UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Treats (SWOT) analysis can be a helpful tool to check the factors which can affect the success or failure of an intervention.
Example: Olive & Ziphilly’s project on monitoring of vital signs and fluid balances shows an example of a SWOT analysis:
Weaknesses – List the factors that might be barriers to achieving your project objectives.
Strengths – List the factors which are likely to help you to achieve your project objectives.
SWOT ANALYSIS – BURNS UNIT – VITAL SIGNS & FLUID BALANCES Strenghts Weaknesses Availability of guidelines
Nurses knowledge deficit Lack of visible guidelines Lack of monitoring equipment
Approval of management Availability of nursing staff
Support by management Availability of nurses
Rotation of nurses to other wards Breakdown of monitoring machines and equipment
Threats – list external factors that are likely to have a negative effect on completing your project. What are the things that could stop the project from being successful?
Opportunities – these are things that create chances for things to happen, often these are outside your ward – for example, is there a hospital conference coming up where you could share your ideas?
Top Tip It is important to study the system rather than place blame on individuals for certain failings. For example, using the 5 why’s tool helps identify why staff might behave in a certain way based on the system they are working in.
These techniques are very important for your QI journey. Using these tools in collaboration with your team and stakeholders will make sure you have thought about the problem in enough detail and will help you anticipate barriers as well as strategies to overcome them. These tools will also help you understand what is and is not feasible as a QI project.
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