A SWOT analysis is a planning tool which seeks to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in a project or organisation. It's a framework for matching an organisation's goals, programmes and capacities to the environment in which it operates.

This factsheet examines the four elements of SWOT and the process of conducting an analysis. It provides tips for conducting the analysis and a ready-to-use SWOT analysis template. The factsheet concludes by looking at scenarios when a SWOT analysis is most appropriate, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

Carrying out a SWOT analysis

This factsheet was last updated by Susannah Haan, Senior Corporate Governance Adviser, CIPD

Susannah leads CIPD’s work on corporate governance and responsible business, including the role of HR in ESG, workforce reporting, leadership development and the role of non-executive directors. 

Related content

Case study
Transforming the HR operating model: NatWest Group

A case study of an HR function shifting from an Ulrich+ model towards an employee experience-driven model

Case study
Transforming the HR operating model: Tesco

A case study of a people function shifting to a four-pillar model to deliver a more consistent employee experience throughout the organisation

Thought leadership
How are organisations transforming their HR operating models?

We look at the main focus areas and share practical examples from organisations who are optimising their HR operating model

Factsheet
Job design

Explores the purpose and evolution of job design, its role in creating good work, and assessing job quality.

Explore our other factsheets

Factsheet
Employee engagement and motivation

Understand the concept of employee engagement and learn how to build an engaged and motivated workforce

Factsheet
Job design

Explores the purpose and evolution of job design, its role in creating good work, and assessing job quality.

Factsheet
The non-executive director role

Learn how non-executive directors (NEDs) differ from executive directors and how they operate within an organisation

For Members
Factsheet
Stress in the workplace

Learn how to identify the signs of stress and address stress at work

For Members
Factsheets