SWOT is a Powerful Tool for Product Development
SWOT is a powerful tool for maximizing strategic planning and product development. It takes an unbiased look at your product allowing you to lean into your strengths while resolving potential gaps or problems. By leveraging this information in product development, you can create more relevant, useful, and profitable products.
The SWOT techniques explore the positives and negatives of your product of both internal and external origins.
Strengths and weaknesses are of internal origin. Strengths are the factors that help your product achieve its objective. Intelligent UX design and good use of machine learning technology are good examples of strengths. A failure to use automation for manual tasks could be a weakness. Weaknesses are items that are harmful to achieving the objectives of a product.
Opportunities and threats are factors of external origin. You cannot control these, but you can control how your product is prepared to handle them. An opportunity is something that pops up that you can leverage, such as favorable news stories or technological breakthroughs. A threat is something that comes up that you cannot control, such as a direct competitor entering your space.
Conducting a SWOT analysis for product development helps to increase your capabilities and agility.
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis
1. Choose Who to Involve
Before you begin, it’s important to establish who will be involved in the SWOT analysis. Often, this includes team members, investors, outside consultants, and customers. A diverse pool of insights and skills increases the overall scope and value of the analysis.
As well, you must determine the roles and responsibilities of those participating. Determine who will be leading the process, running the meetings, and keeping notes. Clear roles, organized tasks, and reporting structures ensure a smooth process and minimize redundancies
2. Collect Relevant Data
Next, determine which data is most relevant to developing your product. Start with what is most important to the functionality, objectives, and how your product will be used. As you begin to build out your SWOT chart, having a clear picture of what information is most important can eliminate the noise.
Collect relevant data through all sources. Hard data and soft data are both important for product development.
With all relevant data and information gathered, begin brainstorming. Explore and discuss potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats found in the data. As well, consider what other data and information might be necessary to complete the analysis.
4. Hone-In on Factors You Can Control
Begin to take a hard look at the factors that you can control identified within the SWOT chart. What strengths can you lean on to give your product an edge? What do you need to implement to minimize or eliminate weaknesses?
Although opportunities and threats are outside of your control, you can control how you manage them. What action plans should you put in place to respond to like threats and opportunities that may arise?
How to Use SWOT for New Products or Services
As your SWOT analysis identifies new technologies, features, and/or functions that need improvements or development, you need a plan to implement them. Use your analysis to inform a product roadmap.
Create a timeline of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done (and in what sequence), and who is responsible for each task. Building out a clear product roadmap ensures you don’t miss any important tasks while keeping you on track to meet deadlines and hit launch goals.
Your opportunities and strengths, in particular, are great to focus on when developing your marketing plan. Use the biggest benefits of your product to construct the most compelling messaging for marketing. Leveraging opportunities, you can help to spread messaging further and/or enhance the value of your product benefits.
Understanding where your product excels helps to better align with who your most relevant customers are. Use this to improve your communications with the market.
When pitching to potential investors and partners, a SWOT analysis is a great way to show that you understand your product and its place in the market. It shows your expertise as well as identifying clear plans for future improvements.
As well, it provides another way to highlight the potential of your product.
Choosing MVP Features
Leverage the information from your SWOT analysis to provide insights on the most valuable features to include in your MVP. Take advantage of strengths and opportunities to develop an MVP that is more relevant and useful to your core market.
As well, examine your weaknesses and potential threats to determine the most important areas to create product improvements. Assess where your current product is lacking and fix or replace the problematic features.
Develop Better Digital Products
In an overcrowded market for digital products, you need an edge to develop products that stand out. Torinit is the strategic partner you need. Our professional and technological services and expertise help you create scalable, revenue-generating products.