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A SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture or in any other situation of an organization or individual requiring a decision in pursuit of an objective. It involves monitoring the marketing environment internal and external to the organization or individual. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a research project at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from the Fortune 500 companies.
1 Performing the SWOT Analysis
2 Internal and External Factors
3.1 Strengths and Weaknesses
3.2 Opportunities and Threats
4 Errors to Be Avoided
5 Additional Uses of SWOT Analysis
7 External links
 Performing the SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is part of the Harvard Policy Model, which has been developed as part of the business policy courses taught at the Harvard Business School since the 1920s. "The main weaknesses of the Harvard model are that it does not draw attention to strategic issues or offer specific advice on how to develop strategies, except to note that effective strategies will build on strengths, how to take advantage of opportunities, and how to overcome or minimize weaknesses and threats."  The cited weakness can easily be remedied by basing the SWOT analysis on the agreed upon objective, as explained directly below.
If SWOT analysis does not start with defining a desired end state or objective, it runs the risk of being useless. A SWOT analysis may be incorporated into the strategic planning model. An example of a strategic planning technique that incorporates an objective-driven SWOT analysis is SCAN analysis. Strategic Planning, including SWOT and SCAN analysis, has been the subject of much research.
If a clear objective has been identified, SWOT analysis...