SOAR Analysis Template
Discover the strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results of your business or organization with the SOAR template. Plan for the future while you work on your strengths.
About the SOAR Analysis template
The SOAR Analysis template is a tool that helps you discover your organization’s strengths and potential, so you create a shared vision of the future while developing your business's unique value.
Rather than other types of analyses that focus on weaknesses or areas for improvement, the SOAR analysis encourages you to focus on the positive. It is perfect for companies that want to introduce a service or product in the market and don’t yet know their weaknesses or threats.
What does SOAR stand for?
SOAR stands for strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results. The SOAR Analysis template invites you to deep dive into those categories and discover your best assets and how you can plan for the future using what you’ve got.
The SOAR Analysis template is divided into four quadrants: the two on the top are about strengths and opportunities and the two at the bottom are about aspirations and results. The top two are also focused on the present moment, while the bottom two target future plans.
Why do a SOAR Analysis?
Do a SOAR analysis when you want to bring people together and encourage action. Many find it’s easier to focus their attention and efforts on their strengths. That’s why the SOAR Analysis template is beneficial when you’re trying to make a product breakthrough or help team members develop their career or performance plans.
Another reason to perform a SOAR analysis is to uncover what you or your team does best and align it with the desired outcomes and future aspirations from stakeholders or yourself.
SOAR vs. SWOT
SOAR and SWOT analyses may tackle some of the same topics, like strengths and opportunities, but they differ in many ways.
A SOAR analysis focuses on an organization’s current strengths and vision for the future. When you identify what you’re doing right, a SOAR analysis helps you develop strategic goals to carry your organization into the next growth phase.
Different from the commonly-used SWOT analysis, the SOAR analysis enables you to examine all levels and functional areas of an organization. At the same time, SWOT has a more top-down approach, perceiving threats to the company’s success and weaknesses within the organization.
Besides, the SOAR analysis also focuses on enhancing tactics and strategies that you are currently doing well, which is radically different from working on your weaknesses and threats.
To better understand how the two analyses 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:
What are our greatest strengths?
What are our best opportunities for growth?
What are our best opportunities for success?
What future are we working towards?
What measurable results will show us that we have achieved that vision of the future?
Questions to ask during a SWOT analysis:
What are our greatest weaknesses?
How should we improve?
What complaints do we regularly hear from our customers?
What cash flow problems do we have?
What technology should we update before achieving our goals?
Who are our direct competitors?
What happens if our suppliers up their price or run out of supplies?
Is our target market shrinking?
How to do a SOAR Analysis
As you can see, a SOAR analysis emphasizes your strengths and what you do best as a company, organization, or professional. It brings together your current situation and your future plans and aspirations.
Here is how to fill our SOAR Analysis template:
Add what you think is unique to your business, brand, or organization.
What do you do best? What value do you bring to your customer? What’s your unique selling point?
Add here what you see as an opportunity in the current market.
Do you see a need for a specific service you can provide? Is there a new trend your product could serve? Are there new markets that need your service?
Add here your vision for the future.
Where do you see your business going? What does the future of your organization or brand look like? What difference can you make? What do you want to achieve?
Add results that you can track and see progress. What does success looks like? What numbers do you need to know you reached your goals? How will you know you reached your goals and aspirations?
After you have filled the template, you can always ask for feedback and reiterate and change your SOAR analysis as you see fit.
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.