Strategic Planning and SWOT Analysis
Vision and mission statement
The vision of Southwest Airlines is to expand its domestic and overseas operations. The company strives to achieve this by being the largest and most profitable airline. Reducing the operating costs of the company would enable it to achieve its vision. Also, Southwest Airlines strives to improve the productivity of its employees. This would enable the employees to offer high-quality services to passengers.
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The mission of Southwest Airlines is to provide high-quality services to its customers. Also, the company strives to provide a stable work environment for its employees. The company strives to ensure that its activities are sustainable. This would reduce the impact of their activities on the environment. Southwest Airlines strives to conserve natural resources. The company also endeavors to give back to the communities within which it operates.
Southwest Airlines uses a standardized fleet of aircraft. The standardized fleet reduces aircraft maintenance and other operational costs.
Southwest Airlines has a strong brand, which is easily recognizable. The company has been in operation since 1971 (Noble, 2007).
Southwest has a dedicated workforce. The airline puts the interests of its employees first. This improves their commitment and productivity.
Southwest Airlines does not have a first-class section. This makes it lose customers who wish to receive first-class service. Also, Southwest Airlines does not offer inflight meals.
Southwest Airlines has various strategies that strive to reduce labor costs. The airline requires employees to perform multiple jobs simultaneously. This creates a stressful work environment.
Southwest Airlines concentrates on its niche market. The airline does not have extensive involvement in the freight business. Expansion into this market segment would increase the profitability of the airline.
The growth of the Latin American market promises to improve the profitability of Southwest Airlines. The company would benefit the most from the growth in this market due to its ability to offer low prices and high-quality services.
The airline industry has intense competition. United Airlines is one of the major competitors in the international market.
Southwest Airlines has to comply with various government regulations. This may pose several challenges to the airline.
Southwest Airlines strives to expand internationally. The company intends to use several strategies to increase its presence in the international market. Codesharing is one of the major strategies that the company intends to use to venture into the international market. Below is the strategy map of Southwest Airlines.
Internal and external forces
The ability to offer high-quality services would determine the competitiveness of Southwest Airlines in international markets. Southwest Airlines strives to ensure that its employees are highly motivated. This enables the employees to provide high-quality services.
The type of aircraft that the airline uses would determine the efficiency of its operations. Southwest uses a standardized fleet of aircraft.
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Government regulation is one of the major external factors that affects Southwest Airlines. The airline has to comply with various government regulations. This may pose several challenges to the airline.
The prevailing economic conditions affect the profitability of Southwest Airlines. Poor economic outlook would reduce the profitability of the company.
Southwest Airlines operates in a highly competitive environment. This necessitates the company to undertake several changes regularly.
When might it be useful to perform a “self-SWOT” analysis?
The self-SWOT analysis enables individuals to determine their strengths and weaknesses. This enables them to determine how to take maximum advantage of the opportunities and resources that are available to them. People usually conduct a self-SWOT analysis when that face threats, challenging situations, or constraints that may hinder their ability to achieve certain objectives. Finances, time, and resources are the major constraints that an individual may face.
What information might you glean from such an analysis?
The self-SWOT analysis enables individuals to determine their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This may help formulate short term and long term goals. It enables individuals to determine their career direction and objective. Making a meticulous list of the positive and negative traits enables individuals to attain their goals easily. The list enables the individuals to have a clear picture of where they stand. Also, self-SWOT analysis enables an individual to take maximum advantage of their strengths and opportunities when they face threats that may reduce their ability to attain their objectives. The self-SWOT analysis also enables individuals to determine their weaknesses. This enables them to make use of the available resources and turn their weaknesses into strengths. This helps them to achieve their objectives easily and within the shortest period. The self-SWOT analysis also enables individuals to determine the skills that they need to attain their objectives (Hayton, Biron & Christiansen, 2012).
How might you use the idea of having employees perform “self-SWOT” analyses in operational management?
Project managers use SWOT analysis during decision-making and strategic planning. SWOT analysis enables the project managers to determine the most efficient method of implementing various projects within the company. It is important for project managers not to overlook any aspect of the organization during the formulation of the SWOT analysis. Project managers may ask the project team members to conduct a self-SWOT analysis. This helps them to determine how to allocate various tasks within the project. The allocation of the tasks should consider the strengths and weaknesses of the project team members. Also, self-SWOT analysis facilitates the formulation of strategies that would help project team members to convert their weaknesses to strengths. Conducting a self-SWOT analysis is vital to the ultimate success of the project since the project team members are the employees who undertake various project implementation activities (Simons, 2010).
How might using “self-SWOT” be beneficial in managing teams?
Teams perform most tasks within an organization. Therefore, SWOT analysis should consider the team dynamics. To develop a SWOT analysis that would help in managing teams, organizations should designate a project team leader who would help in determining the skills of individual members and groups. Project team leaders should ensure that they divide stakeholders of the group into small groups. This enables the members to participate in the group activities. Project team leaders should instruct the team members to create a SWOT analysis using the design they understand. The project team manager should provide approximately 30 minutes for the group members to brainstorm and determine their strengths and weaknesses (Hill & Jones, 2009). This enables the SWOT analysis to support valuable discussions within the group. Using the SWOT analysis in this manner enables an organization to manage teams more effectively.
Hayton, J., Biron, M. & Christiansen, L.C. (2012). Global human resource management casebook. London: Routledge.
Hill, C. & Jones, G.R. (2009). Strategic management theory: An integrated approach. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Noble, P. (2007). Evaluating public relations: A best practice guide to public relations planning. London: Kogan Page Publishers.
Simons, R. (2010). Seven strategy questions: A simple approach for better execution. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.