SWOT analysis is a strategic tool used in analyzing organizational Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Every organization that is operating with the aim of survival and profit orientation is keen to analyze its internal and external organization to identify the pros and cons of the organizational environment.
The SWOT analysis was introduced by a management consultant named Albert Humphrey in the 1960s. Since then the concept of SWOT analysis has been used by almost all the organizations to analyze their organizational environment. This analysis helps to get a better idea about both the internal and external organizational environment.
SWOT analysis is used to measure the current position of the organization to understand where the organization is standing before implementing a new strategy in the organization. SWOT analysis incorporated in the organizational business plan along with the PESTEL analysis and Porter’s five forces analysis helps the organization to drive its activities towards the goals. SWOT contains two internal environment analysis factors and two external environment analysis factors.
The first element of the SWOT analysis is the strengths of the organization. This is an internal analysis. The organization can identify the gaps between customer expectations and the status of their product or service. They can identify the unused internal strengths they can use to increase the productivity or the quality of the product or service. Strengths help the organization to identify its unique selling proposition and action it with the organization’s business plan.
Strengths are controllable by the organization. If the strengths of the organization can be converted to actions, it can help the organization to achieve its goals and objectives sooner and in a more productive way. Strengths can help organizations to reduce waste.
Weaknesses are another internal element of the organization. The organization has control over its weaknesses. Weaknesses can be identified through a proper analysis of the organizational activities and comparing the organizational activities with competitors. Weaknesses can create a negative impact on the production process as well as the reputation of the organization. Organizations should work to turn their weaknesses into strengths.
Opportunities are external prospects to the organization which would help the organization succeed. The organization has no control over the external opportunities of the organization. Opportunities can be industrial or economical but help the organization to achieve its strategic objectives.
Threats are a negative aspect of opportunities. This is also an external element that the organization has zero power in influencing. Threats can create adverse impacts on organizational behavior and performance. The organizations should be able to identify the threats creating by the external environment and turn them into opportunities.
The above mentioned four elements of SWOT analysis helps the organization to identify where it stands in the industry and what should be changed to survive and achieve the organizational goals. This analysis helps the organization to reduce the possibilities of the failures as well as to reduce risks that can occur in the future. Apart from that, it helps to eliminate unnecessary practices and to re-engineer the business process to achieve maximum productivity.
When conducting a SWOT analysis in the organization, the organization should always be true to themselves. They should truly evaluate their current condition to identify what exactly should be changed to achieve organizational vision and mission. It is important for the organization to critically analyze every process and procedure related to the organizational activities to build an accurate SWOT analysis.
The strategic decision-makers have to carry out a proper analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. They should work to increase the strengths, reduce weaknesses, use opportunities for organizational growth and turn threats to opportunities in an innovative manner.