Every gardening project has a unique mix of challenges which will need to be addressed for the project to be successful. Doing a SWOT analysis in the garden design phase can assist in address some of this challenges
The term SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat.
A SWOT anslysis is essentially a list of factors involved with a project classified into the four above classifications. Conducting a SWOT analysis will help to identify and understand the factors involved with a garden project so can help you think outside the box. It will not necessarily offer answers but will focus your thinking.
- Strength: A factor which is requires little or no work to solve and benefits the project. (ie: Sunny location)
- Weakness : A factor which will require work and focus to improve. (ie: heavy clay soil)
- Opportunity: An unexpected / unplanned factor which could expand the project. (ie:Existing plants)
- Threat: Needs to be carefully managed to avoid negative consequences. (ie: prone to flood)
- Focus thinking
- Take advantage of site strengths
- Addtress weaknesses
- Maximise opportunities
- Minimise Threats
- Understand project better
- Does not prioritise factors
- The generated list can be too long
- Hard to know what is important.
The SWOT analysis tool can be used to list and describe these challenges in a structured way. It is a list of the sites basic strengths and weaknesses.
This will help to assess the different projects factors in a positive or negative light.
This along with the Taxonomy tool can help in developing the project objectives and key results as the thought process becomes clearer.
As you list the various factors and challenges of the project you can define them into one of these four quadrants.
There are three stages in the landscape design process used in the GardenBase landscape software application.
- Landscape Project Planning
- Landscape Design
This phase is where you decide the objectives and design framework for the garden landscape project This is a process of analysis where the goals of the gardener/designer for the garden project are developed and refined. It typically involves many questions and discussion when developing the final set of desired outcomes. Tools that the GardenBase landscape design application provides for the planning process are:
- Project Objectives and Key Results… Establish the garden design desired outcomes and key results.
- Taxonomy… establish a list of words to help describe the design
- SWOT Analysis… List the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the landscape project
- Image Manager… Upload images
- Mood Boards… Create mood boards to easily view and contrast the colours, images, words, links connected to your garden design.
- MoSCoW Analysis… List the must have, should have, could have and would like features of you design
- Project Management and related Tasks… Set up a task list and dates
In the design phase the conclusions from the landscape design planning stage are put into action. Tools that the GardenBase landscape design application provides for the design process are:
- Garden Areas… Define garden and functional areas of the design
- Plant/Object List… Create a list of objects and plants you wish to include in the garden design
- Garden Functions… Create a list of typical functions in each area
- Utilization Matrix… Establish how these areas are used in a typical time period.
In the landscape design implementation phase all the planning and analysis done until now starts to take shape. Tools that the GardenBase landscape design application provides in the implementation phase are…
- Project Management.
- Project Tasks by Date… Report of task due date and description
- Project Milestones… Key points in the project timeline.
- Plant Inventory… What plants and objects are required to fulfill the design phase decisions
- Planting Schedule… What and how many plants/objects to place in each garden area
Future posts will detail each phase in more detail.
GardenBase : Garden Management Software
GardenBase is an online application which helps you in the planning, design and implementation of your garden design.
The combination of project management.and exciting online design tools assist in the planning, design and implementation of your landscape project. There is a 7 day free trial to allow you time to test the applications features.
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