SWOT

A very common process used for planning. It’s essentially a way to list the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats related to a business, project or plan that you’re taking on. It’s supposed to lay everything out for you so that you can achieve your goals.2000px-SWOT_en.svg

It also splits these four categories into internal and external issues. Strengths and weaknesses are internal, while opportunities and threats are external. You can apply what is called matching and converting too. Matching is where you link strengths and objectives together, while converting is making your weaknesses and threats into strengths and opportunities.

It’s all fairly straight forward and is a simple way to visualise different aspects of the task ahead.

SWOT has been around for quite sometime now with its origins in the 60s. Since then a number of other Tools have popped up that that try to help with strategic planning as SWOT does but from different angles.

SCORE

Like SWOT, it’s a strategy methodology and checklist:

  • Strengths
  • Challenge
  • Options
  • Responses
  • Effectiveness
  • Like SWOT, used for quick assessment of strategic issues
  • Unlike SWOT , the results should be measurable
    • Hence “What’s the SCORE”
  • Unlike SWOT, SCORE should be assessed both before and after actions.
    • Supports continuous improvement

The intention of SCORE is to create a very clear and concise roadmap to success by identifying measurable outcomes and monitoring them and measuring them before and after and action, it does this very well.

SOAR

SOAR is a great tool and a little bit more in depth than both SWOT and SCORE

  • Strengths
  • Opportunities
  • Aspirations
  • Results

Self, Opportunity, Aspirations and Results are key elements in the ‘SOARing to Success’ . SOAR is a strategic planning tool that focuses an oraganisation on its current strengths and vision of the future for developing its strategic goals.

SOAR_diagram-filtered

When conducting a SOAR analysis, the basic questions to be answered are:

  1. What are our greatest strengths?
  2. What are our best opportunities?
  3. What is our preferred future?
  4. What are the measurable results that will tell us we’ve achieved that vision of the future?

Benefits

  • Engages representatives from every level of the organization to have shared conversations and input on strategy and strategic planning. Resistance to change is minimized and employees are more likely to commit to goals and objectives they helped create.
  • Flexible and scalable, so planning and decision making can be adjusted to fit an organization’s needs and culture.
  • Building on the organization’s strengths produces greater results than spending time trying to correct weaknesses.

NOISE

Created by Michael Cardus of Creative Learning, NOISE stands for:

  • Needs
  • Opportunities
  • Improvements
  • Strengths
  • Exceptions

A method that uses solution-focused language and is able to build upon the teams existing knowledge and goals

Objectives

When planning, determining what we want to have happen & understanding the road-blocks are necessary. Developing knowledge plus skills to navigate the plan allows us to choose focus points & what to eliminate. The NOISE analysis is a planning technique of looking at what is working and determining areas to improve. It gives us a format to explore opportunities that we may know about or be missing. When we understand the NOISE conditions, we can create a path towards the future that allows the company or team or project to flourish.

image_thumb2

All these tools have there place in analysis. It about choosing the right tool for the situation and being flexible enough to realise that if one tool is not giving you the insight you need to try another.

NOISE Analysis Process

Hopefully this post has shown you some options if SWOT isn’t getting you where you need to go.

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