Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis is a business management tool used to evaluate an organization’s strength’s, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The tool is used to produce a model that can serve to provide direction in the development, formulation, and assessment of project management plans. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis is an important step in the planing process that is often undervalued and omitted in constructing the project management plan. This basic management tool is straightforward and easy to use. Basically, factors are divided into internal and external issues. Based on the analysis of the information provided by the model, project management can better decide if the information gathered is something that will assist in accomplishing its objectives. Conversely, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis can also identify potential obstacles to success, as well as flaws in the plan that must be addressed, controlled, or eliminated if the desired results are to be achieved.
In order for the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis to be effective, project management must do more than simply identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved. Risk management demands that it is necessary to avoid, eliminate, or at the very least, minimize identified weaknesses and threats. Weaknesses should be closely scrutinized in order to determine whether or not it is possible to convert them into assets. Similarly, threats should be closely examined for the opportunity of building strength in areas where they stood, once they have been eliminated. Strengths and opportunities should be closely studies as well in order to maximize their effectiveness. Project management would be well advised to take advantage of this simple, cost effective management tool and to make it a fundamental step in the planning process.
This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.