Conducting a SWOT Analysis
A clear objective should be stated in advance of any SWOT analysis meeting, and the project manager must take responsibility for communicating this aim to the team. When the purpose of the analysis is to improve teamwork then every member of the project team should be present in person. This requirement can invariably cause problems with geographically diverse teams but is an essential factor in genuinely improving teamwork.
For analysis sessions that are being run at the beginning of the project, the aim is to motivate the team by putting in place a detailed plan that lists all necessary tasks and highlights possible risks and also takes into account the ideas and concerns of the team members. Where the analysis is being done partway through a project that has run into difficulties, then the purpose may be to rebuild the confidence and enthusiasm of the team by enabling a brainstorming of ideas for bringing the project back on track.
Since the purpose of each SWOT analysis varies, the questions that need to be used to gather all the necessary information, thoughts and ideas can be very different from project to project. It is, therefore, difficult to pre-define an appropriate list of questions that would be suitable for every situation. However, every session does require some questions to be documented and distributed in advance to assist the team in remaining focused and to allow them the opportunity to gather appropriate information before the meeting.
So listed below are sample questions covering each of the four sections of a SWOT analysis designed to improve teamwork. Many of these questions apply to more than one heading, and during the session it is likely that questions will be added to each section as ideas are formulated and opinions voiced.