SWOT Analysis Video

Video Transcript

Analyze your situation with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.

James Manktelow: Hello. I'm James Manktelow, CEO of MindTools.com, home to hundreds of free career-building tools and resources.

Amy Carlson: And I'm Amy Carlson from Mind Tools. Do you ever feel your career lacks focus? Or would you like to have a clear strategy in place to grow your business, but don't know where to start? If so, you'll find the SWOT Analysis tool very helpful.

JM: SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By analyzing your business – or career – in these four areas, you'll be able to cut through the noise, and focus on what really matters. You can use SWOT Analysis to identify a sustainable niche for your company – or on a personal level, to help you develop your own career. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you can exploit the most relevant opportunities in the marketplace – and manage threats that might otherwise take you by surprise.

AC: To do your SWOT Analysis you'll need a piece of paper – or you can print off the free worksheet at MindTools.com. And give yourself enough time. It pays to consider each of the four areas in depth, and to try to be as realistic and rigorous as possible.

Starting with Strengths, ask yourself some key questions. What advantages do you or your company have? What do you do better than anyone else? What do people in your market see as your strengths?

JM: Moving onto Weaknesses, ask yourself what could you improve? What should you avoid? What factors lose you sales? What do outsiders see as your weaknesses?

With Opportunities, you'll want to consider where your best opportunities lie. What interesting trends are you aware of? What opportunities might arise from changes in technology, government policy, social patterns, and the like? And – this is really important – what opportunities do your strengths open up for you?

Finally, Threats. Ask yourself what obstacles you or your company face. What is your competition doing that you should be worried about? Do you have bad debt or cash-flow problems? And what threats do your weaknesses expose you to?

AC: When you're making your lists, be precise – and prioritize, so the most important points are at the top. You'll find that your strengths and weaknesses are often internal to you or your organization, while opportunities and threats often relate to external factors. This is why SWOT Analysis is often called Internal/External Analysis.

When you've finished the analysis, you'll have a better understanding of how you can compete successfully, and you'll have made a good start on crafting an effective strategy for success.

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Comments (8)
  • Over a month ago bigk wrote
    Hi bigboss

    What is your motivation to do programming?

    Is this because you have good math and you could use this skill with programming?
    There other ways to use math like accountancy or audit and engineering.

    However if you mean the math element is a strength and you want to quickly add extra items to your skill set then math and programming do fit together.

    Programing does need team interaction skills but if you want to fit in the team and have a manager or leader to develop your team skills or improve your own personal or team skills this will need you to use your strengths to develop these skills while doing something that interests you.

    You can develop not only your math skills but use these strengths to develop your other skills although you see these at present as a skill to be developed and not a skill that is immediately available or useable by you in a team setting.
    If this is not one of your motivations or is useable in the work setting, you might want to find a way to become confident and position your skills to improve what you feel about team work.

    A team lead might want to use your math or programming skills but will still want to find ways to use your team interaction skills and use of your valuable team member skills but will want to understand what or why you feel you feel you have no team or self interaction skills to use with the other team members.

    A team needs it's members to interact together, software development is no different although the specialist skills required to develop software might need social and interaction skills rather than just technical skills, to be useful to each other you will need to become more confident about positioning your team member skills to be able to interact with other team members.

    Remember you need to find ways to develop these skills although your main efforts might be towards developing the programming skills to do the job.

    Is there a particular issue you feel you need more development with interacting or is this a question about confidence or the positioning of your technical or social skills?
    If this is the people or team skills you want to develop further while being able to focus mostly on the technical skills needed to develop software, you will need to consider how you position these skills to the work area?

    Happy to offer more help if I can do so...

  • Over a month ago bigboss wrote

    I have done my own SWOT analysis.

    One of my strengths is math, and my weakness is social interaction and copywriting.

    So I think could software building or programming be the "right brand" and "righ career" for me?

    I have (of course) used computer, but I have no experience or education in software building or programming. (And of course this is the reason why I ask this question).
  • Over a month ago Helena wrote
    Hi Zaheer

    You've obviously got a good grasp already of how the results of a SWOT analysis can provide their own solution - as you say:

    How do we use the strengths with the opportunities, strengths to beat the threats etc..?

    A good way to start figuring this out is to use TOWS analysis which will show you how to figure this out. Our article on TOWS analysis is here: http://mindtools.com/community/pages/ar ... STR_89.php

    Best wishes

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