“SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective.”
SWOT factors can be broken down in internal/external factors and helpful/harmful factors, as follows:
- INTERNAL/EXTERNAL—SWOT looks at both organizational or internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and environmental or external factors (opportunities and threats).
- HELPFUL/HARMFUL—SWOT examines those factors that are helpful (strengths and opportunities) and harmful (weaknesses and threats) to an organization’s objectives .
SWOT analysis is used to generate strategies, as follows:
- How can we use each strength?
- How can we stop each weakness?
- How can we exploit each opportunity?
- How can we defend against each threat?
(Adapted from Wikipedia)
According to the American Management Association, “SWOT is perhaps most useful as a tool for organizing data and allowing you to distill them down to a few strategic priorities.”
SWOT Analysis is a tool that can be used by User-centric EA in analyzing the business and technology baseline of the enterprise and coming up with strategic priorities to address in the target architecture and transition plan. Of course, the target architecture will capitalize on organizational strengths (by building on the strength of its people, process, and technologies), mitigate weaknesses (through skilled performance management, business process improvement, information sharing, and technological solutions), exploit opportunities and defend against threats (through integration and differentiation, partnerships and alliances, marketing and communciations, and so on). SWOT Analysis tells the EA practitioner what he/she needs to know to develop strategies for the enterprise to target.