This assignment is intended to help you learn to conduct gap and SWOT analyses.


Building on the gap or problem you identified during the last module and your interviews, you will conduct a gap analysis and a strategy for success. We call this an analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats or SWOT. This analysis is a simple and structured planning exercise for reviewing and assessing how an organization can address the gap between where they are with a problem now, and where it aims to be in the future. In other words, a SWOT can highlight strategic options for the organization while underscoring areas for improvement and vigilance.

Let’s look at an example of transferring patients from the ER to the unit. For strengths and weaknesses, the organization would measure things in their control, like time and capacity (i.e. length of time to rooming, length of stay), costs and quality. For weaknesses, we would look at questions like: What are the bottlenecks in the ER or the unit?

For example, are there significant delays in getting diagnostic test results back, bed control issues, or patient handoff (i.e. report)? Next, we look at the internal opportunities for areas of improvement. In this case, we might consider a dedicated person in each unit to give and take report to reduce delays in moving the patient? Or perhaps a change in bed control processes? Finally, we want to address threats. What will happen if the unit does not act? In this example, we have risk of unhappy patients and families, diminished reputation in the community, delay to treatment, and turnover of nurses.

Determining a gap and conducting a SWOT involves a team approach. There are many sources of information including people and data.

Action Items

  1. Read through the instructions in the Signature Assignment in Module 7, which asks you to write an intervention or process change paper that includes gap and SWOT analyses
  2. Based on what you discovered from the interviews that you completed conduct:
    • A gap analysis (Your gap analysis will be in a narrative format.)
    • A SWOT analysis (You may use a table or visual format [infographic or SmartArt (Links to an external site.)])
    • Remember your analyses should include detailed evidence of the problem that you found from the interviews. You should discuss the organization’s practice for the practice problem.
  3. Start writing a draft of the paper that includes your gap and SWOT analyses. You will submit this draft to the Online Writing Review in Module 5.
  4. In Module 6, you will create a brief presentation of your Gap & SWOT Analyses. See the assignment for full details.

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