3.2 Opportunities and threats
Opportunities and threats refer to factors in the external environment around the project.
|Such as||Example||Typical questions|
|Changes in technology||Increasing availability of internet access|
Do people have a need?
Do people prefer something else?
Are there any new technologies?
Are there changes in government policy?
What tools or routes can you use to engage with your target audience?
Who could you partner with?
What events can you align your message with?
|Changes in government policy or regulation||New rules that give you greater freedom in an environment|
|Local and global events||World AIDS day as a global focus for activities and resources|
|New products and/or services||A new local supplier of a product that was previously difficult to access|
|Use of marketing or promotion||A local radio station that might be persuaded to run community-service advertising|
|Social or population structures||A strong local women’s group that could help provide support access to vulnerable individuals|
|Lifestyle fluctuations||Increasing rates of non-communicable disease (NCD)*.|
|Such as negative impact of||Typical questions|
Changes in technology
Changes in government policy or regulation
Local and global events
New products and/or services
Use of marketing or promotion
Social or population structures
|This section has been left deliberately blank. See Activity 3, below.|
It is important that the four components of the SWOT analysis are considered together and not in isolation. This is because a factor can be both a threat or an opportunity, depending on the context and how you are able to respond to it
What do you think some of the typical questions might be when considering the threats to a project from its external environment? Try and think of at least five threats and note them down in the text box below.
One approach to this activity is to turn around the questions in the opportunities box, for example:
- Are people’s needs/preferences being met elsewhere?
- Are new technologies overtaking us?
- Is our activity restricted by changes in government policy?
Other questions I thought of were:
- Are we under threat from the economic climate?
- Does the employment market allow us to recruit the people we need?
- Are our partners looking for new opportunities without us?
Your questions are probably influenced by the specific context in which you work. For example, if your geographic location is heavily influenced by the weather, then this could be a key consideration in your questions around threat. The important thing is that you capture all the potential obstacles in your own external environment.