What's the SCORE?

Everyone in business knows about SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. But to me it’s always seemed clumsy and unnecessarily combative – especially Weaknesses and Threats. So here’s my suggestions for an alternative acronym: SCORE.

  • Strengths, Systems and Services that we already have available
  • Challenges, and Capabilities that we might need
  • Opportunities, and any known Options available to us
  • Returns, including expected Rewards and Responses from others
  • Effectiveness (using the EREAI checklist: efficient, reliable, elegant, appropriate, integrated), and perhaps also Ethics

Do your SCORE assessment both before and after a project: it’ll be a great way to identify ‘lessons learned’.

A bit more on that EREAI checklist:

  • Efficient: makes the best use of the available resources
  • Reliable: predictable, can be relied upon to produce consistent results
  • Elegant: clean, clear, simple, self-adapting to the different ways that different people work
  • Appropriate: supports the specified purpose, and the organisation’s overall purpose
  • Integrated: conforms to the overall architecture’, and supports synergies across the whole organisation

Another point to note is that there’s no mention of Risk as such. The reason is simple: as the Chinese ideogram makes clear, every Risk is also an Opportunity, and every Opportunity a Risk – they’re the same thing seen from opposite sides.

And really, despite all that SWOT analysis, there are no Threats as such. Others may offer us Challenges, perhaps, and certainly more or less predictable Responses; but a in practice a ‘threat’ is simply another kind of Opportunity.

So what’s the SCORE? Try it; see what you make of it. Comments / suggestions, perhaps?

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