SWOT Analysis in Project Management

If you are a project manager, you need to know about SWOT analysis and how to conduct them. Why? Because a SWOT analysis will help you assess your organization’s current position, and to find out what’s working well, and what could be improved before you dive into a new strategy. 

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What Is a SWOT Analysis?

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a strategic planning technique that project managers use to help them analyze their projects' strengths and weaknesses, as well as to analyze and review any opportunities and threats they may face in the upcoming future. 

This popular technique allows project managers to identify areas that need improvement and to select the right methodology for work, which can benefit a company by gaining a better understanding of what areas they should focus on, as well as identify how likely they are at succeeding at a given project. 

Why You Need to Conduct a SWOT Analysis

Conducting a SWOT analysis can help you improve your project planning process, reduce project risk, as well as to increase the likelihood of your project being successful. By identifying the strengths, the weaknesses, opportunities, and threats a project may pose, you will be mitigating the risks associated with tasks, and providing a solid ground for your entire project before the action even starts. In other words, a SWOT analysis can turn you into a better project manager by optimizing your work. Your team will also benefit from this technique because they will have a more solid project plan, and they will have knowledge of any possible risks. 

SWOT Analysis: The Four Focus Areas

  • Strengths. These refer to internal factors that will set your project up to success. Strengths usually include particular aspects of your project that make it likely to succeed, such as skilled team members, experienced project managers, engaged customers, or outstanding feature improvements, i.e.:

Strength: Team’s expertise on a certain subject.

  • Weaknesses. These are internal factors that, from your experience, will make it difficult for your project to succeed. Weaknesses can vary, they mostly depend on the company or the team itself, but some of them could be identified as lack of resources, inexperienced team members, lack of skilled professionals, or lack of budget.

Weakness: Does the company have enough resources to provide contingency funding?

  • Opportunities. Opportunities represent factors that are outside of your control (as opposed to strengths). These are the external factors in your business environment that are likely to contribute to your success. 

Opportunity: Can this project help in different areas of the business in the short or long term?

  • Threats. These are external factors that, if they were to take place, they could significantly hurt your project. Threats are possibilities, but identifying them helps you come up with alternatives. Increased costs of contractors or the sudden absence of a team member could be seen as factors that could potentially harm your project.

Threat: Has the technology or the software selected for the project been tested?

Why They Are Important 

SWOT analysis are a powerful tool that every project manager should consider using mainly because they allow you to focus on the strengths and to consider factors before they become issues that may very well hinder the success of your project. Simply put, the purpose of a SWOT analysis is to identify the most important things that you should monitor during the project. They’re also cost-effective and they help teams to produce new ideas by brainstorming and analyzing a project plan. 

SWOT Analysis: Key Factors to Consider

Analyzing information is only effective when the right information is collected. With this in mind, we’ve gathered the most relevant factors a project manager should consider when gathering the information to conduct a successful SWOT analysis. 

  1. It’s a team effort, so everyone should be involved in the brainstorming process mainly because each team member will have a unique input on the four categories (SWOT).
  2. Stakeholders should also participate in the process. Clients can also help to identify critical factors (especially threats).
  3. Once identified, factors should be prioritized from most critical to least. Then, you should create an action plan to address the factors that are within reach (strengths and weaknesses).
  4. When it comes to threats and opportunities, it’s important to have a plan. Consider an action plan for taking advantage of the opportunities, as well as an action plan for how to handle any upcoming threats. 
  5. Periodically reviewing the list throughout the project’s life-cycle is also pivotal. By doing this, you can identify changes and decide if new factors need to be added or involved. 

When it comes to managing projects, you need to be on top of everything. Conducting a SWOT analysis helps to lay it all out on the line easily and effectively. This way, you can visualize the most important details about your project. But, as you may already know, keeping track of hundreds of different details can be exhausting, which is why combining SWOT analysis with a gantt chart software can be a powerful combination for project managers. By keeping information centralized, you can quickly store, update, and share important details about your project with team members and stakeholders alike. 

By using a project management software like Instagantt, you can keep track of your analysis, and maintain a dashboard with the most relevant information regarding your projects, such as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you previously identified. Gantt charts is a simple yet effective way to keep your team together and focused on the work that needs to get done. Discover how this tool can help you improve your project management skills and performance. 

SWOT Analysis Example

SWOT Analysis Project Status Report Example

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