Many Business Analysts will perform a SWOT Analysis within the roles at one time or another. This is a very important tool to evaluate the enterprise’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT Analysis is a means of pulling together the results of the examination of both the external environment within which a company operates and the internal environment.
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The SWOT Analysis technique provides a summary of the current situation of the organization, enabling the analyst to consider the following:
- The opportunities that is available to the organization.
- The threats that may cause problems or affect the ability of the organization to grasp opportunities.
- The strengths within the organization that may be harnessed in order to grasp the opportunities.
- The weaknesses that need to be addressed in order to prevent them undermining the performance of the organization.
External Environment Analysis
A technique which is often used to evaluate the external environment of the organisation is the PESTLE Technique. This technique supports the SWOT Analysis when identifying the Opportunities and Threats.
The PESTLE Technique provides a framework for examining the external influences that impact an organization and can shape how it develops and behaves. For example, changes in the technological area such as the increasing use of Internet technology has caused many organisations in the retail sector to introduce e-commerce ordering facilities for customers. Understanding these influences as a Business Analyst will enable the analyst to identify the major factors likely to have an impact on the organization. These factors will include opportunities for business development and expansion, and threats to the continued success of the business.
Internal Environment Analysis
The MOST Analysis Technique helps the analyst to understand a company’s current business strategy and the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This technique helps to support the Strengths and Weaknesses identified as part of the overall SWOT Analysis. The mnemonic represents the following areas:
- M – Mission: the defined mission of the organization should state what business the oganisation is in and what it is intending to achieve.
- O – Objectives: the goals against which the organisation’s achievements can be measured.
- S – Strategy: the approach that is going to be taken by the organization in order to achieve the objectives and mission.
- T – Tactics: the detailed means by which a strategy will be implemented.
Understanding what the organization defines as its business direction helps the analyst gain a more detailed appreciation of where the business system fits into the overall organization and its contribution to the business strategy. A lack of clarity of MOST definition, for example an unclear mission statement or few specific objectives, can also help to identify weaknesses in the organization.
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