SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT analysis is a management tool used to identify strategies for success. It may be used to guide individual thinking, group discussion, or a large, formal planning process.It is widely utilized by companies as part of their strategic planning process, but it can be used by any group or  individual seeking improvement. Strengths and weaknesses tend to be internal characteristics of the company, such as location, price, or brand awareness. Opportunities and threats tend to be external characteristics, coming from competitors or customers. SWOT analysis begins by focusing on each topic to identify and analyze all ideas related to it. For example, employees might spend 30 to 60 minutes brainstorming and discussing their company’s strengths. They would repeat this process to discuss the weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the company as well. After the analytical phase, they begin a creative discussion of these topics. In this part of SWOT analysis, they brainstorm new ideas to take greater advantage of strengths and opportunities, and to minimize weaknesses and threats. Management might then use these ideas to help build a strategic plan for growth over the next year. The key to using this process successfully is to foster an open and honest atmosphere for self-analysis. This can include a group brainstorming session or a personal self-assessment.