SWOT Analysis – A Tool Anyone Can Use

May 9, 2011

Do not begin any major task without this analysis tool!  This tool will generate the list of valuable ideas and strategic direction to achieve your goals. We can say SWOT Analysis is a tool that helps our project, business objective, venture or organization in 4 ways:

  1. Evaluate the Strengths so that you can capitalize on them,
  2. Identify the Weaknesses so that you can address them,
  3. Discover Opportunities so that you can invest accordingly, and
  4. Analyze Threats so that you can plan to mitigate them.

SWOT comes from Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat.  It is 2×2 matix which we use to gather the data on 4 areas by asking questions.  You can do it through brainstorming session and use required data from customer feedback, surveys, industry research, market trands, etc.

I stumbled upon this great 5 min video by Erica Olson and thought of sharing it with you along with other resources.

Strengths and Weaknesses are internal while Opportunities and Threats are external to the business objective or the task for which SWOT analysis is being done. It is as simple as asking good questions!

 This video will explain a lot and referresources for mastery –

Excellent Resources:

  1. Basics  – http://erc.msh.org/quality/ittools/itswot.cfm
  2. Process – http://www.andyeklund.com/creativestreak/2009/05/swot-analysis.html
  3. Small Business Startup SWOT Questions –http://www.selfemployedcafe.com/swot-analysis-template/
  4. Template and Practical Example – http://farm-risk-plans.usda.gov/pdf/swot_brochure_web.pdf
  5. http://www.rob-berman.com/questions-to-ask-during-swot-analysis/

Quotes for Managers

August 14, 2009

 

Here are 6 quotes for I.T. managers from Norman R. Augustine

  1. Hardware works best when it matters the least.
  2. A revised schedule is to business what a new season is to an athlete or a new canvas to an artist.
  3. One of the most feared expressions in modern times is ”The computer is down”.
  4. It has been wisely said that the world is not interested in the storms you encountered but in whether you brought the ship in safely.
  5. If a sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on top of each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance.
  6. The last 10 percent of performance generates one-third of the cost and two-thirds of the problems.

Thank you for visiting and have a great day.


Capture Planning Assumptions

February 23, 2009

Your boss approaches you and tells that workplan is very good but customer wants to know how can we deliver the project sooner than promised?  Now you have to come up with a new workplan or make some adjustments based on new findings.  You put your thoughts together and go on to make changes/update and deliver the final document with required changes. 

And then your boss asks, why this task is due this particular day and why are we taking this long to complete, etc., etc…

You might have answers for most of the questions your boss has asked but it is of prime importance that you document all the assumptions you made while planning, does not matter how small or evident those assumptions are.

I would capture following –

  • why are you making these changes or what is the objective and if these objectives are aligned with customer expectations;
  • what are high-level or global assumptions for the plan being put in place (standardized assumptions);
  • why making change to time/scope/cost;
  • what are risks that can derail the work;
  • what are the opportunities that you are counting on;
  • who are the critical resources you have based your work on;
  • what exceptions from standard process did you make;
  • what compromises are built into the plan;
  • what is the impact on existing process (if any);
  • for budget tail of it : dollars spent per month; and
  • what are the key milestones.

I hope these are the basic questions that we should be able to answer from a Project Management perspective when talking about assumptions.  Let me know what your thoughts are and what else could be added to the list?

Thanks for reading it, appreaciate your feedback.


… life is how you react to it!

September 7, 2008

Today I heard first time of Charles Swindoll.  He is an author of over 70 books, educator and a preacher.  I have not read or listened to him but his quotes (found over the Internet) are very valuable. 

I am believer of the fact that where ever we get life lessons, learn from them and implement in life.  I save the motivating quotes so that I can refer again and again to align myself.  Here are 5 quotes to start the work week.

  1. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
  2. The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.
  3. Alleged impossibilities are opportunities for our capacities to be stretched.
  4. We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
  5. We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

Thank you for reading and wish you a wonderful week.


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