Conducting a SWOT Analysis
Step 1: Invite Participation
Once you’ve collected your external and internal Environmental Scan information, the next step in the process is to share this information with the individuals who will be participating in the actual SWOT Analysis. Information discovered during the Environmental Scan provides a valuable insight to what might be your agency’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The SWOT Analysis Matrix provides an illustrative way to display these data that is easy to understand.
The SWOT Matrix
The end product of a SWOT Analysis is a SWOT Matrix. Use the SWOT Analysis Matrix to record the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your agency.
Strengths and weaknesses are usually considered to be internal to your agency, while opportunities and threats are usually considered external factors.
Template: SWOT Analysis Matrix
|Positives |Negatives | |Strengths |Weaknesses | |Internal | | | |Factors | | | |External |Opportunities |Threats | |Factors | | | | | | | | | | |
You’ll obtain the best results from your SWOT Analysis by giving participants time to absorb the results of the Environmental Scan and prepare their own draft SWOT Matrix. To give participants a head start in thinking about the data and the process before completing the agency’s final SWOT Matrix:
▪ Provide participants with the collected Environmental Scan information. ▪ Provide participants with a draft SWOT Matrix with adequate space to record what they see are the agency’s workforce Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Include a brief description of how your agency will use the information (e.g. to develop a workforce plan for the next five years).
You can share this information by conducting group discussions or distributing it electronically by email or through an online survey. Distributing the environmental scan and SWOT Matrix electronically allows for wider distribution and greater participation within your agency.
Gathering Agency Feedback
To receive honest and objective feedback, it is important to assure participants that you will maintain their anonymity. This is especially important when using electronic tools to obtain feedback. Once the promise of confidentiality has been broken it may be difficult to regain the trust of the respondents.
▪ Sample email – to send to a representative number of employees or to all employees of your agency to get their feedback on the agency’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Ask participants to email their responses back. The SWOT Team or human resources staff then document and summarize the responses. ▪ Sample web-based survey – to collect feedback online. (We used Zoomerang in our example.) There are some advantages to using an online survey tool to collect SWOT information: • You can assure participants of confidentiality.
• The web host can summarize survey results or provide a spreadsheet of the results, eliminating the need for team members or human resources staff to perform the tabulation.
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