To perform a strategic SWOT Analysis simply follow these 5 steps.
- Define your objective. Make sure your SWOT Analysis objective applies to everyone involved in the process - so you many need to focus your analysis more narrowly such as analyzing a specific product, feature, business unit, acquisition, or department goal.
- Before meeting in-person, send out your online SWOT Analysis Template to everyone involved in the brainstorming process
- Encourage everyone to freely submit and rate any and all brainstormed inputs for your SWOT sections - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats sections. The more input from a more diverse set of individuals will lead to better data to help drive you to achieving your objective. Encourage your team to be specific with their inputs and to provide supporting data wherever possible.
- Schedule a meeting/call to discuss the top rated inputs and freely debate your top 5 inputs for each section - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. We recommend starting with your internal Strengths and Weaknesses. Once you have completed the discuss on these sections move on to your external Opportunities and Threats. Allocate 30 minutes per section if possible. It’s critical that you achieve balance across the 4 sections so push your team to dig deep on the opportunities and threats if the inputs feel lighter in these sections.
- Develop an action plan that includes 3-5 goals as a result of your SWOT Analysis. Your goals should leverage the S.M.A.R.T methodology. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Assign an owner for each goal and then allow the goal owners to ask for volunteers from the group to join their project teams. Review progress against your SWOT Analysis action plan on a monthly basis, or more frequently if necessary.