PESTEL analysis is a framework for scanning the environment for factors that could impact an organization's market, business position, and/or operational strategies.
Context helps to identify and frame why an organization should pursue a particular strategy.
PESTEL analysis is particularly useful before embarking on any new strategy (ex. new line of business, new geographic market, business transformation, etc.).
It is also useful to periodically perform PESTEL analysis for existing business lines and/or markets. Changes in the environment may present new opportunities (or threats!) to existing operations.
PESTEL analysis naturally feeds into other strategy setting practices like SWOT Analysis, Five Forces Analysis, and/or Target Outcomes.
Reviewing context from multiple lenses in a single analysis builds a shared understanding that individuals may not understand otherwise. (Ex. business staff understand technology trends, technical staff understand economic factors, etc.)
Identify scope for analysis (business unit, whole company, etc.) with a sponsor and/or key stakeholders
Pull together a diverse group of experts to obtain broad set of viewpoints (ex. mix of business, marketing, product, operations, and technical staff)
Participants brainstorm environmental factors, trends, and/or changes from the following six lenses:
Aggregate / Affinity map similar factors. Discuss/restate all factors to ensure all participants share understanding.
Identify the most impactful factors to the organization (ex. using dot voting)
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Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the PESTEL Analysis practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.