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QUESTION ONE: SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

By definition, Strengths (S) and Weaknesses (W) are considered to be internal factors over which you have some measure of control. Also, by definition, Opportunities (O) and Threats (T) are considered to be external factors over which you have essentially no control.

SWOT Analysis is the most renowned tool for audit and analysis of the overall strategic position of the business and its environment. Its key purpose is to identify the strategies that will create a firm specific business model that will best align an organizations resources and capabilities to the requirements of the environment in which the firm operates. In other words, it is the foundation for evaluating the internal potential and limitations and the probable/likely opportunities and threats from the external environment. It views all positive and negative factors inside and outside the firm that affect the success. A consistent study of the environment in which the firm operates helps in forecasting/predicting the changing trends and also helps in including them in the decision-making process of the organization.

An overview of the four factors (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is given below1. Strengths - Strengths are the qualities that enable us to accomplish the organizations mission. These are the basis on which continued success can be made and continued/sustained. Strengths can be either tangible or intangible. These are what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) and the distinct features that give your organization

its consistency. Strengths are the beneficial aspects of the organization or the capabilities of an organization, which includes human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty. Examples of organizational strengths are huge financial resources, broad product line, no debt, committed employees, etc. 2. Weaknesses - Weaknesses are the qualities that prevent us from accomplishing our mission and achieving our full potential. These weaknesses deteriorate influences on the organizational success and growth. Weaknesses are the factors which do not meet the standards we feel they should meet. Weaknesses in an organization may be depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, etc. Weaknesses are controllable. They must be minimized and eliminated. For instance - to overcome obsolete machinery, new machinery can be purchased. Other examples of organizational weaknesses are huge debts, high employee turnover, complex decision making process, narrow product range, large wastage of raw materials, etc. 3. Opportunities - Opportunities are presented by the environment within which our organization operates. These arise when an organization can take benefit of conditions in its environment to plan and execute strategies that enable it to become more profitable. Organizations can gain competitive advantage by making use of opportunities. Organization should be careful and recognize the opportunities and grasp them whenever they arise. Selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results is a difficult task. Opportunities may arise from market, competition, industry/government and technology. Increasing demand for telecommunications

accompanied by deregulation is a great opportunity for new firms to enter telecom sector and compete with existing firms for revenue. 4. Threats - Threats arise when conditions in external environment jeopardize the reliability and profitability of the organizations business. They compound the vulnerability when they relate to the weaknesses. Threats are uncontrollable. When a threat comes, the stability and survival can be at stake. Examples of threats are - unrest among employees; ever changing technology; increasing competition leading to excess capacity, price wars and reducing industry profits; etc.

SWOT analysis is instrumental in strategy formulation and selection. It is best when used as a guide, and not as a prescription. Successful businesses build on their strengths, correct their weakness and protect against internal weaknesses and external threats. They also keep a watch on their overall business environment and recognize and exploit new opportunities faster than its competitors. This can be achieved through human resource planning which consists of a series of activities as follows:

Forecasting manpower requirements, either in terms of mathematical projections or trends in the economic environment and the development in the industry or in terms of judgemental estimates based upon the specific future plans of a company.

Making an inventory of present manpower resources and assessing the extent to which these resources are optimally employed.

Anticipating manpower problems by projecting present resources into the future and comparing them with the forecast of requirements to determine their adequacy, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Planning other HR functions such as sourcing, recruitment, selection, training and development and compensation to ensure that future manpower requirements are properly met.

QUESTION TWO: Human resource planning is an integral part of the business planning exercise. The business planning defines what kind of business the organization would be in, in the future. It also defines the competencies that the organization needs to build to face the challenges in the future. It involves forecasting the organizations future human resource needs and how those needs could be met. It would include establishing objectives and developing and implementing programmes to ensure that people are available with the appropriate qualification, experience and skills during the phase that organizations would be needing them. It could involve developing and implementing programmes to improve employees performance or to increase employees satisfaction and involvement in order to boost organizational productivity, quality or innovation. Human Resource Planning And Training And Development A well thought out human resource plan is important for organized staff development process in an organisation and is also strategic, organized, and designed to contribute to the companys bottom line. Many a times, there is a wide gap between training and business needs. This is because most of the training in corporations yields no value at all to the company because they are unconnected to the business needs, either for the present or the future. It is very important to choose the kind of training suitable for present and future needs, which will result in employees being better contributors now and in the future. Thus a sound human resource plan will; Anticipate the skills that will be needed in the future. Identify gaps in skills that are present and the required skill level in the future. Plan for the development of staff in advance. Make sure the skills will be available when required.

