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Is SWOT analysis an effective strategic planning method?

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Michael Dunn
Title: Director of Finance
Company: CaliCo Design
(Director of Finance, CaliCo Design) |

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is an effective method, but one that should probably be used in conjunction with other methods. SWOT analysis is ideal for simplifying large quantities of complicated situational factors into more manageable categories. But, SWOT analysis can also oversimplify these factors. Also, the classification in this analysis can be somewhat arbitrary. In fact, some factors can be categorized as both a Strength and Weakness.

James Weber
Title: President
Company: New Century Dynamics Executive Search
LinkedIn Profile
(President, New Century Dynamics Executive Search) |

Remember, SWOT is designed to assess the enterprise capabilities among its competitors. This is very top-line benchmarking to arrive at, or validate a Positioning Strategy that is defensible and profitable. The last comment made by M Dunn is noteworthy. Objective analysis is critical to the process. Know what you know; Know what you don't know; and Know that there is information you don't know that you don't know.

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