In a previous post we considered the basics of a SWOT analysis and why it might have fallen out of favour in some circles.
In this post we will look at another problem in the way it is used, namely a failure to know what to do with the results. Nothing puts a group of people off an exercise like knowing that nothing will be done with output of their thinking. If SWOT analysis is to have any power, then we must be clear about how to move from the analysis to the formulation of a strategy.
Put simply, SWOT analysis is meant to lead to the development of a strategy in order that an organisation or individual can be ‘utilising and focusing on strengths, while minimising and eliminating weaknesses, in order to take advantage of opportunities and avoid or overcome threats.’
It might be helpful to re-arrange the results of the first part of a SWOT analysis into a table as shown below so that the beginnings of the strategy can become clearer. After this the next step is to identify specific strategies for the future based on certain elements of the analysis.