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SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) is a strategic planning and strategic management technique used to help a person or organization identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition or project planning. It is sometimes called situational assessment or situational analysis. Additional acronyms using the same components include TOWS and WOTS-UP.
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This technique is designed for use in the preliminary stages of decision-making processes and can be used as a tool for evaluation of the strategic position of organizations of many kinds (for-profit enterprises, local and national governments, NGOs, etc.). It is intended to identify the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving the objectives of the venture or project. Users of a SWOT analysis often ask and answer questions to generate meaningful information for each category to make the tool useful and identify their competitive advantage. SWOT has been described as a tried-and-true tool of strategic analysis, but has also been criticized for its limitations, and alternatives have been developed.