As a business analyst, you’ll often be asked to assess not where a company should go, but where it is now. And that’s a whole new challenge. For starters, you’ll not only have to identify problems, but you’ll also have to report on what’s working.
The question: if one element is working, should it be improved on or left alone? When you’re faced with this situation, you may find yourself in hot water with stakeholders. Keep in mind that if someone feels responsible for success, it can be painful to critique it.
Never forget: as a business analyst, you’re in the business of solutions. But in order to offer transformation while keeping company morale intact, the SWOT analysis method will deliver that delicate balance you’ve been searching for.
Take the business analysis blueprint to construct your next successful SWOT analysis.
Identify and Hone the Strengths
When you think about an organization’s strengths, it feels natural to point them out, and subsequently move on to the weaknesses. But just because one facet of a business is strong, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved.
When you identify the strengths, think about the WHY behind it. What is it that works? Point that out, before you identify where to make improvements.
Spot and Highlight the Weaknesses
Identifying problems might just be the very core element of providing solutions. In creating something that works, you eliminate something that doesn’t. And those two things can’t exist without each other.
However, the most overlooked item with respect to highlighting weaknesses, is forgetting the reasoning behind it. If there’s a “hole in the boat” so to speak, you’ve got to find out how it got there.
In going deep into the reasoning for a weakness, you create lasting solutions, instead of temporary ones. It’s a matter of cause and effect. The weakness is the effect, but it’s up to the BA to find the root cause.
I’ve used the term “create” instead of “find,” because as a BA that’s what you’re good at! Use this term in your conversation with stakeholders, and you’ll see that you’ll be given more trust a lot of the time.
This is not about finding problems—it’s about exposing potential problems. As you write up a SWOT analysis report, take the proactive and predictive approach to your analysis.
In doing so, explain the reasoning behind each threat on the horizon. In this way, you establish yourself as an expert, because not only do you tackle problems that exist, but you prevent them from happening in the future.
For priceless information on building your reports, check out my upcoming live training that reveals the must-know information to be successful in the BA world.