"Environmental scanning is a process that systematically surveys and interprets relevant data to identify external opportunities and threats. An organization gathers information about the external world, its competitors and itself. The company should then respond to the information gathered by changing its strategies and plans when the need arises."
First, gather external information, which can encompass government, legal, economic, demographic, and social data.
Next, research competitors to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Finally, assess your internal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as future goals.
This should be done regularly to identify trends and unforeseen changes, so goals and strategies can be adjusted.
The purpose of an environmental scan is to survey the landscape around a problem space (or organization etc) and understand the EXTERNAL factors that shape strategy.
Environmental scans can and should cover:
● Existing solutions to the problem and the people, organizations and communities solving it
● Industry metrics and trends affecting the problem space
● PESTLE framework for environment analysis including:
○ Policy, Regulatory and Political situation and trends
○ Economic (micro and macro) situation and trends affecting a problem space and the actors in it
○ Social and Cultural situation and trends affecting a problem space and the actors in it
○ Technological development and scientific discovery state of the art and trends
○ Legal environment and trends
○ Environmental conditions and trends
● Ethical considerations and trends
● Demographic situation and trends
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