When an idea or project needs careful consideration, a SWOT Analysis can help you determine where its advantages and disadvantages lie. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats – and each category offers you the chance to look at what you’re analysing clearly and objectively.
SWOT Analysis can work for almost anything — a business plan, a project, an idea or even a candidate for a job — and can be used by individuals (or, better yet, small teams) to get different perspectives and make informed decisions. Follow this approach to get started or create a variation that suits your needs.
Choose the subject you want to analyse. Break out some writing materials and divide your subject into four categories of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Writing these headers at the top of each of your writing surfaces.
Brainstorm strengths. What advantages does this offer?
Brainstorm weaknesses. What disadvantages does it offer?
Brainstorm opportunities. What could you do to improve or build on it?
Brainstorm threats. What are the risks or potential problems involved?
When you're done, you'll have four lists that help you visualise whether what you're analysing is a promising option or a risky choice. You might find that your decision has been made for you.