WHEN to do a SWOT Analysis?

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SWOT Analysis > Best Practices > WHEN to do a SWOT Analysis?

WHEN to do a SWOT Analysis?
IBRAHIM ALI DAWA, Student (Other), Kenya, Member
At what stage should an organization develop a SWOT analysis?
At the inception or developing stage?

When to Do a SWOT Analysis
Oscar Pires Junior, Strategy Consultant, Brazil, Member
Dear Ibrahim, as soon as my professional career began, I had the opportunity to learn that the SWOT analysis is a fundamental tool for every time we design or redesign strategies, both to create a new group company, and for the creation or reformulation of a strategy to any product (new or existing market).
I mean - and convey to my students at the university - that the SWOT analysis should be applied in all processes of formulation or reformulation of strategies. And it has a range that goes from his personal life (changing jobs, for example) to more complex arrangements that may exist.
So, I guess, for you to start a project, you must conduct a SWOT analysis. But also, every time you reset strategies, do so with the help of this great tool.
I hope I have contributed to help you answer your question.

When to Do a SWOT Analysis
Carlo N. Diaz, High school teacher, Philippines, Member
Dear Ibrahim, indeed the SWOT analysis is a very diverse tool that you can use in any stage / phase of an organization.

When to Do a SWOT Analysis
Eduardo de B. Seixas, Strategy Consultant, Brazil, Member
The SWOT analysis is perfect to be used before any discussion about strategy. The strategic guidelines easily emerge after the SWOT analysis. Strengths and opportunities can be combined in aggressive actions in the market, to capture (and seize) the opportunities, given that the company is ready to explore them. Other combination is: strength + threats, meaning that the company are not ready to explore the opportunities, and must initiate actions for strengthening. Weaknesses means risks, and the combination with opportunities or threats shows if the company is ready or not to face the risks. That technique to combine an external view (opportunities and threats) with an internal view of the company´s capabilities are named as confrontation matrix on the theory.

When and Where do You Develop a SWOT Analysis?
Ricky, Entrepreneur, Indonesia, Member
When and where do you develop a SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis is often created during a retreat or planning session that allows several hours for both brainstorming and more structured analysis. The best results come when participants are encouraged to have an open attitude about possibilities. While you might "SWOT" in conjunction with an informational or business session, the tone when creating a SWOT analysis is usually collaborative and inclusive.
When creating the analysis, all people involved are asked to pool their individual and shared knowledge and experiences. The more relaxed, friendly and constructive the setting and environment, the more truthful, comprehensive, insightful and useful your analysis will be.

Perform SWOT Analysis with a Particular Goal in Mind
Julius Nyangaga, Consultant, Kenya, Member
I have read SWOT analysis reports of organizations and projects. I have also sat through forum planning and review sessions where such analysis is carried out.
My concern is that many do it (possibly alongside the PESTLE) as just a single activity to be ticked off as an accomplished task. Then it is just a list of descriptions that don't really tell much. It leaves the ‘so what' question hanging, possibly followed by ‘why?’.
Therefore my suggestion is that SWOT and PESTLE analysis should be done with a particular goal in mind. The analysis should come AFTER a team explores on-going trends and agrees on a specific target or goal. This could be a completely new business or an existing business or project direction. That is when such analysis makes sense.
Because when we have a goal in mind, it is easy to know what can be leveraged and what needs to be managed to get to that end.

SWOT Conducted at the Wrong Time
Mark Haas, Business Consultant, United States, Member
Yes, SWOT can be a useful tool but it is frequently conducted far too soon/early. Without the context of at least minimal internal operational and external market research, business modeling and stakeholder validation, a SWOT analysis can be misleading, or worse, irrelevant (horseshoes or not).
SWOT is too often used as a starting point for everyone to get things off their chests. But an uninformed perspective can fail to properly articulate the elements or put them in the wrong quadrant.
For example, doing a SWOT exercise for your family vacation, how would you categorize and define sharks? Well, it depends whether you are going scuba diving or snow skiing. In the latter case, sharks are irrelevant. So, if you are scuba diving, are sharks a threat? Not if you are a marine biologist, in which case they may well be an opportunity. Without context, is even the most careful SWOT exercise valid?
SWOT may be useful if done the right way, at the right time, and with the right context.

SWOT in Constant Review
JC Gomez, Analyst, Member
We review, analyze and act on our SWOT. We use it to formulate plans to better the management of the firm and tweak our market posture. It is not a stagnant product; rather a living document that can be used for regular evaluation of where we are and where we are going.

Special Interest Group Leader
Chander Shenoy
Business Consultant

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