Tools and Concepts

SWOT - Gantt - Risk Analysis -  Skills Matrix - Communication....

  • Tools to help lead and manage
  • Focus on a specific subject
  • Bring numerous inputs together in such a way that an objective analysis can be performed
  • Assist people to give input – to feel and be included in the process
  • To develop a broad perspective of a situation
A little about the SWOT - an acronym representing the words

  • Strengths
  • The S and W are about the business - internal
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • The O and T are about external factors – legal / competition etc
  • Threats             

The process is that a group agrees on the specific topic to be analysed – something like a brainstorm only rather than input being scattered over the page, the input here is allocated to quadrants – single or multiple depending on whether the input specifically refers to a specific quadrant or more.

People put forward their input and it is recorded, when the flow stops, there is a collection of what could be seen as pros and cons about the subject – internal and external thought.

From this information a conclusion is drawn and then further development of the problem can occur – perhaps other tools will assist in further defining the situation such as a risk analysis or a gap analysis - see menu - thinking, communicating and inclusion for other tools

A SWOT is usually drawn as a matrix cross so that the different attributes can be clearly seen on one page.


Gantt charts
A Gantt chart is designed to deliver projects effectively. This process starts with gaining clarity about the objective and through inclusion of others (particularly those who will be implementing the objective) developing a full list of tasks to complete together with what resources may be required, what time lines, the time each task will take to complete, any task that requires another task to be completed before hand and more

The concept is that once a clear view of the objective is gained, the ‘team’ develop a list of tasks to be done. Once this is exhausted those tasks are identified into categories. The focus is given to seeing if any categories have been missed and then what ever tasks are required to complete those categories are identified. Just think how often simple things are missed that either hold up a project or cause more expense or less result?

Take a look at the example and that will help you to understand this process. The time lines are very important. It can be useful to note the date the project needs to be completed by and then work back wards to ensure that your actions will deliver ‘on time’.

Risk Analysis

It is important where an activity is going to be undertaken that consideration is given to any risks that are inherent.

Identify the risk and then consider what the probability of that risk occurring is then what the impact of that occurring would be. From there, (better in a team) develop other choices (mitigations) that would lessen the risk. Better defined before hand!

Skills matrix

This is where each task an individual is required to undertake in a 'position' is defined and then some value is given to their capability to undertake those duties is allotted.

This helps oin developing the team, in delegating and also helps others to see what is required in other positions in the organisation - career definition.

The values given may be about capable with supervision, able to undertake without supervision, able to teach others etc This material is valuable when conducting interviews as an objective measure.