Friday, January 16, 2015

The use of SWOTs in strategy

Two simple graphics ...

SWOT is a useful analysis tool for determining whether a particular or combination of attack / defence points have any potential. In order to understand where you can attack or defend you first need to map the environment, identify likely competitor moves and then determine your options. After this you can apply your SWOTs to evaluate options.

However, once you have determined your most favourable option then you still need to determine whether it is feasible i.e. you need to examine resource requirements, how you're going to achieve this etc.

When developing a business strategy, the order I use is ...

1) Map
2) Determine options (wheres)
3) SWOT each option
4) Determine preferred option (the why as in why here over there)
5) Business Model Canvas on preferred option (feasibility)

I don't see a great deal of point in use in tools like SWOT if you're not going to first map out the landscape.