How to Use SWOT in Social Care by anamaulida

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									A SWOT Analysis is possibly the best known and most widely used planning
tool in social care services. It is worth revisiting the basic principles
however.SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats,
and is particularly helpful in generating ideas and issues with a group
of people. A large square is drawn up and divided into four sections each
with one of the SWOT headings.The questions below are useful prompts for
discussion, and no judgements should be made about the issues identified,
however unorthodox. Once ideas have been exhausted and entries made under
each section, discussion can be encouraged about which factors are most
significant, what the priorities are, and how challenges can be
overcomeStrengths
What advantages does your organisation have?
  What do you do better than anyone else?
  What resources do you have access to?
  What do people see as your strengths?
  What factors mean that you deliver services effectively?
Weaknesses
What could you improve?
  What should you avoid?
  What are people likely to see as weaknesses?
  What factors limit your ability to deliver services?
Opportunities
Where are the good opportunities facing you?
  What are the interesting trends you are aware of?
  What benefits are there for service users?
Threats
What obstacles do you face?
  What is happening locally that you should be worried about?
  Are the requirements for your job or services changing?
  Is changing policy threatening your position?
  Could any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your project?
The aim of a SWOT analysis is to bring out all the issues, assumptions,
hopes and fears that different people have in a safe, non-judgmental
way.  We all work on the basis of assumptions, hopefully
informed ones, but there's always the danger of confusing assumptions
with facts. If you can be clear about what are the facts and what are
your assumptions at the start of a project, this will help you manage
risk and change more constructively later on.  By bringing these out
into the open through a SWOT analysis and reaching agreement on shared
assumptions, you have the basis for a successful project plan.

								
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