SWOT Analysis

This module will support your understanding and use of the SWOT Analysis Tool from the DIY Toolkit. You should look at the SWOT Analysis Template [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] before working through the module. You will find it helpful to have a print out of the SWOT Analysis Template with you while you work through this module.

Cartoon of ice cream seller standing in front of his cart on a beach holding up an ice cream cornet and two people approaching him
Understanding your strengths can put you in the right place at the right time

Knowledge of the internal strengths and weaknesses, along with the opportunities and threats – SWOT – facing a business, project or programme can paint a broad picture of its current status. This proactive analysis leads to a richer understanding and avoids relying on habit or instinct, helping leaders and managers to make informed decisions about the actions available to them.

Conducting a SWOT analysis can be useful for lots of contexts, including:

  • problem solving
  • planning
  • competitor evaluation
  • personal-development planning
  • strategic decision making, such as entering a new sector or launching a new product
  • a potential partnership
  • an investment opportunity
  • outsourcing a service, activity or resource
  • staff-development planning
  • developing contingency plans.

This module explains how to use SWOT analysis as a tool. As with many of the DIY tools, it is a subjective activity that would probably be completed quite differently by two people working on the same issue for the same organisation. Asking colleagues and partners to help with a SWOT analysis will always give a richer result than working in isolation.

Learning outcomes

After studying this module, you should be able to:

  • describe what a SWOT analysis is and where you would use it (SAQ 1)
  • explain the terms strength, weakness, opportunity and threat in the context of a SWOT analysis (SAQs 2 and 3)
  • distinguish between the internal and external issues in a project and its environment using a SWOT analysis (SAQ 2)
  • conduct and interpret a simple SWOT analysis (SAQ 3)

Downloads

You can download these files for use offline or on a mobile device.

The materials below are provided for offline use for your convenience and are not tracked. If you wish to save your progress, please go through the online version.

1 When to use a SWOT analysis