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SWOT analysis is used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the current business situation.

TOWS is used for identifying strategic options to create a better future state based on the SWOT results.

The key difference between the SWOT and TOWS analysis is the outcomes that they create. A SWOT analysis is a great way to uncover the current situation of your value stream, product or portfolio, while TOWS is used primarily for identifying strategic options to create a better future state.


  1. Participants add items to each of the four SWOT categories for a specified time box. These are the four outer boxes.
  2. When the time box is complete, participants should review the items. Duplicates can be merged. Related items can be organized into clusters.
  3. Participants should then focus on identifying how the portfolio may choose to respond in each of the inner boxes, guided by the prompts in the image.


In some cases it makes sense to directly evaluate and qualify your External Opportunities and External Risks. Therefore, we offer a special background to visualize the evaluation directly on a SWOT / TOWS Analysis.

Look out for the SWOT / TOWS Analysis (Evaluation) background.

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