Marketing Principles Group Project Assignment
How to SWOT
Identify the problems. Teaching cases are typified by the presentation of a problem, or sometimes multiple problems, for the reader to systematically solve through the case analysis process. After initially reading or skimming the case, you should read through the case again for the purpose of determining what problems the main character (principal) in the case is faced with solving.
Analyze the situation. After determining the problem faced in the case, you need to analyze the situation surrounding the focal organization in the case. At the core of this analysis is a SWOT analysis (SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). Within the organization, what strengths and weaknesses does the company have? Externally, or outside the organization, what opportunities may be available to the organization and what threats could it face? If you are unfamiliar with a SWOT analysis, you can find a wealth of resources on the topic through an Internet search or at a library. Also note that other types of situational analysis techniques may be available other than the SWOT analysis.
Generate potential solutions. The next step in the case analysis is the most creative element, in which you generate a list of potential solutions to the problems faced in the case. This is a brainstorming activity, although it is typical to narrow the list of potential solutions to the two to four most reasonable options for solving the problem.
Evaluate potential solutions. After developing, and potentially narrowing, a list of potential solutions, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages, or pros and cons, of each. With each solution, what are its positive and negative characteristics and potential consequences if implemented? Is the solution practical to implement? Effective managers are able to analyze the virtues of each potential solution in the future, as well as what pitfalls could occur.
Choose the optimal solution. The final step in the case analysis process is to choose the best solution. Based on the advantages and disadvantages of the potential solutions examined in the previous two steps of this process, which do you believe is the right choice for the case principal and organization to take? Most important, you need to be able to support and defend this choice. Be prepared to answer the question of why you believe it’s the right choice and back up your choice with facts, data, or examples.
Potential Questions to Ask
A SWOT analysis will answer these questions:
What are the internal strengths and weakness of your company?
What are the external opportunities and threats in your industry and its environment?
Can any weaknesses be converted to strengths? Any threats into opportunities?
How can your company take advantage of strengths and opportunities?
What strategic changes can your company implement as a result of the SWOT analysis?