SWOT analysis is a strategic planning and strategic management technique for identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in corporate competitiveness or project planning.

SWOT analysis

Learn about the SWOT framework, the process of a SWOT analysis, and its advantages and disadvantages.


Identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of a project or organization is the goal of a SWOT analysis.

An organization’s objectives, programmed, and capabilities may be better aligned,

with the context in which they operate with the help of this framework.

You’ll learn more about SWOT and how to perform an analysis in this factsheet. 

It includes a SWOT analysis template as well as instructions on how to perform the analysis. 

SWOT analysis may be used in a variety of situations, and this brief explains how and when it can be most effective.

What is SWOT analysis?

In strategic planning, SWOT stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

” A ‘WOTS up’ analysis or the TOWS analysis may also be found on occasion. 

Albert Humphrey, a Stanford University researcher who worked with data from major corporations engaged,

 in long-range planning procedures in the 1960s and 1970s, is credited with inventing the approach.

SWOT analysis is a planning method used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a project or organization.

To do this, you must first determine the organization’s overall goal,

as well as the internal and external elements that support or hinder attaining it. 

However, SWOT may be used to assist comprehend an organization or a situation, 

and it can also be utilized for making decisions in a variety of situations.

SWOT is useful since it allows managers to evaluate their own performance. 

One of the advantages of using the technique is that it can be utilized,

as either a fast and dirty or a full management tool (the comprehensive). 

One of the reasons it has been so successful is because of its ability to adapt. 

Despite the fact that the components may look straightforward and simple to implement, 

the reality is that a good and relevant SWOT analysis takes time and a large number of resources. 

An organization’s strengths and weaknesses must be assessed in order to determine what possibilities and dangers exist, 

as well as how likely they are to succeed or fail. 

It’s a job that can’t be done well by one person alone; it takes a group effort.

Senior management may postpone making a choice between several strategic options,

because of the inherent danger of making inaccurate assumptions while evaluating the SWOT aspects.

SWOT framework

As a result of doing a SWOT analysis, an organization or group may better understand the environment,

in which it works in order to better align its objectives, plans, and capabilities. 

There is no analysis of the ‘SWOT’ itself; it is only a data collection activity.

Strengths: Positivity within a company’s physical and intangible assets that is within the control of the organization

Weaknesses: inherent elements that hinder an organization’s capacity to achieve its stated objectives. It’s time to figure out where the company can improve.

Opportunities: externally appealing elements that serve as the impetus for the establishment and growth of a company. Can the company take advantage of any chances that may arise in the surrounding environment? By their ‘time frames,’ you can identify them.

Threats: An organization’s purpose or operations might be threatened by external forces that are beyond of the organization’s control. Having contingency plans in place in the event of a crisis might be beneficial to the company. Use the intensity and frequency of recurrence to categories them into different groups.

When evaluating a company’s strengths and weaknesses, 

keep in mind that they are based on the presence or absence of intrinsic value-creating abilities and assets. 

Competition in the market creates opportunities and risks that are not produced 

by the organization but arise as a consequence of future gap in the market dynamics. 

PESTLE analysis is a technique for identifying external opportunities and risks.

SWOT process

The versatility and expert use of a SWOT analysis is its greatest qualities, yet it may be done quite simply.

Determine who will collect the data and how it will be gathered (often a team approach is more effective than a single person’s perspective).

Identify the best sources of information for your project.

A template may be a valuable tool in the process of analyzing and documenting the many aspects. Here is a useful and ready-to-use template for your consideration.

Plan your findings.

Make a list of the most pressing concerns.

Determine the best course of action.

Organize your thoughts in a paper.

The results should be disseminated and discussed.

The following is a suggested structure for developing an action plan to help you prioritize tasks in light of the mission and values of your company.

SWOT analysis tips

Some useful tips for carrying out a SWOT analysis:

Work together to get better results from your analysis by including various points of view.

Make use of the knowledge and resources currently at your disposal. 

SWOT analysis may be used in combination with PESTLE analysis. 

Use the results of the study to keep tabs on how the business environment is changing over time.

Be careful not to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data you gather, 

and fail to properly analyze and comprehend your results.

Don’t make snap judgments about the future based on what has happened or is happening right now.

When to use a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis can be used for:

Sessions of a workshop.

Ideas and solutions generation.



preparing for the future (with PESTLE).

Evaluation of a product.

Using Porter’s five forces to evaluate competitors.

Planning for one’s own personal growth.

Using Lewin’s force field analysis to make decisions.

The following are some examples of how SWOT analysis could be used in a team meeting:

Involve participants in the SWOT analysis.

Make sure everyone understands what’s going on.

Identify your best attributes.

Identify your vulnerabilities.

It’s possible that you’ve already done a PESTLE analysis and know which opportunities and risks to look for.

Prioritize based on your purpose, vision, and values in your organization.

Each list should be questioned.

Make a game plan.

Advantages and Disadvantages of SWOT analysis

The SWOT method of analysis has both pros and problems.

Advantages include:

It’s a straightforward four-box design.

It aids in figuring out the company’s assets and liabilities.

Strategic thinking is fostered as a result of this.

Using this method, top managers may concentrate on their strengths and expand on their possibilities.

Using this method, an organization may predict and respond to potential dangers before they have a chance to have an effect.

Identifying and capitalizing on business opportunities may be facilitated by this technology. 

It is adaptable.

Disadvantages include:

This may lead to judgments being made with little information since some SWOT analysis users oversimplify the data utilised.

Over-collection of data poses the danger of ‘paralysis by analysis.’

Assumptions may be based on data that is subsequently shown to be false. Obtaining access to high-quality internal data sources (particularly in more complex organisations, such as parent corporations) may be time-consuming and politically problematic.

Because of the absence of a clear organisation, important details may be overlooked.

Because of the rapidity with which change is occurring, it is becoming more difficult to predict future changes that may have an impact on a company.

Recurring practise is necessary for the procedure to work.

A SWOT analysis is a diagnostic and management framework.

A thorough review of your company’s internal and external elements can help you better understand how these aspects affect your strategy and business choices.

The SWOT framework. SWOT is an acronym for: 

S = Strengths

W = Weaknesses

O = Opportunities

T = Threats 

I’d advise you to add relevant variables from your own department, such as HR, 

as well as general company considerations while creating your unique SWOT analysis.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these characteristics. Opportunities and Threats, 

on the other hand, are more likely to relate to variables outside your business,

that may be used to your benefit or discovered in order to lessen the dangers they provide. 

In our template, we refer to them as “internal factors.”

STRENGTHS: What are your strengths? What distinguishes your people, goods, assets, and procedures from those of your competitors? What are your company’s selling points and employee benefits?

WEAKNESSES: In this part, I encourage you to be neutral and honest. Identify potential threats. Is there anything in your company or in your human resources department that needs to be improved or halted if it’s stymieing or impeding your progress?

OPPORTUNITIES: Were you aware of any new trends or technical breakthroughs that might improve your brand, target markets, or internal operational processes?. It’s helpful to think about your own flaws and how you might improve them.

THREATS: These are usually external factors that might have a detrimental influence on normal company operations. In this part, I propose doing a PESTLE analysis and perhaps conducting a benchmarking exercise to learn more about your competitors’ actions.

Next steps: Discuss your results with coworkers to get more insight or identify areas that may have been overlooked. A business case for increased funding may be necessary in order to take advantage of potential opportunities for improvement. Prioritize any ideas with regard to timelines, prices, and extra resources needed to implement action modifications in your action plan.

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