The Business Diamond Framework™ (along with the 3i Methodology™) is a guide that helps practitioners know which tools to use, and when. The SWOT analysis is one of dozens of tools used in the Business Diamond Framework™.
Normally a single SWOT analysis might be applied to the entire business (or business unit). But with the Framework, a SWOT analysis is used slightly differently:
- During the Insight stage, the SWOT analysis should be applied to each of the Function Diamonds (Leadership, Support, Value-Add, and To-Market).
- Then, during the Innovation stage, the SWOT analysis is applied to each of the Function Diamonds again.
At first glance, this looks like a lot of work — four times as much! — but what practitioners end up with is a focused use of the tool; rather than asking “what are our business’ strengths?”, they end up asking far more focused questions: “what are the strengths of our leadership?” (or “what are the strengths of our support structure?” etc.). Practitioners may end up with a few more points in each of the SWOT sections (although not as many as you might first assume), and those data points will be far more effective than the broad (and perhaps more biased) observations from a general SWOT application.
- I’ve found in practice that you end up creating a lot of content for the Strengths and Weaknesses portion of a SWOT during the Insight stage and a lot of content for the Opportunities and Threats portion of a SWOT during the Innovation stage.
- A good starting place for more details about SWOT analysis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis.
- You’re probably already familiar with the basic SWOT analysis, but some interesting data-visualization work has been done in SWOT analysis landscapes which you can start reading about here.
- I have a theory that there is a Wiki for everything. Check out WikiSWOT.