What is SWOT

Abbreviations SWOT either SWOT are an acronym for the words strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threatsand identify an analysis matrix that allows diagnosing the strategic situation in which a company, organization, institution or person finds itself, in order to successfully develop a given project.

SWOT results from translation from English SWOT, the acronym for strengths (strengths), weaknesses (weaknesses), opportunities (opportunities) and threats (threats).

This matrix was developed at the Stanford Research Institute, United States, between 1960 and 1970, with the collaboration of M. Dosher, Dr. O. Benepe, A. Humphrey, Birger Lie and R. Stewart. The purpose was to discover why corporate planning at the managerial level then failed.

The success of this tool in the business environment meant that it was soon implemented in other areas. They are proof of this community action research projects, organizational projects of different nature and personal projects (in the field of self-knowledge).

The study of the SWOT matrix allows identifying problems, anticipating scenarios, predicting complications, observing solutions, visualizing weak points of the entity and transforming them into strengths and opportunities.

A rigorous analysis of the data collected will allow formulating and selecting the strategies to follow. The importance of the SWOT matrix lies in the fact that it allows analyzing all the elements that surround a business or project in order to, in this way, meet the stated objectives.

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Analysis variables

The SWOT matrix is ​​a tool for diagnosis of a certain entity (person, community, company or organization), in order to assess its current status and, at the same time, calculate possible scenarios that may compromise the development of future plans. Let’s get to know your main analysis variables.

Strengths and weaknesses

It is about identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an entity, a crucial step to know what human, material or environmental resources can be counted on in a concrete way (strengths) and which ones are lacking or must be strengthened (weaknesses).

Opportunities and Threats

Once the strengths and weaknesses have been identified, it is necessary to identify the opportunities and threats, that is, favorable (opportunities) or unfavorable (threats) circumstances for the development of the project in question.

For example, what are the conditions of the environment (collaborators or close competitors, clients, demographics, political conditions, environmental conditions, laws, etc.) and what can the interest groups be, for or against (governments, unions, institutions , communities, shareholders).

Any of these elements can be, depending on the circumstance, a threat or an opportunity. Judging it will depend on each reality.

See also: Administration

SWOT in the personal sphere

In the personal field, the SWOT matrix is ​​a tool that allows evaluating the strengths, opportunities and areas for improvement of the subject, as well as identifying the weaknesses and threats that prevent the fulfillment of their goals. Its application can be very useful, as long as you have the guidance of a person specialized in the area.

In theory, the application of the SWOT matrix at the personal level allows the individual to prepare and perform better in a future challenge, thus helping personal growth in all areas.

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See also: Diagnosis.