Before creating a yearly plan, many organizations conduct a SWOT analysis. If you’ve not done this exercise, here’s a good explanation:
“SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) is a strategic planning and strategic management technique used to help a person or organization identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition or project planning. It is intended to identify the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving the objectives of the venture or project. Users of a SWOT analysis often ask and answer questions to generate meaningful information for each category to make the tool useful and identify their competitive advantage.”
Some argue that SWOTs aren’t in-depth enough, but I firmly believe they deliver value if you’ve never done one with your team. We do them at CPS., which is what gave me the idea. Agencies and other organizations should consider conducting a SWOT for their digital transformation efforts. This current state analysis would give them tools to plan the next steps. A SWOT analysis helps decision-makers evaluate their company from all angles and consider different perspectives. A SWOT analysis enables decision-makers to gain a comprehensive insight into all factors that can affect the outcome of the proposed action. It also requires organizations to base decisions on data analytics rather than hypotheses and assumptions.
Strengths are positive characteristics that allow you to operate efficiently and achieve your goals and objectives. These attributes can be tangible, like a new software tool, or intangible, like NPS or employee skills. A few examples of strengths of digital transformation are:
Added users in Laserfiche for the HR project
HR team received records training from CPS, and our records team
Weaknesses are areas where the organization needs to catch up to the ideal state and hurt the perceived value. If you are in the private sector, it negatively impacts profitability. In addition, weaknesses can be things you don’t have, like an IT Director or development skills. For instance:
The agency lacks a DoD 5015.2 certified records management tool
Current retention schedules need to be updated for compliance purposes
The opportunities and Threats portion of the SWOT analysis allows the organization to consider external factors for the success or failure of the organization or how it can affect an initiative. Within the context of ECM, some opportunities could be:
Moving to Laserfiche Cloud
Migrating our Legacy ECM to Laserfiche Cloud
Threats can include anything outside the organization that could negatively impact your ability to implement a digital transformation strategy. These are the elements that are out of your control. For example:
New Trusted Systems regulations for digital records
Reliance on IT contractors because of the hiring freeze
You’ll need to conduct thorough, unbiased research about your organization, industry, and market to identify opportunities and threats. Being honest is essential when assessing your company’s current position and performance. Having a “we’re always the best” mindset will not give you the answers you need for this analysis.
Once your organization has decided on digital transformation, the SWOT matrix is an excellent way to start your initiative. One final tip is that you be sure to include staff from different departments and at different levels to ensure everything is included. Consider including IT, Records, Compliance, Legal, HR, and a representative from your other departments.