HOW TO DO THE SWOT EXERCISE This handout goes through each step in the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) exercise being carried out during the workshop. The SWOT exercise focuses on how you view land use and transportation in your county and the Region. You will be asked to identify the Region’s best and worst qualities in terms of land development and transportation, and identify what’s out there that the Region could take advantage of or that may put our Region’s success at risk. There is a viewing area with display boards showing information on the various land use and transportation topics that will be the focus of the VISION 2050 effort. A board with year 2050 population and employment forecasts is also on display. This information is meant to guide the topics you should focus on for your SWOT’s. At your table, you will find a notebook, marker, and large easel pad, with at least one pen and one small sticky note pad at each chair. There will also be a large sheet of paper with four columns titled “S”, “W”, “O”, and “T”, with the rest of the sheet left blank. Steps in the SWOT Exercise 1. Introduction Staff will briefly explain the SWOT process that will be used. 5 minutes 2. Individuals Record SWOT’s 10 minutes You will be asked to use the pen and small sticky note pad in front of you, and write down as many SWOT’s for the Region’s land development and transportation system as you can think of within the allotted time (one SWOT per sticky note). 3. Read/Discuss/Categorize SWOTs 15 minutes Each group will be designated a staff member to act as the group’s facilitator. The facilitator will collect each individual’s sticky notes and read each aloud to the group. The group will discuss each note and decide which category—Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, or Threat—it falls under. The facilitator will then post the note under the chosen category. 4. Synthesize and Prioritize 15 minutes Once all notes have been categorized, the table will group similar SWOTs together on large sheet. The group then prioritizes and chooses the top three from each category. 5. Group Reporting 15 minutes Staff will coordinate a reporting and discussion by the groups. The first group will be asked to report its highest priority in each SWOT category. The next group will then report its highest priority in each SWOT category, moving to its second highest if its first highest was already reported. This process will continue until all groups have reported.
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