Gap analysis is concerned with examining the two views of a business, that of the situation as it exists and that of the conceptual desired situation, in order to identify the differences between them. These differences provide the basis for defining the actions to be taken in order to implement the desired view.
Gap analysis can be used in tandem with most other techniques concerned with analysing needs, for example, Business Process Mapping, Customer Journey Mapping and Business Activity Models. Gap analysis should clearly show and describe the difference between the current state and the desired ‘to-be’. Each element on e.g. a Business Activity Model may be analysed on a more detailed level to show the specific tasks that are needed to reach the desired end-state.
A gap analysis is usually conducted by the business analyst, requiring consultation and analytical skills. The analyst will have to liaise with various senior stakeholders and have already performed some analytical exercises looking at the current situation and desired end-state.
When conducting a gap analysis, the analyst should categories each of the activities in the following manner:
Categorising the activities in this manner allows for the analyst to prioritise which jobs need done in line with the original objectives and scope of the project.
When conducting a gap analysis the analyst should follow these steps::
A simple example of how this may look is demonstrated here:
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|Future State||Current Situation||Next Actions/Proposals|
|Answer 90 percent of calls within 2 minutes||Approximately 50 percent of calls are answered within 2 minutes||Develop a call volume reporting/queue modelling system to ensure that there are enough staff during busy periods
Recruit any additional people needed
Develop a system that allows callers to book a call back during busy periods
When analysing your current and future state, try to use measurable, quantifiable performance indicators e.g. 50% less calls made to customer contact centre. Such measurable indicators will make it easier to realise your objectives. If these are too subjective with not enough detail, then analysts could lose buy-in from stakeholders or fail to realise the project objectives fully.
Although the example here illustrates a relatively simple gap analysis exercise they can often be very complex, especially when concerned with IT projects involving lots of system developments. Gap analysis exercises in this vain should be given considerable amount of time and effort.