Checklist for Conducting a SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis guides you to identify the positives and negatives inside your organization and outside of it in the external environment. Program directors and management teams can use this resource in short or long-term planning. This checklist summarizes the major points for conducting a SWOT analysis.


___ At your meeting or retreat, designate a leader or group facilitator.

___ Designate a recorder if your group is large. Use newsprint on a flip chart or a large board to record the analysis and discussion points.

___ Introduce the SWOT method and its purpose in your organization.

___ Divide your stakeholders into smaller groups (of three to 10, depending on your size). Mix the small groups to get a range of perspectives, and give people a chance to introduce themselves.

___ Direct each group to designate a recorder, and provide each with newsprint or dry-erase board. Instruct them to create a SWOT analysis in the format you choose -a chart, columns, a matrix, or even a page for each quality.

___ Give the groups 20-30 minutes to brainstorm and fill out their own strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats chart for your program, initiative or effort.

___ Reconvene the group to share results, recording on the flip-chart or board. Collect and organize the differing groups' ideas and perceptions by asking for results from one group at a time or by opening the floor to all groups. Use one of the following orders to record results:

  • S-W-O-T order, recording strengths first, weaknesses second, etc.
  • Top priority order for each category -the strongest strength, most dangerous
  • weakness, biggest opportunity, worst threat.

___ Discuss insights, repeated items, and cross connections between categories -"This strength plays into that opportunity

___ Use the results to support your purpose for the meeting:

  • Come to some consensus about most important items in each category.
  • Relate the analysis to your vision, mission, and goals.
  • Translate the analysis to action plans and strategies.

___ If appropriate, prepare a written summary of the SWOT analysis for participants to use in planning and implementing your effort.

Renault, Val. Checklist for Conducting a SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Community Assessment, Agenda Setting, and Choice of Broad Strategies. Community Tool Box. University of Kansas. n.d. English.

Last Reviewed: October 2012

Last Updated: August 10, 2015