Who do we share the results of the SWOT analysis with?

We've completed the SWOT analysis of the organization and its current processes and tools, but who do we share the results of the SWOT analysis with?
The results of an effective SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) are meant to be shared… with care! Chances are, you've conducted the analysis in order to understand and prioritize business needs or gaps, or to help evaluate a solution. But the business won't truly benefit from the analysis until you share the results.

A SWOT analysis generates two sets of information: it identifies what's wrong or harmful in a current process, organization, etc., to help clarify what needs to be changed; and it identifies the areas to capitalize on as assets, and the opportunities for further expansion of business opportunity or practice. Therefore, the results can be given as a statement that articulates the problem and what can be done to fix it, or as objectives for future efforts to improve.

Because a SWOT analysis covers highly sensitive areas (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats—yikes!), people can be nervous about how broadly the information is shared and how the results are worded—especially when the SWOT analysis targets a team, functional area, or individual. Look to the stakeholder assessment and communication plan to assess who should receive the results of the analysis, which will include project's Sponsor and significant Stakeholders. But you'll increase your capital with the business partners if you involve them in discussions about what, when, how, and with whom you'll share the SWOT results before you publish your analysis. Very often, the business will want to communicate no more than a summary version of the results.

It's also a good idea to give the people who participated in the analysis a chance to see what you recorded and how you summarized it, to validate that you're on the right track. If you're unable to make the notes visible during discussions of the analysis, be sure to share them shortly after, to allow the participants to reflect on what was captured during the discussion, and suggest any necessary corrections.

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