Example of SWOT Analysis Using a Prioritization Matrix
By Jibility Co-Founder Chuen Seet
In our last article, we provided a free template to help you conduct a SWOT analysis. But what should you do after completing your SWOT analysis? After all, a completed SWOT analysis gives you a current snapshot of your business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats…but it doesn’t provide an actionable plan for what to do next.
Today, we’ll be providing an example of SWOT analysis – and explaining how to translate your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats into actionable business initiatives. Then, we’ll map these initiatives on a prioritization matrix to help us determine the order of implementation based on Value and Effort vs Risk.
We invite you to download our SWOT Analysis template to follow along!
Example of SWOT Analysis
Below is an example of SWOT analysis for the furniture retail chain from our series on strategic planning:
As you can see, the furniture retail chain has fully mapped out its Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. However, the SWOT model doesn’t provide forward-looking solutions or any level of prioritization, so it’s up to us to translate this SWOT analysis example into something actionable.
Using a SWOT Analysis to Begin Building Out a Strategic Roadmap
A completed SWOT analysis provides components and insights that you can begin using to construct a solution-oriented strategic roadmap. At Jibility, we use six steps during strategic planning to create a roadmap.
We encourage you to download Jibility’s free strategic roadmap software so that you can follow these steps for your own organization using your SWOT analysis!
Lay out your challenges: You can use the Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats sections of your SWOT analysis to help identify the challenges that will need to be solved by your strategic vision. Looking at the SWOT analysis example above, it’s pretty clear that the furniture retail chain’s challenges center on:
- The need to expand into new markets, which will require identifying viable retail locations and building brand awareness in new markets.
- The need to improve their marketing capabilities to support growth in new and existing markets.
- The need to optimize their supply chains to reduce costs and accommodate additional locations.
Set your objectives: With the challenges defined, it’s time to set objectives that address each challenge. In this example, corresponding objectives for those challenges might include:
- Identify viable retail locations in 3 new markets by the end of 2023.
- Improve marketing capabilities ahead of the launch of the new retail locations.
- Increase market brand awareness in these new markets by Q1 2025.
- Optimize inventory management and transportation routes by Q2 2024.
- Add 24 electric vehicles by Q2 2026 to reduce energy costs for transportation.
Assess your capabilities: Next, it’s time to expand on your Strengths and Weaknesses to analyze what business capabilities you have in place that will help accomplish your objectives, as well as which ones you will need to invest in improving or creating. Looking at this SWOT analysis example, it’s clear that the furniture retail chain will need to significantly improve its marketing capabilities, while it already has a lot of the capabilities in place it will need to identify new locations and optimize its supply chain.
Determine your actions: After assessing your capabilities, it’s time to construct business actions to improve your capabilities to the level they will need to be in order to accomplish your objectives. For the furniture retail chain, most of these business actions will need to relate to their marketing capabilities. Actions to enable improved marketing capabilities include:
- Hire a marketing director.
- Conduct market research.
- Design awareness level marketing campaigns.
- Hire a freelance marketing agency.
- Hire a digital marketing manager.
However, the furniture retail chain will also need to design actions for their other capabilities as well, developing processes and budget for location scouting, supply chain analysis, and electric vehicle procurement.
Formulate your initiatives: Once you’ve created a list of business actions, it’s time to group them in related packages of work for implementation. These are known as business initiatives. The furniture retail chain groups their actions into the following initiatives:
- Identify new retail locations.
- Prioritize new retail locations.
- Improve in-house marketing capabilities
- Execute marketing campaigns.
- Optimize supply chains.
Generate your roadmap: The furniture retail chain is using Jibility to generate their strategic roadmap based on the information they uncovered during the previous five steps. This will save their organization time, help them stay organized, improve collaboration, and ensure they don’t overlook anything. But, before generating your roadmap, it’s important to prioritize your initiatives to determine the optimal order for implementation. This is where a prioritization matrix comes into play!
How to Use a Prioritization Matrix
Like a SWOT analysis, a prioritization matrix also consists of a 2×2 matrix. However, unlike a SWOT analysis, which organizes the quadrants of the matrix clockwise into Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats, a prioritization matrix divides the quadrants into:
- Challenge (High Risk, High Value)
- Implement (Low Risk, High Value)
- Possible (Low Risk, Low Value)
- Reconsider (High Risk, Low Value)
Also, unlike the SWOT analysis example, which simply documents a static view of a business, a prioritization matrix contains actionable forward-looking initiatives that can be prioritized for implementation based on Risk/Effort vs Value.
Jibility contains an interactive 2×2 prioritization matrix, so once you’ve derived initiatives from your SWOT analysis, you can compare them against each other to determine the optimal order for implementation. Below is the prioritization matrix that was generated from our SWOT analysis example.
With the initiatives in place, the furniture retail chain is ready to generate their roadmap – a visual document that organizes their initiatives across a time horizon, which can be easily shared throughout their organization. After the implementation of their strategic plan, they will need a new SWOT analysis – which should contain far more Strengths, fewer Weaknesses, new Opportunities, and fewer Threats!