Process - Top Tips - PSTB



What you need to know…

When running a PSTB you need to start by defining the problem and thinking about the causes of that problem. It can sometimes be difficult to define what the real problem is and it’s important to persevere and establish this as only then can you truly begin to solve it.


     Ask yourself and your team what is the problem and why is it a problem?

     Think about the root causes of the problem – it can help to think about people, process, financial causes

     All problem statements should start with ‘How To………….’ which will generate positive, action orientated thoughts when you begin thinking about solutions


Having defined the problem and identified the root causes, you can now look at generating solutions with your team. The easiest way of doing this is just to brainstorm as many thoughts as possible and make sure you list everything – all ideas are good ideas.


When the ideas have dried up, give everybody 3-5 votes for the ideas they like best. Sometimes the ideas may need to be grouped if they are along similar lines. Voting can be done by putting ticks on the flipchart next to the ideas that each individual wants to vote for or by a show of hands.


Take the most voted for solutions (maximum 3-5) and discuss the benefits and concerns associated with each of them.

Decide if any of the concerns are ‘killer’ concerns which make the solution inappropriate or impossible to pursue and therefore rule the solution out.

The best solution(s) should become obvious after this discussion and should be taken forward to the next step.

For each solution that is taken forward you need to work with your team to agree and commit to next steps. Next steps are usually recorded in the following table format…


Next steps

Next Step




 Process - Top Tips - SWOT


What you need to know…

A SWOT analysis will help you to identify the current strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats to your business and involves looking at the whole picture in store. A SWOT analysis is not just about numbers! You should be looking at performance reports, current behaviours, market activity and other issues that will affect the profitability of your store.


     A SWOT analysis is an assessment of information, which is organised by the SWOT format into a logical order that helps understanding, presentation, discussion and decision-making.

     The SWOT analysis template is normally presented as a grid, comprising four sections, one for each of the SWOT headings:

     Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

     When completing a SWOT analysis one of the most challenging parts is to stay objective (it’s your store and it is easy to be drawn into “it’s like that because” thoughts).


After you have completed your SWOT share your thoughts with your colleagues or another manager to make certain that you have stayed objective,

Identifying strengths and weaknesses means thinking about where your business is right now, whereas opportunities and threats are events that have the potential to occur in the future.

When considering each of these in relation to your store it is important to include both internal and external influences that can have an impact. For example; you would need to think about the things that are happening in your store and the things that your competitors are doing that could affect your business.


 Process - Top Tips - SWOT


SWOT Analysis is a simple but powerful framework for analysing your stores

Strengths and Weaknesses, and the Opportunities and Threats you face. This helps you to focus on your strengths, minimize threats, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you. When you have completed a SWOT for your store there may be links with the Scorecard and opportunities for store ‘A’s to become involved.


Other ways of using SWOT

When we think about completing a SWOT analysis we often think about a store or region as a whole. However, SWOT can also be used to focus in on specific areas of your business such as:


     A specific product category

     A department of your store e.g. customer service, warehouse, shop floor

     A business idea / change


and there’s no need to stop at your own store, why not complete a SWOT analysis on your key competitors. Identifying the weaknesses and threats that they have may help you see a new opportunity for your store.

Be sure to describe the subject for the SWOT analysis clearly so that people contributing to the analysis, and those seeing the finished SWOT analysis; properly understand the purpose of the assessment and implications.