SOAR Analysis Template & Example
Plan for the future by focusing on strengths and opportunities.
The SOAR Analysis is a tool that guides you to consider your organization’s strengths and potential to create a shared vision of the future. Rather than other types of analysis that focus on weaknesses or areas for improvement, the SOAR analysis encourages you to focus on the positive.
About the SOAR Analysis template
What does SOAR stand for?
SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results. Examine each category with a lens of focusing on the positive and doing more of what’s already working. For example, in the Strengths category, you can ask yourself and your team things like, “What do we excel at?” and “What are our greatest accomplishments?”
Why do a SOAR Analysis?
You can do a SOAR Analysis when you want to bring people together and encourage action. Many people find it’s easier to focus their attention and efforts on their strengths rather than working to improve their weaknesses. You may find a SOAR Analysis beneficial when you’re trying to make a breakthrough or help your team members develop their career or performance plans.
How does SOAR compare to SWOT?
A SOAR Analysis focuses on an organization’s current strengths and vision for the future. By identifying what you’re doing right, a SOAR analysis can help you develop strategic goals to carry your organization into the next phase of growth.
But a SOAR analysis is different from the commonly-used SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. While SOAR enables you to examine all levels and functional areas of an organization, SWOT is a more top-down approach. SOAR focuses on enhancing tactics and strategies that you are currently doing well. SWOT examines perceived threats to the company’s success and weaknesses within the organization.
To understand how the two approaches differ, it can be useful to look at the various questions one might ask during a SOAR analysis versus a SWOT analysis.
Questions to ask during a SOAR analysis
1. What are our greatest strengths?
2. What are our best opportunities for growth?
3. What are our best opportunities for success?
4. What future are we working towards?
5. What measurable results will show us that we have achieved that vision of the future?
Questions to ask during a SWOT analysis
1. What are our greatest weaknesses?
2. How should we improve?
3. What complaints do we regularly hear from our customers?
4. What cash flow problems do we have?
5. What technology should we update before achieving our goals?
6. Who are our direct competitors?
7. What happens if our suppliers up their price or run out of supplies?
8. Is our target market shrinking?
FAQs about SOAR analysis
How do I complete a SOAR analysis?
To complete a SOAR analysis, start by scheduling a team meeting with everyone you want to participate in the strategic planning. Once you’ve assembled your team, introduce the activity, and provide clarity around the goals of a SOAR analysis. To complete the actual analysis, start discussing each of the four components to understand your strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results.
Who created the SOAR analysis?
The SOAR analysis was invented by Jacqueline Stavros, David Cooperrider, and D. Lynn Kelley. It was first introduced by them in 2003 as a new strategic planning tool for businesses to use.
SOAR Analysis Template
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