Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis

Retrospective Idea – explore strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of individuals or the whole team.

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What is the SWOT Analysis?

The SWOT Analysis is a tool that supports team building while delivering a review of the internal and external factors that influence a team’s performance. Participants define the (s) Strengths, {W) Weaknesses, (O) Opportunities and (T) Threats they encountered then shape their next steps with these in mind.

The SWOT framework was created by Albert Humphry. Its aim was to support a business strategy within the context of the marketplace. Strengths and weaknesses refer to internal factors while opportunities and threats align to external factors. The framework is now used more broadly to help deliver realistic, attainable objectives while minimizing risk and maximizing efficiency.

The SWOT Analysis works as a team-building activity as it helps team members gain insight into each other. It also translates well into a futurespective that can help shape a high-level strategy going forward.

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SWOT Analysis format

Strengths

What advantages do we have over others? What resources, skills and knowledge do we possess? What gives us confidence?

Weaknesses

What weaknesses do we have relative to others? Where are we underequipped? What are our knowledge gaps?

Opportunities

What could we do to exploit our advantages? What can we capitalize on based on our strengths?

Threats

What could negatively impact us? What could threaten our success? What have we seen derail us in the past?

This style of retrospective can be used when your team is having trouble completing a task. Having the ability to see what has been slowing you down and what you have achieved despite this, can be helpful in providing confidence when trying to complete a difficult task.

Suggested icebreaker questions for the SWOT Analysis

  • Do you think strengths are more important than opportunities? Explain why.
  • Do you see extroversion as a strength or weakness?
  • What do you think is the best way to deal with a threat?

Retro Rehearsal

Apply the SWOT Analysis to the recent purchase of a puppy. Define the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats this may reveal.

With the input in mind, after buying a puppy, what would be your next step?

Ideas and tips for your SWOT Analysis

  • Looking for a way to disrupt groupthink or not let a good idea go to waste? Why not give an asynchronous SWOT Analysis a try! As well as offering your team a platform to focus on the project priorities, it allows team members space to contribute their own thoughts in their own time.
  • Keep your team agreements in view during your retrospective. Remember you can add to them at any time.
  • Seeking to support a psychologically safe space? Switch up your retrospective to allow participants to offer their input anonymously – all voices will be heard at the same volume and ideas rather than the person who suggested them will be the focus.
  • Make the most of your presentation mode and drill down into ideas at the brainstorming, grouping as well as discussion stages of your analysis. This will let those who contributed the input the chance to explain and feel heard.
  • Use the way teams vote to manage priorities. This allows you to discuss key items and then move them into the relevant groups or columns as needed.

How to run a SWOT Analysis in TeamRetro

Start Agile Retrospective

Start your retrospective in a click
Log into TeamRetro and choose your sprint retrospective template.

Invite Your Team
Invite your team easily – no separate accounts needed
Send an email invite, a link or add to your Slack channel to get people started quickly. SSO options are also available.
Agile Retrospective Brainstorm
Time to brainstorm
Each team member can now brainstorm individually under each topic. This avoids group think and allows everyone to have their say. They can indicate when they have finished, or you can set a timer so that you know when to move onto the next stage.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Group related ideas
Drag and drop  related ideas to combine them for easier voting. TeamRetro can also automatically suggest ideas that are similar, saving you and your team valuable time.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting
Vote independently to avoid anchoring
Each team member votes on what they would most like to discuss further. The results won’t be displayed to everyone until you advance to Discuss.
Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Discuss the most important things first
You and your team discuss the top voted ideas and can capture deep dive comments.  Presentation mode allows you to walk your team through ideas one-by-one and keep the conversation focused.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Review and create actions

Easily facilitate discussion by bringing everyone onto the same page. Create action items, assign owners and due dates that will carry through for review at the next retrospective.

Grouping of ideas after brainstorming in a retrospective meeting

Share the results
Once you have finished your retro, you can share the results and actions with the team. Your retro will be stored so you can revisit them as needed.

Congratulations! You’ve just run a retro like a boss.
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