An Introduction to TOWS Analysis
What is a TOWS Analysis?
A TOWS Analysis is an extension of the SWOT analysis you completed that identifies your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats but then goes further in looking to match up the Strengths with Opportunities and the Threats with Weaknesses. It allows for you to take action from the analysis.
Adding the relationship between the internal (SW) and external factors (OT) of your SWOT makes TOWS is an obvious next step. The main purpose of a TOWS Analysis is to:
Strengths to Opportunities: The S-O focuses around how you can exploit your strengths in order to respond to the potential opportunities in the market.
Strengths to Threats: The S-T examines how strengths can be used to mitigate or remove the threats to the business, and in some cases look at how threats can be transformed to opportunities.
Weaknesses to Opportunities: The W-O can be the hardest consideration, as it doesn’t always come naturally. Consider how your opportunities can remove your weaknesses.
Weaknesses to Threats: The W-T highlights how weaknesses can play into, develop or enhance the threats of the business.
How do you make the most out of TOWS?
While no preparation is required for a TOWS beyond some knowledge of the internal and external environment you operate in, it is helpful to have knowledge of:
Part I: The TOWS Process
Step 1 – Complete a SWOT
Step 2 – Identify The Actions
Now it’s time to begin asking questions that will give you clear actions. (Not every part of your SWOT will link to every other part – that’s ok.)
Strengths & Opportunities
The relationship between your internal strengths and external opportunities looks at how to take advantage of the opportunities using your strengths. Compare each strength against each opportunity and ask yourself:
Strengths & Threats
Avoiding or mitigating the threats is crucial to success. Take a look at each strength and consider them against each threat. Ask yourself:
Weaknesses & Opportunities
At first glance it may seem unusual to map a weakness to an opportunity, but the link is as important as the other relationships. Taking the same approach, go through each weakness and compare it to each opportunity considering…
Weaknesses & Threats
This isn’t a cheery section – look at the weaknesses and the threats, both are risks to your desired professional outcomes. Ask yourself…
Step 3 – Prioritize & Assign Actions
Once you’ve been through each relationship, you’ll have a list of defined actions. Place them into a priority order based on your needs and desired outcomes.
Part II: Submit in Canvas
Provide your answers to the following in Canvas:
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