How do I create a SWOT Action Plan?

SWOT Action Plan - A Roadmap to use your SWOT

Time needed: 4 hours.

How to create a SWOT action plan from the very beginning.

  1. 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.SWOT Questions - to support a brainstorm SWOT workshop.

  2. 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.SWOT Cheat Sheet - to help brainstorm SWOT in a workshop

  3. 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.List your SWOT items

  4. 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.SWOT Prioritization - in a workshop

  5. 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.SWOT Matrix

  6. 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.SWOT Action Plan Matrix

  7. Create your SWOT Roadmap.

    Take your actions from the action plan, and plan how you are going to deliver them, with your team.SWOT Action Plan on a Roadmap, with risk levels

The SWOT Action Process

The overall process looks like this:

The SWOT Action Plan Process
The SWOT Action Plan Process

Short on time?

Use these templates to help with business best practice:

Digital Product Formats

  • SWOT Strategic Analysis Formats.

    A selection of professional tried and tested SWOT Strategic Analysis templates and guides to help you create and present your SWOT Analysis.

  • Strategic Analysis Formats.

    Templates and Guides for strategic analysis. These products are created by professionals so that you can save time and money, and make an impact with your documentation.

  • Developing a Plan for Action.

    Many templates are all about style over substance: they just give you a nice looking template. Where does that get you?.. NOWHERE! Use these templates to create documents that have an impact and create actionable outcomes.

Related Business Best Practices

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