A SWOT analysis is a simple yet highly effective tool that supports collaborative decision-making, project planning, and risk management.
SWOT refers to Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are generally internal to your organization and can either help or hinder the project. Opportunities and Threats are external factors that may support or derail the project.
A SWOT analysis may be carried out during the planning phase of your project to identify potential risks and optimize resource management.
A SWOT analysis can also be used to quickly address challenges and unforeseen issues once the project is underway.
Before conducting the SWOT analysis, consider:
- What is the objective of the analysis? Is the SWOT part of project planning? Do you need to address an unexpected stakeholder requirement mid-way through the project?
- Who should take part in the analysis?
The following are suggested questions for the SWOT analysis. Adapt as needed and keep things simple!
Kick-start Your Project with a SWOT Analysis
- Do we have the right resources – skills, budget, and materials – for the project?
- What is the commercial goal of the project?
- Has the team completed similar projects?
- Are the necessary processes and standards in place?
- Are the budget and timelines realistic?
- Do we lack the required skills and experiences in the team?
- Are the team and resources engaged in other competing projects?
- Does the organization have any contingency funding in place?
- Will we need to work with third-party vendors during the project?
- What are the drawbacks to the project?
- Is there any market demand for the project deliverables?
- Will the project offer us a first-mover advantage?
- Can we leverage new technology and innovations to complete the work?
- Will the project improve other areas in the organization?
- Can we quickly replace any team members that leave?
- Do our competitors already provide a similar offering?
- Will changes to the national or global economy affect the project?
- Is this the right time to launch a new product?
Once you have completed the SWOT, consider how to:
- Use your Strengths.
- Deal with your Weakness.
- Maximize new Opportunities.
- Take action against Threats.
In her free time, she enjoys a challenging session at the gym, tucking into a good book, and walking the beautiful Galway coastline with her dog.