Thinking Inside The Boxes: SuperSWOT


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SuperSWOT is a brainstorming tool you can use with your team to focus your strategy. It goes beyond the traditional SWOT by taking your strengths and weaknesses and combining them with opportunities and threats in your market. It comes in very handy after you’ve done enough market research but haven’t figured out exactly what you want to do yet. It can also help validate or invalidate someone’s pet idea. During this conversational session, we’ll build a SuperSWOT together.

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  • This is a presentation of just one tool you can use when gathering and determining requirements for a consumer project or business.
  • There are methods available to help populate each of the SWOT boxes. Porter’s 5 Forces is great for Threats. Note: You can list the same thing in more than one box
  • I first learned Super SWOT at Stevens Institute of Technology as part of a larger framework for determining strategy. If you’re doing a web search, you will only find it listed under TOWS (SWOT backwards.)
  • Some forms of market research, analysis, competitor analysis, trends research, will make the SuperSWOT much more successful
  • Think of the colored boxes as being raw material, not the end result of a strategy. A common mistake is to put strategies into the colored boxes. When you cross weaknesses with opportunities or threats, your job is to determine ways of overcoming your weaknesses to take advantage of opportunities or take care of the threat.
  • Although you could do Super SWOT alone or virtually, I find that participants feed off each others’ ideas during the brainstorming. It’s also a great way of creating expectations for a group.
  • Thinking Inside The Boxes: SuperSWOT

    1. 1. THINKING INSIDE THEBOXES How to use Super SWOT to Discover Solutions By Charles Hammer, Senior Product Manager, John Wiley & Sons
    2. 2. Defining a SWOT SW OT  A method to evaluate a project or business venture  Helps break down issues into internal and external factors  Commonly used marketing or MBA method Drawing based on one by Xhienne,
    3. 3. More than SWOT: Super SWOT! What’s not s up e r about SWOT?  SWOT breaks down the p ro ble m , but it doesn’t provide s o lutio ns Super SWOT allows your team to collectively:  Create strategies by combining your strengths and weaknesses with what’s happening in the marketplace  Justify why a strategy fits into the bigger picture  Examine and mitigate for risk
    4. 4. When to do it
    5. 5. Super SWOT
    6. 6. Super SWOT LogisticsBefore Brainstorm: Gather strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from team Reserve 1.5 to 2 hours.  Two hours is better. Provide cookies or take a break halfway through.Meeting: Fill out strategies squares as a group. Use sticky sheets on walls Involve diverse set of people (tech, business, production, IA) Have separate note taker from facilitator An experienced facilitator will help greatlyW arnings:1. Don’t try to do this in less time.2. “Opportunities” confuses people. They are external trends in competition, marketplace or in general. They are not strategies.3. Don’t shortchange crossing weaknesses and threats. That’s where many risks are hidden.
    7. 7. Questions?