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SWOT analysis is a business term useful in understanding business’ strengths and weaknesses and at the same time identifying opportunities and threats that the business faces. In a business, context SWOT analysis helps the business carve a niche in the market. The analysis helps business in uncovering the opportunities available for exploitation. Either, the business understands the weaknesses available, and the management process of the threats that can catch one unaware. On the SWOT framework, the business can distinguish itself from its competitors and construct a strategy that would give it an advantage in the market (mind tools Ltd).
Strength in an organization represents all the components and qualities that allow it to support its problem statement. The continued growth of success in an organization is based on its strength. The strength can be as tangible as facilities or intangible as intellectual capital. They are internal to the organization and easy to control and can provide a positive reinforcement to the planning effort. Weaknesses represent the components and qualities that hinder and prevent the organization from supporting its problem statement. To ensure success in an organization weakness must be overcome. They are controllable since they are internal to the organization. They present limitations to the planning efforts. On the other hand, opportunities are advantages presented to the organization by the external environment and the can accrue benefits to it. Opportunities can be influenced to support the problem statement and gain advantage. They are often short lived since they are not in the control of the firm. Quick measures must be taken to gain advantage of them before they vanish. Finally, threats are issues that hinder or harm an organization in gaining an advantage. They make the planning and support of the problem statement unproductive. They are uncontrollable since they are external to the organization. They give indicators for caution while addressing the problem statement (Teefy).
The most crucial undertaking of the army is to provide key forces and capabilities to army commanders to embrace defense strategies and national security. To achieve its objectives, the army is dependent on resources requested on the fiscal year president’s budget and any supplemental allocations done through legislation. In order to meet its mission the army requires immense amounts of funds so that it can develop, field, test new products, and maintain its personnel and equipments. To ensure efficiency in its operations like any other business, the army must conduct SWOT analysis. Therefore, the key aim of the essay is to review the weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths of the army coupled with the opportunities and threats faced by the army.
To understand the weaknesses and strengths of the army, the management perspective is evaluated in terms of how effective it is. The leadership in the army must consider the internal strengths and weaknesses while achieving a goal and at the same time consider opportunities and threats, which arise externally to have reasonable expectations to reach their mission and goals.
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In this case, in order to analysis the army shortcomings and the strengths it is necessary to determine how the army evaluates the effectiveness from a management point of view. The most obvious questions in this case are on how what the army can do in order to accomplish its goals effectively. Therefore, the army leaders must put into consideration the internal strengths and weaknesses while handling matters and as they focus towards meeting the goals and objectives of the forces. They should also consider the external threats mission.
The army structures and systems are described as bureaucratic meaning that they are incapable of rapidly responding to change. However, most of these structures are designed in a way that can maximize the effectiveness of the management. Some of these structures include centre for lessons learned (CALL), independent review organizations that publish critiques of the army strategy and methods and various units facilitating research and development. The Civilian Business Models are used venture capital funds, and product reviews to ensure an effective product development and introspection. The army in itself has centers for learning which serves to correct mistakes. Again, keep the army leadership up to date with information that might help the army in its mission accomplishment. The army has the right to use consultants, which enhance the accruing benefits such as the wide experience of the consultants, unbiased approach, and a wide range of techniques. This help in a more objective and less subjective decision-making, firsthand knowledge of approaches that do not work and ability to focus solely on problems or set of problems.
The army has a Research, Development and Engineering Command, which makes the army more technologically, advanced. This command integrates effective research, development, and team building. Moreover, the army makes a significant investment in the training of army officers and strives to retain knowledgeable personnel as long as they are effective. The army has adopted a program known as lean six sigma based on best of Japanese business management theory. This practice slims down and speeds up both the administrative and industrial functions of the army. The army has also borrowed the use of management information systems from private business. This has helped the department of defense in its human resource management. It helps in accuracy, reduction of redundancy and helps in allowing service members have easier access to their records (Teefy).
It is clear that consultants have suggestions; one is that there are benefits that arise. These benefits are because of the following four key attributes that help in solving complex problems in the arm. The four attributes include the following. A variety of experiences, approaches that are not biased including an arsenal that helps in problem solving process, making decisions, which are more objective and less subjective. Finally, it is the available ability to focus solely on one problem and a set of problems. In the CALL, scholars offer expertise a strategy to decision-making that is more objective, and an advanced focus on problems. It is clear that this system collects data and analyses it from a variety of historical as well as current sources. Such sources include Army training events, operations and procedures used in the military lessons. This is a crucial part of the army training process responsible in the training of new soldiers as well as its functional units. Some analysis done by the CALL system contributors are published in a number of journals and are Monday available for the leaders. Through formal and informal efforts, these analysts are capable of coming up with information concerning training and combat on counterinsurgency efforts. For example, war in Iraq.
