What is PESTLE Analysis, and what are best practices, tools and templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of PESTLE Analysis
A PESTLE Analysis is a tool used to analyze the outside influences on a potential product, project or service prior to launching it. PESTLE is an acronym, an extension of a PEST Analysis, which stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors. When completed, it provides an overall picture of the external environment to help with strategic planning and decision-making.
Description of PESTLE Analysis
The results of a PESTLE Analysis are often used as input for other business management tools, such as SWOT Analysis, SOAR Analysis, Risk Assessment or Business Model Canvas. A PESTLE Analysis helps a team, most often Marketing but can be any management team, understand the market and positioning of the business or product, and to plan strategy in new and existing markets.
The PESTLE framework helps teams by encouraging strategic thinking, including how the existing strategy fits into the broader market. It also looks at important external influences and allows leaders to make more knowledgeable decisions.
The factors explored in a PESTLE Analysis include:
- Political: The extent to which political factors influence the market. This would include new taxes, laws, or tariffs that would affect a new or existing product.
- Economic: This includes overall economic forces that could affect your product, such as inflation rates, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, or economic growth patterns.
- Social: These factors look the social environment of the market, such as cultural trends, demographics and population analysis. Also important to this part of the analysis are attitudes and shared beliefs of the target consumer, including those around health, work, leisure, money, family and religion.
Technological: These factors include advancements in technology which could influence your product, either positively or negatively. Examples include communication technology, automation, legislation around technology and intellectual property, as well as competitor technology development.
Legal: This includes current and future legal and regulatory requirements impacting a product. These factors can include laws around consumer protection, labor, health and safety, taxes and trade regulations in the individual countries where the product will be sold.
Environmental: These factors include all those that influence or are determined by the surrounding environment. This aspect of the PESTLE is most important for industries such as tourism, farming, and agriculture. Examples of factors to analyze from an environmental angle are climate, weather, geographical location, and climate changes.
It is important to consider not only current factors, but how potential changes in each factor might impact the business in the future. While using the PESTLE Analysis framework, it is also beneficial to have input from participants across multiple departments in order to consider many different perspectives.
Tools & Templates
Data for a PESTLE analysis can be obtained in spreadsheets or documents, with final summary reports often presented in presentation formats.
upBOARD's Online PESTLE Analysis Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional PESTLE Analysis techniques, upBOARD’s online PESTLE Analysis collaboration tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other business strategy best practice tools and templates, including:
2 X 2 Matrix, ADL Matrix, Affinity Diagrams, Baker’s 4 Strategies of Influence, Balanced Scorecard, Benchmarking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Bowman Strategy Clock, Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop, Business Model Canvas, CAGE Distance Framework, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Landscape Analysis, Contingency Planning, Core Competence Analysis, Critical Success Factors, Discovery Driven Planning, Economic Value Added, First Mover Advantage, Five Forces Model, Force Field Analysis, Gap Analysis, GE McKinsey 9-Box Matrix, Go To Market Strategy, Hambrick & Frederickson’s Strategy Diamond, Hedgehog Model, Hook Model of Behavioral Design, Hoshin Planning System, Kay’s Distinctive Capabilities Framework, Key Outcome Indicators, Kotler’s Five Product Levels Model, Kotler’s Pricing Strategies, Lafley & Martin’s Five Step Strategy Model, McKinsey 7S Model, McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mission Statements, Mullin’s Seven Domains Model, OGSM Framework, Ohmae’s 3-C’s Model, Partner Relationship Management, PEST Analysis, PESTLE Analysis, Porter’s Diamond, Portfolio Management, Purpose Statements, Pyramid of Purpose, Scenario Planning, Simonson & Rosen’s Influence Mix, SMART Performance Metrics, SMARTER Goals, SOAR, Strategic Goals, Strategy Map, Strategy Roadmap, Strategy Uncertainty Map, SWOT Analysis, TOWS Matrix, Triple Bottom Line, USP Analysis, Value Chain Analysis, Value Disciplines Model, Value Net Model, Values Statement, Vision Statements, VRIO Analysis, and Weisbord’s Six-Box Model.