What is it?

SWERL (Strengths, Weaknesses, Emerging Situations, Resources, and Limitations) appears to be an expansion or modification of the commonly known SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis used in strategic planning and assessment. SWERL encompasses the following components:

  1. Strengths (S): These are internal factors or attributes that give an entity an advantage. Strengths can include resources, expertise, or competitive advantages.
  2. Weaknesses (W): Similar to SWOT, weaknesses refer to internal factors that hinder an organization’s progress. They can involve limitations in resources, skills, or areas needing improvement.
  3. Emerging Situations (E): This element focuses on identifying and analyzing emerging trends, opportunities, or challenges that an organization should be aware of. It helps in proactively adapting to changing circumstances.
  4. Resources (R): Resources represent the assets and capabilities an organization can leverage to achieve its objectives. These can include financial resources, human capital, and technology.
  5. Limitations (L): Limitations encompass the constraints and obstacles an organization faces, both internally and externally. This involves factors that may impede progress or goal attainment.

In summary, SWERL is a comprehensive framework that guides organizations in assessing their current state and planning for the future by considering not only strengths and weaknesses but also emerging situations, available resources, and limitations. It provides a holistic view for informed decision-making and strategy development.

While SWERL is not as widely recognized as SWOT, it offers a more detailed and nuanced analysis, making it valuable for organizations seeking a thorough understanding of their environment.

How does it work?

SWERL is typically used in the following steps:

  • Data Collection: Gather data and information related to each component of SWERL. This may involve internal assessments, market research, and environmental scans.
  • Analysis: Analyze the collected data to identify patterns, trends, and critical insights. Assess the impact of strengths, weaknesses, emerging situations, resources, and limitations on your organization’s goals.
  • Strategic Planning: Use the SWERL analysis to inform your strategic planning process. Develop strategies that capitalize on strengths, address weaknesses, seize opportunities presented by emerging situations, allocate resources effectively, and mitigate limitations.
  • Implementation: Put your strategic plan into action. Execute the strategies and tactics devised based on the SWERL analysis.
  • Monitoring and Adaptation: Continuously monitor your organization’s progress and the evolving business landscape. Be prepared to adapt your strategies as new emerging situations arise or circumstances change.

SWERL’s strength lies in its holistic approach, providing a comprehensive view of an organization’s situation and enabling informed decision-making. It ensures that organizations consider not only their internal factors but also external dynamics, thereby enhancing their ability to thrive in a dynamic and competitive environment.


Let’s explain the SWERL analysis using a chocolate shop as an example:

  1. Strengths (S): In the context of a chocolate shop, strengths could include:
    • Highly skilled chefs who can create delicious and unique chocolate recipes.
    • A prime location in a busy area with high foot traffic.
    • A loyal customer base that consistently returns for your chocolate.
    • A strong online presence and positive reviews on food delivery apps.
  2. Weaknesses (W): Weaknesses for the chocolate shop might encompass:
    • Limited seating space, leading to potential capacity issues during peak hours.
    • Relatively high ingredient costs due to the use of premium, fresh ingredients.
    • Challenges in maintaining consistency in service quality during busy periods.
    • Limited marketing budget for promotions and advertising.
  3. Emerging Situations (E): The chocolate shop should stay aware of emerging situations, such as:
    • A growing trend toward healthier eating habits, potentially impacting traditional chocolate sales.
    • An increase in food delivery apps and the need to adapt to changing customer preferences for online orders.
    • The emergence of new competitors in the local area.
  4. Resources (R): Resources available to the chocolate shop could include:
    • Skilled kitchen staff and servers.
    • A well-equipped kitchen with high-quality chocolate ovens.
    • Access to local suppliers for fresh ingredients.
    • A small budget for marketing and promotions.
  5. Limitations (L): Limitations and constraints for the shop might involve:
    • Limited parking space near the shop, affecting dine-in customers.
    • Seasonal fluctuations in business due to weather conditions.
    • Regulatory restrictions on shop operating hours.
    • Budget constraints for expanding the menu or renovating the shop.

Now, let’s apply these components to a SWERL analysis for the chocolate shop:

  • Data Collection: Gather information and data related to the strengths, weaknesses, emerging situations, resources, and limitations of the chocolate shop. This data can come from customer feedback, sales records, market research, and observations.
  • Analysis: Analyze the collected data to gain insights. For example, the analysis might reveal that the shop’s strength in unique chocolate recipes has been a key driver of customer loyalty. However, weaknesses in capacity and marketing budget need addressing.
  • Strategic Planning: Develop a strategic plan based on the SWERL analysis. Strategies might include expanding delivery services to adapt to emerging online ordering trends and addressing weaknesses by optimizing seating arrangements during peak hours.
  • Implementation: Put the strategic plan into action by training staff, adjusting the menu, and launching online marketing campaigns.
  • Monitoring and Adaptation: Continuously monitor the shop’s performance and customer feedback. Adapt the strategies as emerging situations evolve, such as introducing healthier chocolate options to align with changing dietary preferences.

In this way, the chocolate shop uses the SWERL analysis to assess its current situation, make informed decisions, and develop strategies to thrive in a dynamic and competitive food service industry.