Although the SOAR analysis might sound similar to the SWOT analysis, the two tools are very different from each other. SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results, and it is a strategic planning technique that looks into the organizations strengths and opportunities in order to develop its strategic goals for the future. The SOAR analysis applies for a range of businesses and industries, ranging from well-established international businesses to small sub-departments.
The SOAR analysis is divided into four quadrants and each one of them is explained below:
The first quadrant is Strengths and these are the firm’s core capabilities or in other words what the company does well. The questions that need to be asked here are:
This quadrant represents the situations that can be leveraged to a firm’s advantage in order to attain tangible or intangible benefits such as increased profitability, enhanced brand image and so on. Some of the questions asked here are:
The third quadrant describes the place the company wants to be in the future, including its vision and mission. Here, we ask:
The last quadrant describes the tangible outcomes or intangible rewards as a result of reaching the goals set.
The main benefit of the SOAR analysis is that it looks into both the present and the future. This is something that other models neglect to consider. Therefore, SOAR analysis not only assesses a firm’s current situation, but it also crafts the strategic plan for the future by identifying its main strengths and areas of improvement. Some other benefits of the SOAR analysis are:
1. Define clear objectives that you want to achieve with SOAR analysis
2. Build your SOAR team
3. Start brainstorming different ideas and share thoughts in an open session meeting. Fill in the four quadrants accordingly.
4. Clarify what you have gathered, sum up and delete any duplicates or claims with insufficient information. You need to be left with the key factors.
5. Create an action plan, delegate tasks and assign responsibility to different groups
6. Track your progress, identify errors and improve anything that is not good enough