Often in organizations we use a SWOT analysis as a way of identifying priorities and areas for improvement. While theSWOT is a wonderfully flexible tool, it is too easy to miss out key elements. We tend to use a SWOT based on our experiences, rather than the actual situational needs.
As SWOT analysis is made up of two internal elements (SW) and two external elements (OT) it is helpful to use a structure to give us a guide for what should be included.
Background to the PRIMO-F model
The PRIMO-F model was developed by the RapidBI team as part of a SWOT analysisof an organization. It helps to provide a consistent framework for comparison and benchmarking either from within the organization or to benchmark against a previous analysis or benchmark against other organizations.
The PRIMO-F model was derived out of some work from Durham University Business School (DUBS), and research into what makes an organization and its management effective. This research demonstrated that an effective organization needed to fulfill the following equation:
Organizational Growth Effectiveness = Performance to date * Potential for the future.
Where Performance to date (FiMO) included:
and Potential for the future (RECoIL) included:
- Controls and Systems
- Innovation and
This was sometimes called FiMO/ RECoIL.
One of the problems with this method was the lack of consistent application, as a tool or framework it is fine, however many managers, consultants and business advisor’s have their own priorities. For example a person who has a financial background will major on finance, a person with marketing will focus on marketing etc. After all we are all human. One of the problems with the model in the ‘field’ is that often key issues were missed. The BIR was developed to take these factors and review them consistently.
In many situations it is difficult for managers to differentiate between performance to date and potential for the future, as several areas overlapped, for example resources, operational leadership and management. In addition FiMO RECoIL was seen as too complex for many managers to use on a day to day basis. To solve this problem we developed the PRIMO-F. A simplified way of showing strengths and weaknesses in the relevant areas.
- Innovation & Ideas
Mapping PRIMO-F model to FiMO RECoIL
Performance of the business:
How good is it in terms of its Finance, Marketing & its Operations?
Potential for Growth
People in terms of their experience, their leadership and the controls in place in the organization.
Experience: Age of the business, Management experience of:
- product development
- different types of market
- use of external agents
- moving sites
- managing growth
- Involving a senior management
- age of owner manager
- occupational base of owner manager
- personal objectives and ambition in line vision of the future
- education and training
Operations – Control: Adequacy of information and control systems
- Ability to use information
- Degree of professionalism and Responsibilities of management
- Adequacy of planning and monitoring
- Level of delegation
- How performance is assessed
Resources: Availability, utilization and appropriateness (fit for purpose)
- Liquidity and availability of finance
- Technology level and capability
- Physical assets: age and state
- Product range and life
- Use of and access to appropriate external agents
Innovation & Ideas:
- Number and source of ideas innovation is being considered
- How they are assessed
- Level of development or market testing of these ideas
- Level of market planning of these ideas
- How creative they are.
The PRIMO-F model is not in itself a solution – but a tool to enable that powerful tool the SWOT to work more effectively.