategy Blueprint. It consists of the following:
Document detailed assessment for each Strength:
- How significant this strength is? Are we better than competition OR any benchmarks?
- How much are we better than competition and industry benchmark?
- Is this strength sustainable? On what basis are we saying this?
- What is the leveraging capability of this strength in view of the business we are in?
Document detailed assessment for each Weakness:
- How damaging is this weakness? Are we worse than the competition OR vis-a-vis any benchmarks?
- Is it a temporary weakness? (For Example - A start-up could have core system stability weakness, which can be overcome with time as system stabilizes)
- Is this weakness fundamental to the organization, which may be quite difficult to change?
- What kind of weakness is it? Is it related to people, process OR technology?
- What is the impact level of this weakness?
Document detailed assessment for each opportunity:
- What is the potential benefit of the opportunity?
- What is the level of resources needed to leverage the opportunity?
- Is it distinct opportunity for the enterprise OR is it something, which can be easily leveraged by the competition?
Document detailed assessment for each threat:
- Why is it considered as a threat?
- What is the type of threat – External, Market, Competition?
- What is possible impact of the threat?
Please refer Execution-MiHPractice Tool SWOT Assessment Report to see an example of SWOT analysis.
Some Guidelines for creating SWOT
- Avoid Overlap: Strengths and Weaknesses are internal. Opportunities & Threats are external
- Sometimes the same element can be a strength as well as a weakness. For example- 'a dedicated and long tenured leadership' can be a strength as well as weakness (low change-readiness and lack of openness to new ideas??). In this case, place both perspectives in different boxes.
- Don't make a long list..stay to maximum 5-7 bullets in each box.
One needs to sensitize the level of control and/OR influence one can exercise on the SWOT bullets. Some threats and weaknesses are given and there is not much you can do about eliminating them, but one has to find ways to succeed in the given context. For example ' The shareholders in the company want the market level unit, to operate as per the globally standard sales distribution model, which might not be the best way OR cost-effective from local perspective'. There are always regional OR global mandates a market level unit has to live with.