SWOT analysis

What is a SWOT analysis

Most, if not all, project managers know what a SWOT Analysis is. If not, they are probably not doing their best job of being a PM. A SWOT analysis is an acronym for analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. With a SWOT analysis you analyse your organisation both Internally and Externally. We usually set this up in a handy two by two table, each axis will have a one label for one column or row, and another label for the other column or row. One axis will have the labels “Helpful” and “Harmful” while the other has the labels “External Origin” and “Internal Origin”

Example of a SWOT table

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis

First, assemble your dream team. Then, take a look at the internal factors that affect your business or project. Do you have an exceptionally dedicated team? Do you lack the finances to achieve the success you’re looking for? These internal factors, positive and negative, will become your business’s strengths and weaknesses.

Next, examine the external factors that affect your business. Is there a need for your product in the market? Are there competing businesses that offer a better product? These positive factors are your opportunities while the negative ones are your threats. 

Examine every possible factor and don’t be afraid to poll your employees. They may see factors you don’t. 

As a risk tool

In order to determine risk factors with a SWOT analysis you kind of use it the same way. First figure out the internals: What strengths do you have? Is it a great safety policy or a great risk manager? What are your weaknesses? Does the company policy disappoint in the safety department? Are some employees not following SOP’s or other safety regulations? What is helpful and what is harmful to your project and the workers?

The external factors are then not directly related to opportunities or threats. But you can still analyse external factors based on whether they are helpful or harmful.

As with the above examples; use your employees! They are the ones doing the bulk of the work so listen to their expertise. They may surprise you with their knowledge. 


Sources 

  1. Wikipedia is a great place to start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis. 
  2. This page is also a great source: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/12/20/swot-analysis

About the Author

Mikkel K. Nyegaard

mn@rocconsult.eu

Aspiring risk manager studying Disaster & Risk management at University College Copenhagen. Currently at an intern position at RoC Consult ApS.

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