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The army despite all its strengths, it is faced by its own weakness like any other business. The leadership in the army is faced with difficulties in preparation of conflicts, which it has had no prior experience in and in which they did not expect. The other weakness in the army is in the management of army personnel and lack of leadership accountability. On several occasions, the media have released images of American soldiers abusing prisoners. On many occasions, the soldiers caught on film have been prosecuted and even imprisoned. This is done while their leaders are left scot-free while on some cases they had knowledge of the actions of their juniors. This weakness gives an impression that may be the arm is not entirely in control of its operations. The army leadership must be accountable for job accomplishments by soldiers in the forefront. Either every soldier should be aware that they are critical to the success of every mission. Financial vulnerability is another weakness of the army. This is because it relies on the congress for funding unlike other corporations, which generate their own income (Bigler).
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It is also exceptionally clear that men and women who join the army are inexperienced. Therefore, it takes quite a lot of the moment of time to adapt to that critical life style. In the process of training, most of the army personnel’s drops in the course of the training session. This forces the army to incur extra cost when the go to the ground to fetch personnel. The other thing is that after certain duration of time these personnel s are reassigned to new working environments. As a result, they are assigned new obligations as well as expenses. Some of the areas where they are deployed are venerable areas taking a lot of time for these personnel to adopt a life in these areas. It is notable that the army again incurs a cost as it tries to help them adapt to such working environments. This can be achieved through seminars and complex training sessions.
Army in most countries is faced with the challenges of getting enough and the right materials for their work. They are forced to go into war whereby they face opponents who are far much better equipped. Therefore, they end up losing and even losing life. This job is a lifestyle; most soldiers are forced to live in the Army installations. After a tedious working day, a soldier can find it hard to go home and sleep in his or her own house. The main reason being that training in the Army may require that the soldiers live in the field for weeks before they finish training. Therefore, it is the obligation of the Army management team to make sure that all soldiers are physically as well as being financially stable. This will enable the soldier’s deployment in a place to stay for a year so that it can be capable of performing an extreme demanding as well as a dangerous job. This remains a challenge to many Army groups all over the world mainly in the developing nations. This is where even funding the Army and maintaining them they have to rely on development aid from the developed countries.
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The army has the opportunity in innovation. The army is driven to innovation due to shrinking resources and changes in the security environment. Efficient use of shrinking resources and substantial changes in the security environment provides good chances for innovation. Leader development is easy to do in the army. There is an opportunity in the army to build not only creative leaders but also cultural awareness. Redistribution of army personnel is an opportunity that can enhance cultural tolerance. Still there is underutilization of contractual and consultancy arrangements in the army. This provides wide opportunities for the army in terms of knowledge building and financial gains (Bigler).
Recently there has been in the front line in the development of programs that aim at improving the human resource and a successful way of changing the military doctrine. Therefore, the army managers as well as executives has an obligation of looking forward and adopt the most relevant structures in order to keep the product and services high and competitive. It is notable that failure to such critical strategies, the army services will lose their relevancy and finally fail.
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The greatest threats facing the army are the strengths of insurgency in most places occupied by the army and strained personnel issues. For example after the invasion of Iraq, the insurgency rose in a higher rate, more than it was expected. The engagement of the army in serious wars around the world has led to strain in the personnel requirements of the military (Bigler).
In the case of the Army, the leaders, as well as doctrines has no change in respect to the new threats and challenges in relevance to its mission. The main challenge in the army is ignorance. Therefore, they are unable to face the arising challenges. Product competition or availability of new opportunities such as the internet marketing of soldiers may end up outgunned as well as being maneuvered by a more dynamic enemy. It is also a challenge to come up with new strategies that help deal with situations that are complex. In most case, the Army fighting logistics challenges in many areas are unprecedented in a number of ways. The problem and challenge on the change of the military doctrine in order to deal with these challenges. This process of decision-making requires a council of colonels to work out these challenges. The process of forming this council is another critical challenge, and it is the only way to formulate a technique of dealing with more complex situations. Therefore, it requires that a senior military officer selected to help in the formation of strong strategies in order to deal with these issues, but it is hard to get such transparent personnel’s in the Army. The colonels have the greatest experience in the army service and there is no doubt that they have the relevant qualifications to make important decisions.
The management of the army is much different from that of civilian businesses. However, the management practices applied in corporations can also be used in army operations. Either the SWOT analysis can be used in the same context as in business organizations. The leadership of the army must take measures to strengthen its strengths and exploit the opportunities. Either measures to protect it against its weaknesses and threats must be applied. These will be beneficial strategies, as they will ensure that the products as well as services that the Army is offering are of the best and expected qualities.
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