SOAR analysis is a simple evaluation model that helps new businesses discover their strengths and potential. It shares some similarities with SWOT analysis. It offers an approach to analyzing an organization, and many managers find it a good alternative for dealing with opportunities.
There’s plenty to know about this evaluation model. Here, we’ll consider the following:
Why you should perform SOAR analysis SOAR analysis advantages and disadvantages 7 Tips to conduct SOAR analysis the right way How to conduct SOAR analysis with an editable SOAR analysis template SOAR analysis template FAQs
What is a SOAR analysis?
SOAR stands for Strength, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results. It was invented by Jacqueline Stavros, David Cooperrider, and Lynn Kelley in 2003.
Where a SWOT analysis includes Weaknesses, SOAR analysis focuses on the positive parts of the organization. SOAR helps identify areas where a business is doing well and how it can improve even further.
Like a SWOT analysis, a SOAR analysis includes a 2 x 2 matrix with the four resulting sections composed of the acronym.
This section determines what makes your organization unique and better than the competition. Strengths are what the team can leverage and build on to seize opportunities.
When filling out this quadrant, some questions to ask might include:
What makes our organization unique? What is our unique selling point (USP)? What assets do we possess that are better than the competition?
The Opportunities quadrant highlights the conditions that the organization can improve upon to increase the odds of success.
Some questions that can help you to fill out this quadrant include:
What trends can we take advantage of right now? What are our best opportunities? Can we create partnerships to increase our market share? If so, with whom? What gaps can we fill in the existing market? Can we move into new markets? What pain points do customers have that we can fulfill?
Perhaps more than any other quadrant, the Aspiration quadrant is the heart of a SOAR framework. Here, you determine your aspirations for the future built on the Strengths quadrant.
Aspirations differ from your company’s vision. While the company vision may be long-term, aspirations are short-term. For example, the company may aim to be the most prominent ecommerce store globally, but an aspiration may be to first become the biggest ecommerce store in the state.
Completing this quadrant can be challenging, but the following questions can help set you and the team on the right path:
What do we want to stand for? What do we aim to achieve? What should our company look like in the next ten years?
Just like the Aspirations built on Strength, Results also builds on Aspirations. This means that aspirations are quantified with results.
To complete this quadrant, choose strategic goals and the key metrics to track success. Questions to ask that help with this section include:
How do we measure success? What metrics translate our aspirations into tangibles? When do we measure these metrics?
Why you should perform SOAR analysis
There are several reasons SOAR analysis has become a popular choice among managers and stakeholders. Here are some of them:
Recognize potential & opportunities
SOAR is a powerful strategic planning tool that can help bring key stakeholders together to identify a company's potential. Filling out the quadrants, especially the Strengths and Opportunities, can help all stakeholders identify an organization’s potential and the available growth opportunities.
Refine strategic planning
A SOAR analysis helps you discover the strengths of your team, explore new initiatives, and align these with the future aspirations of the organization.
A SOAR analysis reduces guesswork. Using a SOAR analysis template, you can identify your strengths clearly, which makes it easier to make informed decisions on how to allocate resources.
SOAR analysis advantages and disadvantages
The pros of SOAR analysis
SOAR encourages stakeholders to act. It promotes setting goals. Using a SOAR analysis framework can help you build out a cohesive strategy.
Unlike SWOT, which has Weakness and Threats quadrants, SOAR is forward-looking and builds on aspirations and opportunities.
Its simplicity makes it easy to understand where the business is headed by building on strengths with aspirations. As such, a company’s next steps are more apparent than with other frameworks.
The cons of SOAR analysis
Some of the criticisms of SOAR analysis are:
Lacks in-depth analysis of the market & competition
While positive and forward-looking thinking is excellent, it can be disastrous if a company fails to consider market conditions.
It doesn’t include threats & weaknesses SOAR analysis is how it fails to consider the threats and weaknesses of the organization. SWOT takes these into account, which is likely why many people prefer it. If you’re one of such people, CODA’s will be invaluable to you. Aspirations can feel redundant
Although Aspirations are slightly different from the company’s vision, there often isn’t enough difference not to make them feel redundant.
SOAR ignores weaknesses and threats that can cripple an organization. Because it focuses on strengths, SOAR analysis might blind a company to critical external factors.
👉 Get started with this SOAR analysis template.
Copy this free SOAR Analysis template for your projects.
How to conduct SOAR analysis with Coda’s template
Step 1: SOAR Analysis
In the first page of this , you want to identify the four quadrants. Once you have an understanding of your company’s Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, you can find which Results you would want your organization to deliver upon. The will help you and your team map out an analysis of things your organization may want to achieve.
Step 2: Team & People
To manage your team and people that are a part of your organization, visit the page. On this page you can add new people and their details to your database of people that are a part of your team.
SOAR analysis helps existing, and new companies improve their focus on development.
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