SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is a structured approach to evaluate the four elements of a company, product, place, industry, or person. It involves specifying the objectives of a project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective.
Strengths refer to the characteristics of a business or project that give it an advantage over others.
Weaknesses refer to the characteristics of the business that put the project at a disadvantage over others.
Opportunities refer to external environmental factors that the project could exploit to its advantage.
Threats refer to the elements in the environment that could hurt the project.
SWOT analysis aims to identify the key internal and external factors important to achieving the given objective. SWOT analysis can be used to build organizational and personal strategies. One way is to use matching and converting. Matching is used to find a competitive advantage by matching the strengths to opportunities. Another tactic is to convert weaknesses or threats into strengths or opportunities (for example, find new markets). If a threat or weakness cannot be converted, a company should try to minimize or avoid them. If there is a strong relationship between strength and opportunity, then the company could choose an aggressive strategy, while if there is a strong interaction between the weaknesses and threats, the company may use a defensive strategy.
This tool can be added to your active workbook by clicking on Change and then selecting SWOT Analysis. Click on Analysis Setup to open the menu options for this tool.
A sample screenshot of the setup menu is shown below.
Specify the tool format for this analysis. This selection is not enabled since there is only one format available.
Specify the number of rows on the tool. Currently, this option is fixed and not changeable.
Click on this button to add an example worksheet. You can use the example to understand how others have filled out the tool or use the example as a starting point and modify it to better meet your needs.
Click on this button to open the help file for this topic.
Click on this button to cancel all changes to the settings and exit this dialog box.
Click on this button to save all changes and compute the outputs for this analysis.
The worksheet consists of a set of four quadrants, one for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can review these with your cross-functional team and document all the factors on this worksheet. Make sure that your strengths and weaknesses refer to the internal factors for the objective you are working towards, and opportunities and threats refer to external factors within the environment.
If you click on the Checklist button, you will see the following dialog box.
The checklist contains a few pointers on things you need to pay particular attention to while performing this analysis. The checklist has been derived from experience working on past projects. Not all the checklist items need to apply to you. However, you should carefully review the checklist and apply any recommendations that make sense for your project. Make sure to read each checklist item and mark it as completed after you have read and taken actions as appropriate for your project.
If you click on the Verify button, the software will perform some checks on the data you have entered. A sample screenshot of the dialog box is shown in the figure below.
The objective of this analysis as well as any checks that are performed is listed in this dialog box. For example, the software may check if you have correctly specified the input options and entered the required data on the worksheet. The results of the analysis checks are listed on the right. If the checks are passed, then they are shown as a green-colored checkmark. If the verification checks fail, then they are shown as a red-colored cross. If the verification checks result in a warning, they are shown in the orange color exclamation mark and finally, any checks that are required to be performed by the user are shown as blue info icons.
Once you have answered all the data on the worksheet and click on Compute Outputs to update the conclusions area on the worksheet. A sample screenshot of the SWOT analysis outputs is shown below.
There are no specific outputs to interpret for this analysis. You can review the statements of the impact in each of the quadrants and determine what actions you need to take as a business to leverage opportunities and strengths and address the weaknesses and threats.
Here are a few pointers regarding this analysis:
You will not be able to directly modify the checklist since it is built into the program. You will need to contact the helpdesk if you need any changes in this checklist, and they can update this list for you.
Following examples can be found in the Examples folder.
Perform a SWOT analysis for the new product your company is going to launch (SWOT 1.xlsm).
For more information on this topic, please refer to the following articles. Do note that if any external links are mentioned below, they are for reference purposes only.