SWOT Analysis Exercise

Posted on by Brandon Klein

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s the planner’s equivalent to the journalist’s who, what, where, when, why and how. It’s a short-hand for the basic factors that you want to assess any time you start a planning process and want to assess where you are. This is a common DesignTeam assignment to do a Scan (i.e., the Identity phase of the creative process) when a broader Scan may not be appropriate (for example, due to lack of time or the narrow horizon of a group’s mission). This is usually done as a co-processing assignment (e.g., all teams are given the same charge).

To do a basic Scan. To have participants assess their current situation and options.

Can be used at the start of the design process. Requires a typical DesignTeam round (approx. 90 - 120 minutes design, 5 to 10 minutes per team to report).

Strengths — Good basic assessment. Provides a reading of how the group sees their conditions and options. Weaknesses — Accomplishes a limited Scan; doesn’t introduce new thinking, just draws out what people already “know.” Specifications for Success — 1. Use other modules to provide the appropriate challenge, spark of new ideas, paradigm breaking activity or whatever.