SWOT Analysis – Simplified

SWOT analysis is integral part of ‘determination of success factors’ while planning annual goals and building strategy. This blog post focuses on two key elements – ‘How to segregate business processes at large demarcated between Internal and External elements?’ and ‘ Simple method to run SWOT analysis of sub-processes with one example each from Internal and External processes?’.

Element 1 : Segregate Business Processes

Business processes can be segregated among 4 pillars – Finance, Sales, Operations and Human Resources. Lets divide some key business process among these pillars for manufacturing :


internal external processes

I an in love with the above image which classifies processes beautifully. Internal Processes are grouped under group 1. Blue color denotes Finance process and its sub-processes, orange color denotes Sales process, pink denotes Internal Processes and green denotes HR process.  Group 2 contains external processes. Red denoting typical stake holders and typical key elements. Yellow denoting SEPTEM which is important Social, Economical, Political, Tech, Environmental and Legal aspect can affect business situation.

These internal and external processes can vary depending on nature of business a company has got. The above list is very generic for a manufacturing / service organization. These processes can be further tiered so that specific actions can be identified for work groups withing plants/ sites. Lets look at example of internal process number 1.10 production and lets see a typical example of further tiered level of its further processes. Similarly lets look at example of external process number 2.9 technological and lets see a typical example of its further tiered levels.

internal external processes-sub processes


Element 2 : Running Template for each sub-process to arrive at SWOT results  

Segregation of processes is key to arrive at good planning and to produce successful SWOT outcome. Once processes and sub-processes are identified. A simple template can be run for each process. Lets review one internal process example for sub process 1.10.4 Scrap.

internal SWOT example.png


Lets review one external process example for sub process 1.9.3 New Product Technology.

external SWOT example.png

After collecting results for each sub-process by template-run involving relevant work groups withing organization, one ends up summarizing SWOT summary. This SWOT summary is important element of ‘ Determine Success Factor’ while evolving annual plan in annual strategy meeting of organization.

The SWOT summary can look like below template with clearly defined priority level, activity proposal and savings value.

SWOT summary.png

It provides immense impact on organization planning process to complete SWOT Summary and use it as an input to ‘Determine Success Factor’.

With focused template approach the ‘Annual Goal Setting’ exercise can be completed in 1 day of execution and some planning ahead. SWOT workshop can be completed in half day with multiple groups handling set of processes.

For more details about ‘SWOT’ and ‘Annual Goal Setting‘ process and free templates reach out to author at or +919810637103.  All the best.



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Why ERP Implementation Fails?

There are a number of things which goes into planning an ERP implementation project. There are success factors which can contribute towards success if given right attention. The failure reasons described in this blog can become those success factors. The top three reasons majority of implementation fails in the priority order are user engagement, master data quality control and sustenance strategy. Let us look at them individually.


User Engagement

In one of the auto-component company manufacturing site in Sankt Michael, Austria the schedules to vendors were not going because the local plant team could not run the MRP – Material Requirement Planning – Module of SAP. While there was no problem on same topic at another manufacturing site of same company at Munich, Germany going live on SAP simultaneously. Both teams spent similar time for training local users. When investigated what is understood that there was time allocated and users attended training but there was no clear tool to assess whether users have learned what is required to transact post go live. A company need to plan assessments by conducting ‘day in a live scenario’ pre-go-live to ensure success in one go. The troubleshooting team recovered the situation by rushing some central core team resources to site to run MRP module – this resulted in logistics on halt for 2 days which was avoidable.


Master Data Quality Control

Vendor quota numbers were entered incorrect in the master data resulting into wrong procurement quantity in vendor schedule at manufacturing site of same auto-component company at New Delhi site in India. The data upload happens very close to go live date. The last minute hustle can be killing if proper quality control is not in place. One aspect that can help is multi-tiered control layer. Secondly a high frequency tracker is very helpful to check if each tier is able to complete task in time and within quality standard. Lastly data validation checks need to be performed and enough correction time needs to be granted as in the absence of such buffer time team leader tend to skip some checks or delay go live date. The validation checks can be simple like all routing data in a production organization sums to appropriate cost of produced item.


Sustenance Strategy

A well tiered help-desk function, tracking of business value additions and augmenting new features plan can ensure stabilization, stake holder motivation and growing value add to business respectively.

A well tiered help desk can mean below structure or what may work in your org like-

Users (example – Production Planning executive)

Key Users – supports Users (example – central planning project core team member)

Consulting Partner – supports Key Users  ( example – IBM)

Product Partner – supports Consulting Partner (example – SAP)

Tracking of business value additions can be additional reports like ‘New Product Development Profitability reports’ using ABAP/other developments. This can include launch of any further DSS – Decision Support System – layer. This layer sits at Level 5 of ISA95 from data collection and usage perspective. This can ensure constantly improved motivation of stake holders of various business processes.

New Feature Plan can ensure continued value addition to business by launching additional features like Ware House Management , Customer Relationship Management as future modules. Thus making the implementation process a continuously evolving and enriching process for organization.


In summary the top three major success factors user engagement, master data quality control and sustenance strategy are discussed. The project scope involves large number of aspects so it also important to focus on overall planning process. Visit change implementation blog to see more elements.  In addition the importance of promotion of project withing organization, making sure process owners in the business are engaged from beginning till end with clear deliverable association, a full time project team as organization of change along with operational team which has process owner who are responsible for final delivery through their teams are very important for project success.