What is SWOT Analysis’ Purpose in Strategic Planning

When a company feels their business isn’t doing as well as forecasted, it means there is an issue somewhere. But a problem found doesn’t make it fixed; the issue will require a particular set of steps to revise it.

This is where business analysts come in. They study businesses, both internally and externally, and note issues found throughout their stay. They utilize strategic planning and available tools to sniff out problems and correct them.

But what exactly is strategic planning? And how does SWOT analysis fit into the whole thing?

The answers are below.

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning is a method used to set goals, assess resources, and strengthen internal operations within a business setting. It’s used to assure stakeholders the firm is working towards objectives and determines which results are occurring.

Strategic planning helps shape an organization, including who the organization serves and how it’ll grow in the future. The planning outlines steps to make positive progress and analyze results to ensure everyone involved — team members and managers— are working within their roles correctly.

In order to assure this, business analysts who utilize strategic planning may do what is called a SWOT analysis.

What is SWOT analysis?

SWOT analysis is a tool used in strategic planning that outlines strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for a corporation or a particular function within the organization.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal: communication methods, locale, sales, marketing, and business processes are a few things to consider. Any one of these things, and sub-topics within them may be a strength or weakness.

If they’re a strength, they are positive. They enforce the success of the business. But if the above are a weakness, they must be addressed before they do irreparable damage to the firm.

Opportunities and threats are external: outside factors such as legislative laws, social norms, and legislative bills affect a business. But these things can’t be changed by those within the company.

Opportunities can be searched out, acknowledged, and used to a company’s advantage. Threats seek to hurt the business but can be dealt with once known.

How do SWOT analysis and strategic planning fit together?

As said above, SWOT analysis is a tool used in strategic planning, often by the business analyst. It’s one of many avenues the analyst can use to address complications or issues within the framework of a firm.

It seems simple, but the results can significantly help companies understand what they’re doing right (competitive edge) and what they’re wasting funds and/or resources on. A business cannot grow if weaknesses are overturning every positive stride taken, after all.

Other types of analysis, such as PESTEL, can take longer. That type of analysis only focuses on external factors. SWOT concentrates on both the internal and external to provide a well-rounded view.

When SWOT analysis is completed accurately, a business analyst will use the information to take steps towards fixing the business framework. They can also do a risk assessment of threats and weaknesses.

In conclusion…

Strategic planning helps organizations address complications. When someone, preferably a business analyst, begins strategic planning they utilize tools. SWOT analysis is one of these tools.

SWOT identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats within an organization. It helps to address what’s working, what’s not, assess risks and utilize advantages.

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