Gap Analysis compares two things, what is with what should be. It often helps comparing two different states of something, the current state and the future state. Once the gap is identified, an action plan can be developed to bridge the gap.
The performance of a company may suffer if it doesn’t make the best use of its resources and capabilities. Gap Analysis compares the actual performance of a company against the potential or desired performance. It allows to determine if a company meets the desired level of performance, and if it doesn’t, find ways to improve.
Gap Analysis is useful when working with any project management approach. It could be used at any stage of a project to analyze progress. It is most useful at the beginning of a project when developing the project charter.
Gap Analysis is also useful when comparing an existing process to a process performed elsewhere. This can help to determine if the process needs to be simplified, streamlined or redesigned. You need to compare both processes step-by-step and note the differences. You need then to try to bridge the gap and reach your objectives.
To Conduct a Gap Analysis:
- Identify what you need to achieve.
- Understand the current situation.
- Who has the knowledge that you need?
- Is the information documented somewhere?
- Is there is a need to conduct brainstorming sessions?
- Do you need to use other data collection tools (e.g. focus groups).
- Gap Analysis is conducted to address the unsatisfactory performance of a process. It is common to use performance indicators to compare the current performance against targeted performance. You can use these indicators at any point in the project life cycle.
Example – The Food Takes Too Long to be Served:
The following example illustrates how to conduct a gap analysis when it takes too long for the food to be served in a restaurant: