The Real Deal Between SWOT and SCORE Analysis

Ethel Gonzales

People often interchange SWOT and SCORE which may not seem like a big deal but we should not forget that there is always a reason why the terms are different. Now, we know that SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method in which internal and external attributes are being examined in order for the organization to formulate an effective strategy plan. Same goes for SCORE card method, but they differ in terms of process. Before we discuss that process difference between SWOT and SCORE, let us first determine what SCORE stands for and why it is considered as an alternative to SWOT Analysis.

If SWOT is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, SCORE stands for Strengths, Challenges, Options, Responses and Effectiveness. Like SWOT, SCORE is used for assessing environmental issues that may affect a company’s profitability. Both SWOT and SCORE have the same objectives and are both used to formulate organizational strategies.

So, if they have the same objectives and if SCORE is considered as an alternative to SWOT, what is their main difference then? While SWOT is the type of strategic planning where people from different departments gather for a major brainstorming and the ideas and opinions are written on a whiteboard afterwards, SCORE looks for anything that is measurable, either quantitative or qualitative. Also, the SCORE assessment is being done before and after the strategy has been implemented in order to determine if the strategic plan worked or not. With that being said, what can help us determine which is the better option to use between SWOT and SCORE strategic planning method? Let us look at the main advantages of both SWOT and SCORE in order for you to evaluate which is the best methodology to use.

The biggest advantage of SWOT Analysis is that it is simple and cost-effective. No need to invest, not even a single penny for brainstorming, right? Hence, the generation of new ideas for the company as to how it can use its strengths to use as a defense and utilize it for full advantage is not only cheap, but also effective as a lot of heads think in order to formulate ways – for free. SCORE, on the other hand measures things. Meaning, they have a concrete data and information regarding several factors that could affect a company’s short and long term strategy.

The debate regarding which is the best one to use between SWOT and SCORE is still on-going because some business experts say that SCORE looks too complicated, while the others think SWOT is too simplified. Either way, both methods work and that is a proven fact, given that an organization has a realistic view of the outset. There is really no need to fight over which one to utilize because it is not like it’s a rule that a company cannot use both SWOT and SCORE at the same time. Sure, it may look a little time consuming, but if you really are having second thoughts about the first process you used, you could always try the other one.

In other words, if you will define SWOT and SCORE in simple terms, we can say that SCORE is the more detailed version of SWOT. But do not be over-confident if you have decided to use both processes, however. Remember that there are a lot of other strategic planning methods out there that you should incorporate with each other in order to get the best strategy. No method is a stand-alone project, so be aware of that.

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