Methods, policies, procedures, techniques, audit programs, checklists, articles and tools about Enterprise Governance, Risk, Compliance, Strategic, Operational, Finance, IT and other internal corporate controls and how all of these improve the enterprise governance, strategic and operational aspects of private and public-sector organizations in all business functions of the modern organizations and enterprises.
The following methods and techniques may
be utilized for the analysis, assessment and evaluation of strategy of ant type
of organization. The evaluator may use only one method, or more than one,
depending on his (or her) experience and situation.
These methods and techniques are:
PEST Analysis (also known as PESTLE
Value chain analysis,
Life cycle analysis,
Screening strategic options,
Critical success factor analysis,
The five forces,
Directional Policy Matrix, and
This post describes SWOT. Other future
posts will deal with the rest of these methods and techniques.
The SWOT analysis (strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities, threats) is one of the most popular. This involves
looking at the strengths and weaknesses of your business' capabilities,
and any opportunities and threats to your business.
Once you've identified all of these, you
can assess how to capitalise on your strengths, minimise the effects of your
weaknesses, make the most of any opportunities and reduce the impact of any
It's important to remember that
opportunities can also be threats - for example, new markets could be dominated
by competitors, undermining your position. Equally, threats can also be
opportunities - for example, a competitor growing quickly and opening a new
market for your product or service could mean that your market expands too.
A SWOT analysis can provide a clear
basis for examining your business performance and prospects. It can be used as
part of a regular review process or in preparation for raising finance or
bringing in consultants for a review.
Once you have collected information on
your organisation's internal strengths and weaknesses, and external
opportunities and threats, enter this data into a simple table.
Use the following questionnaire to help
you to carry out a SWOT Analysis.
1. What advantages does your
2. What do you do better than anyone
3. What unique or lowest-cost resources
can you draw upon that others can't?
4. What do people in your market and
industry see as your strengths?
5. What is the unique selling point of
1. What processes could you improve?
2. What should you avoid or minimize?
3. What are people in your market and
industry likely to see as your weaknesses?
4. What factors, conditions or
circumstances lose you sales?
1. What good opportunities can you foresee?
2. What interesting trends or inventions
are you aware of?
3. What useful opportunities can come technology
or systems or production processes or social patterns you can take advantage of?
1. What difficulties and obstacles do
2. What are your competitors doing?
3. Are quality standards or
specifications for your job, industry, products or services changing?
4. Is changing IT or other technology
threatening your position?
5. Do you have bad debt or cash-flow or
other financing problems?
6. Could any of your weaknesses
seriously threaten your business?