A SWOT analysis is a management tool used to evaluate the current state of the organization and to guide the strategic planning process. SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The result of the analysis is the identification of an organization’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats to be addressed to lead to greater success. An analysis can be conducted with the organization as the focus, or an individual department, or even a project. A SWOT analysis can be beneficial to both a for-profit and a not-for-profit organization.

Strengths and Weaknesses are factors internal to the organization such as location, intellectual property, deteriorating facilities, and are not easily changed, except over time. Opportunities and Threats are external to the organization such as competitors, suppliers, the state of the economy, and cannot be changed.

The organization’s Strengths can be applied to maximize the opportunities identified and to minimize the impact of Threats. Certain Opportunities can be harnessed to minimize the organization’s identified Weaknesses and the Weaknesses can be minimized to avoid the Threats once identified. All of this information informs the strategic planning process.

The analysis is conducted with a group of key stakeholders and usually takes place over two or three meetings. Becky Clark has the ability and skills required to facilitate an important meeting such as this. Group facilitation involving all present is critical to a successful outcome. Becky’s strong communication and listening skills result in a document that can be embraced by all.