This How To guide helps you create a SWOT Action Plan from scratch. Includes step-by-step, templates, tips and tricks.
Time needed: 4 hours
How to create a SWOT action plan from the very beginning.
- Run a SWOT Workshop, using SWOT Questions to help.
Use questions as prompts to help you tease out your “SWOT items”.
These are helpful thought-provoking questions to help people come up with the project’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
- Use a SWOT Cheat Sheet to help your team.
A SWOT Cheat Sheet gives you examples so that you can ensure you do not forget obvious SWOT items. We do not suggest you actually put these directly in your lists – they are purely to jolt your thinking.
- List your SWOT items.
Gather all the inputs from your team on post-its, and list them on the board under Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.
- Prioritize your SWOT items, working as a team.
Now that you have your list of SWOT items, arrange them in order of priority, with the most important first.
List your top 3-6 items in each area in a “top priority” group, and if there are more that seem really important, list them in another section underneath.
- Use a SWOT Matrix.
A Matrix is a good way to present your top priority SWOT items.
These matrices arrange the SWOT areas into “Internal” and “External” on the y axis, and “Helpful” and “Harmful” on the x axis.
- Create your SWOT Actions, in a matrix.
Too often people leave SWOT at the analysis stage; work it into actionable plans! For each of your priority SWOT items, work out how to reinforce or prevent the items with ACTIONS. These ACTIONS will later be turned into timed plans.
- Create your SWOT Roadmap.
Take your actions from the action plan, and plan how you are going to deliver them, with your team.
The SWOT Action Process
The overall process looks like this:
A SWOT plan ensures that you take the important elements from your SWOT analysis and translate them into action. If it is purely an academic exercise, your SWOT analysis work will have less impact.
SWOT action plans are developed from prioritizing your Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat items, and developing them into actions, so that you maximize your chances of success.
Are you short on time?
Use these templates to help with this Best Practice:
SWOT Analyse: Simple formats for your first SWOT so that you can get started. Plus: Brainstorm and Presentation templates that mean you can workshop and present your SWOT. Save time and take action now!See: SWOT Analyse Template Discount Bundle
Business Topics that support this Best Practice
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These strategic planning tools formats have been refined by our professionals through years of experience, so that you can save time and make your planning, reporting, and communication as impressive as possible, rapidly.See: Strategic Planning Tools – Discount Bundle