Post date: Apr 2, 2013 8:09:25 PM

Initially Satisfactory, Opportunity, Fault and Threat (SOFT) became Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threat (SWOT).

S - Strength - Internal factors which are positive in the organizations growth. Good at present from within the organization/its environment.

W- Weakness - Internal factors which are bad at present.

O - Opportunities - External factors which can help organization grow or achieve its goals. Good in future (external)

T - Threats - External factors which can harm organization in achieving its goals. Bad in future from external environment

When to use

    • Business strategy planning

    • Assessment- Entering in to a new market

    • Assessment - Launching a new product

    • Assessment - A new business idea

    • Evaluating the competition

    • Review and analysis of business proposition

    • Position of a company and its business in the market

    • Assessment before acquisition or partnership


Identify S W O T by finding out present good/bad things internally and future good/bad things you can foresee. These are some example categories to find out these things:

Above list provides list of good and bad things or areas. What actions to take can be interpreted from those points but it is better to identify the actions using a systematic way 2X2 SWOT matrix. Using this one can find out areas where there are opportunities as well and organization has strength so those areas should be leveraged and should be priority areas of focus. Similarly other combinations provide different actions or areas of focus.

2x2 SWOT Matrix

Strength/Opportunities - First priorities - Where should we focus on ?

Weaknesses/Opportunities - Good options if overcome challenges/weaknesses - What should we correct?

Strength/Threats - Can be defended - What challenges can we handle?

Weakness/Threats- Risk - What risks we have to plan for?

Related things

PEST analysis

To analyse market and potential considering external factors. Whereas SWOT analyses business or proposition

Porter's five forces model

To assess and analyse competitive position of a business.


Case studies and samples: