11 SWOT analysis templates for decision making
Building a comprehensive business or product strategy is no simple task — but it is critical for establishing a vision that can lead your team to success. There are a number of important elements to consider when planning how to turn your product ideas into viable solutions that customers love. Strategic planning templates can help make this process easier and more organized.
One of the most common strategic planning templates is a SWOT analysis template — strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Many business leaders and product managers use SWOT analysis templates to get a clear picture of internal and external factors influencing their success.
Folks using Aha! software can conduct this analysis in either Aha! Notebooks or Aha! Roadmaps — both of which come with built-in SWOT templates to streamline this work. You can also use the Excel and PowerPoint templates found in this guide.
Customize a SWOT analysis template in Aha! Notebooks. Sign up for a free trial.
Jump ahead to access the templates and get tips on building your own SWOT analysis:
What is a SWOT analysis?
SWOT, an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, is a tool that can help reveal which aspects of your product or business are the strongest and where there is room to improve your offering for your customers. You can also uncover opportunities and challenges for your product in the competitive landscape — such as new strategic partners or shifting customer sentiment.
Most SWOT analyses assess internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats). Internal factors are characteristics of your business or product in relation to your competitors. External factors, on the other hand, are elements of your market landscape that could positively or negatively impact the success of your business.
For example, say that you are experiencing a decrease in users signing up for free trials of your software. If the issue is due to limited marketing resources to promote the free trials, then this would be considered an internal weakness. But if it is due to a competitor introducing their own free trials and capturing more market share, it is an external threat.
By incorporating a SWOT analysis exercise into your strategic planning, you take steps toward minimizing risk and maximizing the potential value of your products. While a SWOT analysis can be a helpful tool at the company level, this guide focuses on how product teams work through the exercise. Product leaders conduct SWOT analyses during strategic planning — to identify what their product is doing well, where it can improve, and how it fits in the competitive landscape.
Product managers should write a competitive review, complete a SWOT analysis, fill in a business canvas framework, or simply craft a one-pager on the product’s positioning. They key is to immerse yourself in a product, company or market ecosystem that you are interested in. And writing will force you to do your homework and think critically.Brian de Haaff
Aha! co-founder and CEO
SWOT analysis examples
The specific components of your SWOT analysis will be unique to your organization and products. But to help you start thinking about each of these components, here are some examples of the four elements of any SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Keep in mind that a SWOT analysis is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, you should incorporate it into your existing strategic planning and research efforts. Use SWOT analysis in concert with other business models and exercises to gain a holistic understanding of your customers, competitors, and the market landscape.
Steps for creating your own SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis is meant to be a quick, high-level exercise — sparking meaningful discussions where you dig deeply into key facets of your product strategy. Here are the four basic steps:
1. Identify product strengths Discuss and document the attributes that give your product an advantage over other similar products. These can be specific features, your customer service, integrations — whatever sets your product apart and delights your customers. (And if you are not sure, ask them.)
2. Identify product weaknesses Identifying your product's weaknesses is just as important as pinpointing its strengths. The weaknesses section of a SWOT analysis is an internal assessment of the elements that put your product at a disadvantage when compared to alternatives in the market. For example, a weakness could be a feature that customers love in competitor products but your product currently lacks.
3. Identify existing opportunities Opportunities are usually external to your product and can range from possible partnerships to new markets. These can also be future product expansion opportunities — unmet customer needs that your team has identified and prioritized based on potential value.
4. Identify potential threats Threats are typically external factors that might negatively impact the success of your product — anything from economic factors to emerging technology. Ultimately, these threats are obstacles facing the business that could adversely affect the product's future.
The Excel and PowerPoint templates in this guide are a great starting point for SWOT analysis. But strategic planning is even more effective when it is tied to your product roadmap. Try the template in Aha! Notebooks to conduct a SWOT analysis with your team in a free note-taking and whiteboarding tool. If you need more sophisticated product development software, use the SWOT template in Aha! Roadmaps — where you can then set strategy and build your product plans all in one place.
If you are ready for more sophisticated product development software, use the SWOT template in Aha! Roadmaps. You can set strategy, collaborate with teammates to fill in your SWOT matrix, and then build your product plans all in one place. The entire team can easily refer back to the SWOT analysis during each stage of the product lifecycle, from ideation to launch and beyond. (More on how to use Aha! software to do this below!)
SWOT analysis templates
Now, let's get to the templates. Feel free to customize these to adjust the information and layout you need.
Select one of the SWOT templates in Aha! software:
Or choose a SWOT template in Excel:
And here are additional SWOT templates that you can add to a PowerPoint presentation:
Aha! Notebooks SWOT analysis template
This template in Aha! Notebooks is ideal for conducting an interactive SWOT analysis on a virtual whiteboard. After completing your analysis, use the built-in action plan matrix to highlight areas you will invest in. You can share the whiteboard with colleagues and ask them to add their perspectives.
Aha! Roadmaps SWOT analysis template
The SWOT analysis template in Aha! Roadmaps is one of several strategic planning models that come with a Roadmaps account — in addition to Lean Canvas, Porter’s 5 forces, a Segment profile, and a 10Ps marketing matrix. Building a strategic model in the same tool you use for roadmapping and workflow management helps everyone incorporate strategic thinking into daily work.
Excel SWOT analysis templates
These Excel templates are a great starting point to bring visual planning into spreadsheets.
Simple matrix Excel SWOT template
The basic SWOT matrix template is a four-quadrant table that includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in a color-coded grid.
Business planning Excel SWOT template
The business planning SWOT template allows you to summarize key information at the beginning and end of your template — so you can provide extra context for the internal and external factors listed in the quadrants.
Internal vs. external Excel SWOT template
The internal vs. external template segments your SWOT analysis into internal factors related to your team and processes and external factors that are outside your company. This Excel SWOT analysis template highlights the relationships between each of the components.
Top-down Excel SWOT template
The top-down SWOT analysis template helps you focus on one component at a time and allows more flexibility to expand where needed.
PowerPoint SWOT analysis templates
PowerPoint templates can be useful when creating a deck of slides. Be sure to distill each quadrant down to its essence so your slide is clean, simple, and easy for your audience to comprehend.
Simple matrix PowerPoint SWOT template
This template will help you create a traditional, matrix-style SWOT analysis.
Top-down PowerPoint SWOT template
This template is useful when you need to add longer descriptions. Similar to the top-down SWOT for Excel, this colorful PowerPoint template arranges the components in a vertical layout.
Competitors PowerPoint SWOT template
This SWOT analysis template allows you to compare internal and external factors for your organization with one competitor or a set of competitors — so you can make better decisions about where to take your product next.
Circle PowerPoint SWOT template
The circle template shows the SWOT matrix in the middle with call-out text boxes for each component — perfect for adding additional details and talking points.
Growth PowerPoint SWOT template
This SWOT analysis template incorporates growth strategies into the SWOT framework with forward-looking statements for each component. This is useful when you want to come away from the analysis with an action plan.
Frequently asked questions about a SWOT analysis
Who should be involved in a SWOT analysis?
Company and product leaders are typically responsible for conducting a SWOT analysis — with input and research from internal teams as well as external stakeholders (like partners and even customers). But exactly who is involved will vary depending on the type of organization and its maturity. For example, the founder or CEO of an early-stage startup might take charge of conducting a SWOT analysis. At a more established organization, however, leaders from the product and marketing teams might do it (while seeking input from cross-functional groups).
What are some tips for conducting a SWOT analysis in a team setting?
Gathering data and insights from a variety of teams across the organization is vital to a strong and comprehensive SWOT analysis. Our biggest tip? Use the right collaborative tool. Many product teams use purpose-built software like Aha! Roadmaps and Aha! Notebooks to create, view, share, and update a SWOT matrix, all in one place. You can build your SWOT matrix from scratch or use a virtual whiteboard to conduct an interactive SWOT analysis. No matter which tool you choose, pick one that allows everyone on the team to contribute their notes or research and easily refer back to the SWOT matrix after it is created.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when conducting a SWOT analysis?
Keep your list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats simple and streamlined. Avoid listing too many points (it is best to stick to four to five points for each quadrant of the matrix). That said, you do not want to be superficial — make sure you spend meaningful time gathering research so you can conduct a robust analysis.
Some other mistakes? One is failing to take action on the meaningful discussions sparked by your SWOT analysis. Be sure to rank and prioritize your findings against the company and product strategy, then come up with a plan for pursuing the most important ones. Another common mistake is not reviewing and updating your SWOT analysis regularly to account for industry and market changes.
What are some creative ways to present the findings of a SWOT analysis to stakeholders?
Think about who your audience is, then tailor your SWOT analysis presentation to them. For example, you will likely want to give a more high-level overview to executives but go more granular when presenting to the product or marketing teams. Visuals also go a long way in holding an audience's interest — make use of diagrams, charts, and colors in addition to text. Whiteboarding software like Aha! Notebooks is ideal for this. You can collaborate with teammates to build your own SWOT matrix, or use our expert-crafted SWOT analysis template to quickly built a beautiful SWOT matrix that you can add to your presentation.
Product development has never been this lovable. Try Aha! software today.
- What is a business model?
- What is customer experience?
- What is the Complete Product Experience (CPE)?
- What is a customer journey map?
- What is product-led growth?
- What are the types of business transformation?
- What is enterprise transformation?
- What is digital transformation?
- What is the role of product management in enterprise transformation?
- What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
- What is a Minimum Lovable Product (MLP)?
- What is product vision?
- How to set product strategy
- What is product-market fit?
- What is product differentiation?
- How to position your product
- How to price your product
- What are product goals and initiatives?
- How to set product goals
- How to set product initiatives
- What is product value?
- What is value-based product development?
- 10Ps marketing matrix
- 2x2 prioritization matrix
- 5 Whys
- Business model
- Customer journey map
- Decision tree
- Fit gap analysis
- Gap analysis
- Lean canvas
- Marketing strategy
- Opportunity canvas
- Porter's 5 forces
- Pricing and packaging research
- Pricing plan chart
- Pricing strategies (Kotler)
- Product positioning
- Product vision
- Segment profile
- SMART goals
- Strategic roadmap
- Strategy mountain
- SWOT analysis
- Value proposition
- VMOST analysis
- Collections: Business model