Dynamic SWOT Movement Tracking Tool




SWOT analysis

Back in December 2013 we authored an article in PEX entitled 'Stop Analysis Paralysis: Use An “Action SWOT As Part Of Your Problem Solving Approach.' Action SWOT was a tool designed to build on current state activities and then move to clear action steps. In this way the SWOT would become an integral part of the problem solving process and be seen as a useful tool to develop an improvement theory for strategic gains.

As we have been using this tool with clients we realized that a measurement tracking process was needed to assure that the most critical actions of the SWOTs start to make progress. We developed this Dynamic SWOT Movement Tracking Tool that builds in a regular measurement and tracking process for the most critical SWOTs. It is necessary for an organization to track when strength starts to deteriorate to a weakness or an opportunity becomes a threat. This measurement and tracking helps keep the strategic planning team focused on an ever changing business horizon and be prepared to act when things change rather than being caught off guard and have to quickly do damage control.

To help you use this tool we have developed an Excel Tracking Tool which is attached to this article and shown in Table 1. To use this tool complete the following steps:

  1. For each of the SWOT categories, determine the top three critical ones that you should track on a regular basis and describe each one clearly.
  2. Develop a current baseline measure for each item that can be used to determine if change is taking place.
  3. Indicate the data source so that the measurement source is known and transparent. Be clear about what system or individual can access the indicator.

                                              

 

  1. Develop a regular measurement review time such as weekly, monthly, etc. and place the value in the tracking tool.
  2. For each SWOT item being tracked, determine a critical value which will make it transition to another SWOT category.
  3. Indicate which SWOT category an item will turn into once it hits the critical value.
  4. As you monitor each SWOT category on a regular basis decide if action needs to be taken and answer Yes/No. Some activities noted on the SWOT may only require monitoring until a change happens, so “no” is a reasonable answer.
  5. If in the previous step, the answer is “yes”, then develop an action plan that can be modified when the time comes to implement it. The action plan should help to make sure that for each of the SWOTs below:

Strengths:

  • What actions will we need to take in order to preserve and protect the current strengths?
  • How can we prevent losing the strengths?

Weaknesses:

  • What can be done to mitigate these weaknesses, or to reduce their power or influence?
  • What would it take to overcome the weaknesses?

Opportunities:

  • How can we capitalize on the opportunities?
  • What strategies can we design that will enhance these opportunities?

Threats:

  • What can be done to prevent this threat (or threats) in the future?
  • How can threats be isolated?

An example of how to use this tool is as follows:

Dynamic SWOT Movement Tracking and Action Plan

Top 3 Critical

Describe

Starting Baseline

Data Source

Current Month

Turning Point

Strength

Weakness

Opportunity

Threat

Take Action?

Action Plan

   

Measure

 

Measure

Value

       

Yes/No

 
                       

Strengths

                     

1

Customer Satisfaction

95%

3rd Party Survey

92%

80%

 

x

   

No

 

2

         

 

         

3

         

 

         

Weaknesses

                     

1

Employee Turnover

15%

HR Monthly Report

18%

10%

 

 

 

x

Yes

Review exit interviews; improve fringe benefits; develop mentor programs

2

           

 

       

3

           

 

       

Opportunities

                     

1

Expand the agency

40 programs offered

Department monthly reports

30 programs

35 programs

 

x

 

 

Yes

Look for more grants; lobby for increased funding

2

             

 

     

3

             

 

     

Threats

                     

1

Clinic Competition

600 clients severed

Monthly Usage Report

500 clients

400 Clients

 

x

 

 

Yes

Determine where clients have gone; determine why

2

               

 

   

3

               

 

   

 

RECOMMENDED