When training and staff development are linked to identify present and future needs via HR planning, it also allows for the use of multiple kinds of development activities, and not just a reliance on training for skill development. Human Resource Planning And Recruitment And Selection

Adopting talent sourcing strategies to match a negative difference between current supply and forecasted demand of workers constitute a critical area of workforce planning.Hiring is a major form of filling a negative skills gap. Effective workforce planning considers all possible talent sourcing strategies such as low-cost recruitment of permanent or part time employment, contracting out, partnerships, changing business activities to modify the types of talent required, seasonal and temporary hires, and other considerations, and weighs the pros and cons of each such source based on business risks and implications. One common misconception regarding workforce planning is that it limits itself to hiring talent to fill the skills gap. Effective talent management involves other methods such as work design, organizational restructuring, training, knowledge management, flexible work hours, and other interventions to match the skills gap.

Human Resource Planning And Employee Relations Human resource planning affects both sides of the relationship. For instance, a plan to offer more flexible working options would be welcomed by employees, but places additional pressure on the workload of line managers. The solution would be better communication and consultation.

Human Resource Planning And Reward And Compensation

As a result of the RAG analysis, organizations may diagnose either a surplus or a shortage of manpower for their future requirements. This step is about planning to manage the outcome of

gap analysis. For dealing with shortages, organizations can use innovative sources of manpower or start training current employees in the short term. In the long term, they could work on becoming a more attractive employer through employer branding, redesigning the compensation and a host of other methods. Many organizations have also tried to manage this situation by slightly lowering the selection criteria and being more flexible on other employment conditions. Hiring part-time workers, temporary staff, students and outsourcing are some of the ways in which organizations respond to shortage of manpower.

Reward and compensation would play a pivotal role in attraction and retention of talent through reward systems that recognizes and values contribution and provides competitive pay and benefits. Dealing with uncompetitive, inequitable or unfair pay systems would be imperative I retention of talent.

QUESTION THREE: Capacity is the ability of individuals, institutions and societies to perform functions, solve problems, and set and achieve objectives in a sustainable manner. Capacity Development (CD) is, therefore, the process through which the abilities to do so are obtained, strengthened, adapted and maintained over time. Human resource capacity development, in turn, relates to the provision of a trained work force; to the promotion of knowledge and skills that are required by a society to acquire greater prosperity through the building of productive capabilities. Human resource development can be perceived as both a process and a goal since it can be an end in itself as it results in the realization of human potential and the development of individual self-reliance.

The Leadership Challenge Political will to assume local ownership and leadership of capacity building effort is cardinal. Perhaps above everything else, African governments ought to recognize that the challenge of implementing far reaching institutional and human resource development programmes requires extraordinary political will and talented, dedicated, patient, and persistent professionals whose level of commitment to the mission of local ownership of their countrys Development Agenda is unwavering. Through training and development, these leadership skills can be inculcated among the members of the parliament with immense benefits accruing.

Public Engagement challenge This category pertains to the capacity for inclusion, participation, equity and empowerment of individuals across all the functional capacities. It covers the systems, process and tools required

to assess the vulnerability, exclusion and marginalization of peoples. It also looks at the public space for dialogue and debate, state-citizen consultation and feedback processes. A second component of this category pertains to the mobilization, access and use of information and knowledge. Attention is given to access to and use of the Internet, the role of the media, the adaptation of global knowledge to local circumstances, knowledge networking, and incentives to encourage learning. Inclusion of the citizens in any process would promote national cohesion.

Financial Resources Management Challenge The capacity to manage financial resources is fundamental to success within the enabling environment and at the organisational level; this applies to the management of both internal resources (national budgets) as well as external resources (development funding). A concept key to external resources is Direct Budget Support (DBS), which is broadly defined as joint government/donor mechanisms to permit external resources to be channeled directly through national budgets, using national allocation, procurement and accounting systems, to supplement public expenditure on nationally agreed priorities. Among capacities assessed in this category are national and local capacities to negotiate, manage, utilize and monitor DBS in ways that best support the human development agenda and achieve the MDGs, including capacities for the management of development finance and development cooperation.

Mutual Accountability Mechanisms Challenge An efficient, responsive, transparent and accountable public administration is not only of paramount importance for the proper functioning of a nation; it is also the basic means through which government strategies to achieve the MDGs can be implemented. Public administration is

also the main vehicle through which the relationship between the state and civil society and the private sector is realized. Assessing capacities to manage and support an accountable public administration and ensure the reforms required, often on a long-term and sustained basis, is essential to effective governance and to providing a sound basis for equitable development. This category pertains to the capacity to ensure accountability through prevention and enforcement; strengthen national integrity institutions; increase public participation and build coalitions; and work with the international community.

Policy And Legal Challenges Without a strong policy and legal framework in place, countries can experience problems of poor adherence to international norms and standards, prevalence of anti-poor and gender bias in justice systems, and poor implementation of national laws and regulations intended to benefit disadvantaged groups. This category focuses on the capacity to develop and sustain a policy and legal framework that is independent, impartial and fair a system that is critical to the alleviation of poverty and achievement of the MDGs.