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PESTLE Analysis

PESTLE Cheat Sheet for Keynote on Mac

What? Do you mean Pestle and Mortar?

No we don’t. PESTLE stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental. It’s a well established way of  a business or enterprise to track the wider environment in which they are operating in.

Is it still relevant?

Yes. Well mostly – there has been some debate about that. The problem is that if you undertake the analysis work once you tend to not review it for awhile so it feels static despite the world changing fast. Other methods have been suggested; STEEPLE being one (Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political, Legal and Ethical)

I get confused between what falls into what category.

Us too!

The main challenge is keeping your PESTLE Analysis current!

As long as you cover all factors in your project, AND KEEP IT CURRENT then you are doing very well. Some points can be argued into different areas of the PESTLE, and if this is the kind of discussion going on over your PESTLE document, then you have covered all the important points.

Some examples might help.

Of course. Here we go:

Example PESTLE Analysis items

Political – If an election is due and there is public pressure to reduce spending in an area where traditionally there are government subsidies this is a factor!

Economic – Oil prices hit a low; if your business has heavy transportation costs this will start to help.

Social – The rise of E-cigarettes is seen as a healthier and more socially acceptable alternative to traditional cigarettes

Technological – Back to E-cigarettes – the technology behind them (essentially a delivery system) allowed the industry to explode.

Legal – Unless the above were to be made illegal

Environmental – European short-fall of snow affecting ski resorts the most obvious example

Anything else we should know about PESTLE?


PESTLE Analysis documents and guides for further use can be found here

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RAG Status – Show your Project Status!

Rag Status

“RAG Status” stands for R / A / G = Red, Amber or Green (it’s an acronym, which means Annoying Manager Word!)

RAG status is clearly communicated in this Dashboard template

It is commonly used in Project Status reporting to communicate the level of risk.

The Idiots Guide to RAG STATUS

  1. RED = High Risk
  2. AMBER = Medium Risk
  3. GREEN = Low Risk

The Typical RAG Status Conversation

Manager: “What is your RAG status, Mr Smithers?”

You: “I have GREEN for Project Sunshine, and AMBER for Project Saving Rear”

Good – you passed!

Need more help? Here are a few RAG Status Examples

Watch Out – RAG STATUS can mean different things !!

“Do I need to poke nose in and mess your life up??” Management RAG Status

  3. GREEN = Your manager reverts to NORMAL PAIN IN THE REAR.

THE TRUTH: Project Manager’s RAG Status

This is what it really means.

  1. RED = My project is ABOUT TO GO BANG. I am PROTECTING MY ASS.
  2. AMBER = My project is ABOUT TO GO RED.
  3. GREEN = My project seems OK, so IT WILL BE AMBER OR RED NEXT WEEK.

MORE JARGON: “Issue Focussed RAG Status”

This will impress your managers. Use these exact words if you want to appear all business-like:

  1. RED = LIVE ISSUE: remedial action is required to bring the project back within budget or delivery schedule
  2. AMBER = ISSUE is being addressed: remedial action is in progress, and ISSUE is being addressed
  3. GREEN = NO LIVE ISSUE: no action required

Some more generalised Risk and Status communication formats

Summary – use RAG Status carefully!

RAG Status is a great tool for communicating status quickly, but beware : Make sure you define what the Red, Amber, and Green mean for you and your stakeholders!

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SWOT Analyse – Simple Idiots Guide: Templates, Examples & Help

The SWOT Action Plan Process

We can help you SWOT Analyse your project or your idea. Here are some simple templates and guides to help you with SWOT, with examples.

SWOT Matrix template: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
The SWOT Analyse Template Pack

SWOT is part of Management Jargon, but is pretty useful for fast assessment of lots of ideas.

What EXACTLY Does SWOT Analyse Mean?

S.W.O.T. stands for:

  1. Strengths – What things are GOOD?
  2. Weaknesses – …and what things are BAD?
  3. Opportunities – Does it open up areas which are GOOD?
  4. Threats – Are there things that MESS IT UP?

SWOT Cheat Sheet

Here are some prompts for your SWOT, so that you can make it complete:


  • Patents?
  • Strong brand name?
  • Good reputation among customers?
  • Many product lines?
  • Broad market coverage?
  • Manufacturing competence?
  • Good marketing skills?
  • Good materials management systems?
  • R&D skills and leadership?
  • Information system competencies
  • .. more available from our SWOT analysis template discount bundle


  • Obsolete, narrow product lines?
  • Rising manufacturing costs?
  • Decline in R&D innovations?
  • Poor marketing skills?
  • Old content management systems?
  • Poor reputation?
  • High cost structure?
  • Loss of customer good will?
  • Bad information systems?
  • Inadequate human resources?
  • Lack of access to distribution channels?
  • .. more available from our SWOT analysis template discount bundle


  • Expand core business(es)?
  • Exploit new market segments?
  • Arrival of new technologies?
  • Removal of international trade barriers?
  • Exploit unfulfilled customer need?
  • Widen new market segments?
  • Extend cost or differentiation advantage?
  • Diversify into new growth businesses?
  • … more available from our SWOT analysis template discount bundle


  • Attacks on your core business(es)?
  • Increases in domestic competition?
  • Shift in consumer tastes?
  • Emergence of substitute products?
  • New regulations?
  • Increased trade barriers?
  • Increases in foreign competition?
  • Change in consumer taste?
  • Fall in barriers to entry?
  • Rise in new or substitute products?
  • … more available in our SWOT analysis template discount bundle

Get a bundle of templates to help

SWOT Template Discount Bundle
SWOT Analyse Template Discount Bundle