Strategic Planning: SWOT Analysis

SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal to a company (i.e. they can be directly influenced by company action or inaction). Opportunities and threats are external to the company (i.e. circumstances which may or may not arise in the outside environment and over which the company has no control). So the purpose of a SWOT is to actively promote the identified strengths, minimize weaknesses by planning them out of existence, exploit the opportunities before the window closes and have contingency plans in place to minimize threats before they materialize.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

In 1987, jump-starting a small, slowly growing U.S. quality movement, Congress established the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to promote quality awareness, to recognize quality and business achievements of U.S. organizations, and to publicize these organizations’ successful performance strategies. Now considered America’s highest honor for performance excellence, the President of the United States presents the Baldrige Award annually to U.S. organizations. Awards are given in manufacturing, service, small business, and, starting in 1999, education and health care. In conjunction with the private sector, the National Institute of Standards and Technology designed and manages the award and the Baldrige National Quality Program.

Click here to download the Strategic Planning templates.