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SWOT Analysis Exercise

Posted on by Brandon Klein

DESCRIPTION:
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).

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

TIMING/TIME REQUIREMENTS:
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).

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS:
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.