Strategic Planning: Analyze Your Processes - dummies

Strategic Planning: Analyze Your Processes

By Erica Olsen

One step in a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is looking at the processes. Are you cruising down the road smoothly, or is your SUV coughing and sputtering along, barely making it to the next service station? More than likely, your company is somewhere between these two extremes. And you probably go back and forth between states of high and low performance.

It’s time to open up the hood of your SUV and find out what’s going on in there. Here you look at the processes that connect your intangible assets to your tangible assets to produce an outcome, which is a current product or service, a new product, customer service, or development and maintenance of relationships with partners and governmental agencies.

When evaluating your internal processes, they need to pass the efficiency/effectiveness test:

  • Efficiency is doing things right. Are your processes producing the end result you desire?

  • Effectiveness is doing the right things. Are you involved in the processes you should be involved in? If not, these processes are potential areas for outsourcing.

By reviewing your internal processes, you find some that are operating at full efficiency and others that are barely hanging on. Do you have some processes that continually have problems? Are there others that are working just perfectly? Just like with intangible assets, your processes break down into general business areas.