Template 6.2.1: SWOT Analysis
(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats/Challenges)
Purpose
A SWOT analysis assists in understanding why we need to change. The main
principle underlying SWOT is that internal and external factors must be considered
simultaneously when identifying aspects of an organisation that need to be changed.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the organisation, while opportunities and
threats are external. An analysis of the organisation and the external environment will
enable the organisation/service to plan more effectively for the future, while taking into
account opportunities and potential threats.
How to use it?
Evaluate your service by identifying and considering its current strengths and
weaknesses and the threats and opportunities facing it in the future.
Strengths and weaknesses are primarily about the organisation’s present situation,
and opportunities and threats are about predicting its future (external factors).
Based on the data, how can you build on the strengths and lever the opportunities?
How can you deal with weaknesses and minimise threats/challenges?
STRENGTHS What the service is good at doing? WEAKNESSES What the service is not good at doing?
OPPORTUNITIES Identify the events and trends that are favourable. THREATS (CHALLENGES) Identify the events or trends that are unfavourable.
People’s Needs Defining Change Health Services Change Guide
Conducting a swot analysis – additional guidance
A strategic analysis of the organisation and the external environment will enable
the organisation to plan more effectively for the future, while taking into account
opportunities and potential threats. The following key questions provide a basis
for this analysis.
What are your organisation’s/service’s strengths and weaknesses?
For example
What strengths are in the organisation that can lever/enable the change?
What are its main achievements over the last three years?
How successful has it been in achieving its strategic objectives?
Has it met or exceeded its targets?
Do current services meet users’ requirements?
How effective are its links with other key organisations/agencies in its area
or sector?
How secure is your organisation’s nancial position?
Does it have the stafng/volunteer levels and expertise necessary to meet
its objectives?
How is your organisation/service regarded externally? Does it have a good
reputation?
Is it able to build effective relationships with those it wishes to inuence?
Where are there strong alliances/relationships/partnerships which could assist
in levering change both internal and external to the organisation?
Is your organisation/service effective at communicating with internal teams
and external groups?
How effective are its management systems and processes? Is your organisation/
service well-structured and efcient or overly bureaucratic?
Does its governance arrangements have the capacity/expertise to meet the
demands of the organisation/service?
What areas of good practice or innovation are relevant to the change that can
be repeated across the system? Examples may include Quality Initiatives (PDSAs).
Are there opportunities to build on area/local level initiatives?
What are the key opportunities and threats facing your organisation?
Trends in its area of work/services
Audit of local situation
User needs
Demographics
Competition from other or similar organisations in its area
Facilities
Barriers to your organisation’s development
Deprivation of its catchment area
Consultation ndings, e.g. community audit, needs assessment
Opportunities for developing new areas of work
Opportunities for extending services to new client groups
Partnerships/collaborative working opportunities
Local authority policies and plans in its area
Policy documents relevant to your organisation’s work or location
Funding opportunities for your organisation/service
Additional analysis
Ask further questions about each of the factors listed under the four headings.
For strengths and weaknesses the questions asked are:
1. What are the consequences of this? Do they help or hinder your service/
organisation in achieving its core purpose?
2. What are the causes of this strength (or weakness)?
For opportunities and threats the questions are slightly different:
1. What impact is this likely to have on your service/organisation? Will it help or hinder
it in achieving its core purpose?
2. What must it do to respond to this opportunity or threat?
Reect on the core purpose of the service and on all four components. Pay particular
attention to the causes of the strengths and weaknesses, and to the responses required
to the opportunities and threats. Link together common threads into a set of priorities
for the team to address.
Adapted from: www.diycommitteeguide.org [96]; Iles, V. and Sutherland, K. (2001: 40-41) [220]; Clarke, J. (1997: 7) [58]
People’s Needs Defining Change – Health Services Change Guide
People’s Needs Defining Change Health Services Change Guide
Template 6.2.1: SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats/Challenges) (continued)
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