SWOT analysis is a technique for assessing how internal and external factors help or harm your organization and is often used in strategic planning processes. In this post, you’ll learn about the four components of SWOT and be able to download a printable worksheet / digital form.
There are four components to a SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT is often used interchangeably with a SOAR analysis. Where SOAR is more visioning exercise, SWOT is more evaluative. So, you can use the SWOT approach to help you both brainstorm and evaluate ideas. It is a great option for teams, or to use on your own.
There are four components, with two dimensions on each axis of the matrix. The first is external vs internal factors, and the other is helpful vs. harmful to your ultimate objective.
If you are facilitating a SWOT exercise in person or in a team environment, I recommend using post-its and chart paper. You can label four pieces of chart paper, or four parts of a white board with each of the components. Give everyone a stack of sticky notes and a sharpie. You want everyone contributing ideas! You can simulate this in a digital environment using a tool like Jamboard, Padlet, or even Google Slides. (For ideas on best practices in virtual learning, check out this webinar and set of resources.)
After doing this analysis, the next step would be to create SMARTIE goals.
Considerations for SWOT Analysis
Internal Factors to Consider
External Factors to Consider
Download this resource as a printable PDF and digital worksheet.
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