We would probably all agree heartily to Benjamin Franklin’s statement, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” That sentiment begs this question, “So how should we plan”?

There are many planning tools out there that we all use. One of my favorites is the SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis is used when planning a project or business venture. Let’s break it down this way:

  • Strengths: what strategic advantage will this opportunity give us that we do not currently have?
  • Weaknesses: what are the inherit weaknesses that this initiative might bring?
  • Opportunities: are there new opportunities that would be possible if we tried this project?
  • Threats: what are the threats to the success of this project and or are there any threats to our organization if we attempt this action?

If you are looking for a deeper explanation, simply Google SWOT Analysis and there are a myriad of sites that can deepen your understanding.

When it comes to the “T” I like to add in the idea of a pre-mortem to dig deeper. Rather than evaluate the failure- what if we asked the question – “If this initiative fails – what would that look like and how would it happen”?

Your turn: What planning tools do you find helpful?