What is a SWOT analysis?


What is a SWOT?

Researchers in strategic management agree SWOT or Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats, analysis provides the foundation for realisation of the desired alignment of organizational variables or issues.

By listing favorable and unfavorable internal and external issues in the four quadrants of a SWOT analysis grid, planners can better understand how strengths can be leveraged to realize new opportunities and understand how weaknesses can slow progress or magnify organizational threats.

In addition, it is possible to postulate ways to overcome threats and weaknesses, or future strategies, from SWOT analysis.


SWOT useage

SWOT has been used by countless ISO practitioners, marketing researchers, and is a frequent and popular tool for business marketing. Its simplicity and catchy acronym perpetuates its usage in business and beyond as the tool is used to assess alternatives and complex decision situations.

In the business arena the grouping of internal and external issues is a frequent starting point for strategic planning. It can be constructed quickly and can benefit from multiple viewpoints as a brainstorming exercise.

Typically, managers first consider internal strengths and weaknesses (at the top row of the 2 x 2 grid) which can include image, structure, access to natural resources, capacity and efficiency, and financial resources.

At the bottom row of the SWOT grid, external opportunities and threats including customers, competitors, trends in the market, partners and suppliers, social changes and new technology, and various environmental economic, political and regulatory issues are included.

SWOT analysis assists in the identification of environmental relationships as well as the development of suitable paths for organisations to follow.

Reference: Helms,M., & Nixon, J,. (2010). Exploring SWOT analysis – where are we now? Journal of Strategy and Management, 3, 3 215-251.



Our ISO Consultants will use the PESTEL model to take you on the SWOT journey.

There are loads of business analysis tools out there, but the PESTEL model, also called PESTEL analysis, is one of our favorites. The PESTEL model is a type of PEST analysis which considers six crucial business factors. The six categories are:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Sociocultural
  • Technological
  • Environmental
  • Legal


Reference: What Is the PESTEL Model for Business Analysis? (pestleanalysis.com)



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