TOWS analysis poses complementation of SWOT analysis. This approach is called “from the outside towards the inside”. While in case of SWOT analysis you need to base on strong and weak sides of the organization, and use them in a given environment, in case of TOWS analysis, the contrary assumption is taken. Strategy of the company embraces skillful adjustment of the company towards signals flowing from its environment.
Sometimes there is a situation, when results of several various strategies are similar or there are just insignificant differences. Then, it is advisable to apply a comparative analysis in case of particular variants. If you are not sure about the variant of your choice, you can also evaluate and verify all possibilities.
While getting familiar with the SWOT analysis you probably found out that it is presented in a form of a diagram, where subsequent strong and weak sides, opportunities and threats are written down in four fields. It is probable that it was enough for somebody, so it was not translated into a strategy. In my opinion, it lowers the value of the analysis, but it can also be useful, if you approach it scrupulously and conscientiously.
No all identified strong and weak sides of a company or other organization are equally important in terms of creation of a strategy. They need to be evaluates, which will allow to concentrate on those most significant.
A key meaning for shaping a strategy of an enterprise is born by its material and non-material assets, their size and structure, as well as opportunities of acquiring them. The group of material assets embraces: machines, devices, raw material for production, products, etc. When it comes to non-material assets, these group comprises of: knowledge and experience of employees, trust of customers, brand and qualifications of the managing personnel.
The SWOT analysis may be completed upon choosing strong and weak sides, opportunities and threats that fit into the diagram (the SWOT analysis is often presented in this form). However, its full usefulness will be revealed only when you already use results of the analysis to determine a strategic position of a company and choose the strategy.
The SWOT analysis belongs to the most often applied methods of strategic analysis of an enterprise (other popular methods embrace: SPACE analysis, ASTRA method). It can be applied universally, as it simultaneously serves analysis of macro-surrounding, competitive environment and evaluation of strategic potential of an enterprise.