We all know this 4 box matrix but are we really using it in the right way? If you want to have the answer to this question, you can find it here.
The business strategy tool
Assessing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is an essential process for any project. The SWOT matrix allows you to assess your current situation, analyze the environment in which you operate and identify your possibilities to achieve your goals.
To come up with a successful strategy, you first need to ask yourself the right questions.
This is THE moment of truth. Be as honest as possible.
🧠 Who: your team
📆 When: before launching a new project or at the end of a sprint (retrospective)
⏰ Duration: 1h-1h30 (depending on the size of yout team)
The SWOT is a 2x2 table:
- 1st column: items with a positive or favorable impact.
- 2nd column: items that have a negative or unfavorable impact.
- 1st line: internal factors (modifiable by the team).
- 2nd line: external factors (over which you have no control).
🟨 S for“Strengths”
=> Positive factors of internal origin
— What are you good at?
— What unique skills give you an advantage?
— What are your advantages over your competitors?
— What resources do you have?
— What do others (customers, partners, suppliers, competition, etc.) think you are good at?
🟧 W for “Weaknesses”
=> Negative factors of internal origin
— What are your weakness?
— What do others perceive as your vulnerabilities or flaws?
— Where do your competitors have an advantage?
🟩 O for “Opportunities”
=> Positive factors of external origin
— What is the growth of your market?
— Where do you competitors stand on the market?
— What are your prospects’ habits?
— Which business trends or opportunities could you exploit to positively impact you and your business?
🟥 T for “Threats”
=> Negative factors of external origin
— What are your competitors doing that could endanger or damage your business?
— Do you have sufficient funding or cash flow?
— What needs your immediate attention?
— What impact do your weaknesses have on your threats?
The course of the meeting
It is important to invite your entire team. Each person must feel involved and listened to. Clearly state the objectives of the SWOT and keep them in mind throughout the meeting so you don’t go all over the place!
1. Brainstorming 🧠
Before we begin, we must first clarify the rules of the game:
- 1 post-it per idea.
- 1 color of post-it per category to simplify the sharing of ideas.
- Minimum and maximum number of post-its per category.
Top time! ⏱ Allow 10–15min for participants to create their post-its.
2. Analysis 📊
At the end of the brainstoming, each participant will put his or her post-its on the table and comment on their ideas. The ideas should then be grouped by theme and prioritized:
- From the strongest point to the weakest.
- From the most important weakness to the least important.
3. Action Plan 🎯
Now that you have formalized the positive and negative points and identified the factors that can influence your project positively or negatively, you will be able to develop the most appropriate strategy for you situation.
Everything is said! The SWOT matrix has no more secrets for you.
To start a new project or improve the one already underway, you are now able to anticipate every event that may come your way. You hold all the cards now.