Page 3: Identifying the challenges
A SWOT analysis is a useful tool for identifying the challenges facing an organisation at a particular time. SWOT stands for:
- Strengths of the organisation
- Weaknesses of the organisation
- Opportunities in the external environment
- Threats in the external environment.
The strengths and weaknesses usually lie in the reputation and resources of an organisation. Opportunities tend to be found in changes in the market place. Threats arise from what competitors are doing, and also from external pressures such as government initiatives eg the Planning Policy Guidance Note No.3: Housing (PPG3). PPG3 stresses the importance of developing brownfield sites for urban regeneration. A SWOT analysis is intended to convert identified weaknesses into strengths, and seeming threats into opportunities. This is what Bryant Homes is seeking to do through its new positioning strategy.
In carrying out a SWOT, it is important to be honest about both weaknesses and strengths. The SWOT is, in effect, an audit of where a company stands at a particular point in time. In 2000, Bryant Homes carried out a SWOT to identify ways of moving the company forward. Some elements of this SWOT are illustrated overleaf.
Planners at Bryant Homes saw immediately that they needed to take on the challenges resulting from PPG3 and from increased competition in a crowded market place. The company devised a focused strategy that would build on the Bryant reputation while at the same time creating new approaches based on meeting customer requirements.