SOAR analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps the enterprises to focus on the current opportunities and strengths, and create a vision for the aspirations in the future and the outcome of the results that they will bring. SOAR analysis is a contrast to the SWOT analysis and utilizes appreciative inquiries to concentrate on the strength of the business. It does not shift its focus on the internal weaknesses or threats that may not eventuate. SOAR analysis offers a foundation for the in-depth analysis of the business implementing other tools.
Why Employ SOAR Analysis?
SOAR analysis brings stakeholders of an organization together to recognize the potential threats and opportunities of the enterprise and generate a shared vision of the near future. Building anything based on strength needs fewer resources and attempts than giving efforts to rectify the weaknesses. SOAR analysis is more action-oriented than the SWOT analysis and is focused on the conclusion. SOAL analysis model can be implemented to:
- Discover new initiatives
- Development of the new strategic plans during annual reviews
- Redirection of the efforts and resources and to focus on them
- Part of a leadership development plan
- To enhance the performance plan of the career of an individual
Factors of the SOAR analysis
SOAR analysis is employed as a structure of a 2 X 2 matrix that consists of 4 factors as Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results. Let us see the details of each element of the model below.
The strength factor of the SOAR analysis is related to the identification of the most powerful strengths of the company. It generally refers to the skills, capacities, assets, achievements, resources, and accomplishments. The questions that need to be researched to find out the strength of the enterprise are:
- At what departments does the company excel at?
- What are the proud assets of the company?
- What services do the organization offers that is world-class?
- Why is the organization better than the competitors and everything they provide or do?
- What are the biggest accomplishments of the enterprise?
- Why is the company different from its rivalries?
- What qualities do make the organization most valuable to the shareholders?
Opportunities focus on the chances and possibilities that the enterprise can have. External conditions and disappointed needs of the customers influence this factor. Opportunities often lead to a greater portion of the market share or enhance competitive advantages. Opportunities can be formulated from the possible weaknesses or threats of an organization. Opportunities could leverage to enhance the profitability, competitive edge and market shares. The sample of questions that should be asked to find out the opportunities of a company is:
- What type of partnerships would lead to greater success?
- What type of threats can be converted as opportunities?
- Are there any gaps in the enterprise that could be filled?
- How can the changes and trends in the market align with the strengths of the organization?
- What are the requirements and necessities of the external and internal stakeholders that the organization is not fulfilling?
Aspirations are the ambitions of an organization. With proper identification and evaluation of the aspirations, the organization would plan to do well on the current potentialities. To successfully identify the aspirations, offering inspiration and challenging the present situation, the following questions need to be answered.
- What does the organization want to achieve in the future?
- How can the product or services of the enterprise create a difference in society?
- What strategies and plans will provide support to the future?
- What will the future company look like?
- In what segments is the organization passionate about?
Results represent the measurable and tangible results that will indicate when the aspirations and goals will be achieved. The following questions need to be recognized to find out the results.
- What measures will indicate that the organization is on the right path to achieve success?
- How to know when the organization has achieved success?
- How does the enterprise convert the idea of success into concrete outcomes?
Applications of the SOAR analysis
Conduction of the SOAR analysis is a must-have for the less and newly developed enterprises. It can be applied to any organization no matter at what level or position the company holds. The analysis can include both external and internal stakeholders. SOAR analysis can be applied in:
- The industries
- At all strata of the organization
- Enterprises that are striving for breakthroughs in place of gradual improvement
- New and operating companies
- Individuals to assess their plans for the development
How to conduct a SOAR analysis?
To get the best possible outcome of the SOAR analysis, participants with a wide range of perspectives must be chosen. The group should consist of people from a different level within the organization. Other stakeholders like suppliers, clients, and partners can also be included in this group. SOAR analysis can be implemented in the following ways for the strategic planning of an organization. They are:
- Objectives: One sentence and a clear objective should be set before the beginning of the analysis
- Brainstorm: Different ideas and inputs need to be collected.
- Collate: Next clarification of the collected content, the grouping of similar ideas and duplicate ideas should be deleted.
- Prioritize: Issues should be voted and arranged according to the priorities to calculate the impact of the ideas on the organization.
- Action Plan: An action plan should be created for assigning the required responsibilities for a single issue to an individual or a group.
- Share: The relevant information, outcomes, and the action plans should be shared within the organization and the stakeholders.
A SOAR analysis is, therefore, a tool for assembling stakeholders to recognize the potentiality of the organization. SOAR model produces support inside the organization as it includes representatives from the different levels of the company. Also, SOAL analysis is scalable and flexible so that the decision making and planning of the organization are carried out smoothly. Exploring new initiatives, assessing annual strategies and development of a new strategic plan are some of the other advantages of the SOAR analysis.