SWOT — a 4-box strategy tool
What is SWOT?SWOT is a popular 4-box strategy analysis and strategy development model. The acronym SWOT is derived from …
SWOT has the advantage of simplicityThe advantages of SWOT support its popularity:
- It is easy to understand — a simple diagram and no mathematics.
- It is applicable to many levels in an organisation — from an individual, a team, a business unit or division, up to the corporate strategy.
- It can be applied at many different depths from quick and easy, to highly detailed.
- With proper use, it can be linked to corporate objectives and to strategy deployment.
- Being highly visual, it is easy to communicate.
Is SWOT a Significant Waste of Time?But, and it is a big but: SWOT is often applied incorrectly. Just a few pitfalls include:
- Generalised SWOTs — a SWOT analysis needs a specific context or problem to solve;
- Starting in the wrong box —The 'S' is definitely the wrong place to start;
- Failure to convert SWOT bullet points into strategic intentions — the SWOT boxes need rearranging to make it useful.