What Is a Gap Analysis?
A gap analysis is a way to assess the performance of a business's information systems or software development to determine if business requirements are met or not. Also known as a needs analysis, this reports the present state of the business and the improvement processes to reach its target state.
How to Write a Gap Analysis
Commonly used by project managers to figure out how to allocate resources, this analyzes services and tools to be eliminated and to be developed by the company. Once you are able to perform the gap analysis, you can have a good idea of where your company stands and where you are heading.
1. Choose an Area
Gap analysis covers a lot of areas, this includes revenue, profit, market share, and product functionality/features. Don't make your report too broad, just focus on one area that needs improvement. Research about the area and provide a detailed sample analysis about it and identify goals to be accomplished. Ask yourself why your business is not meeting target outputs, then discover its causes and recommend how to remove or minimize the causes.
2. Analyze Current State
Check where your business's current state is based on metrics or attributes. Review your chosen area and identify causes that contributed to your business's current state. Check its efficiency, product profitability, customer satisfaction, performance, participation, and competitive advantages. Use charts to illustrate your data.
3. Propose a Target State
Propose a target state for your business to follow. In setting your goals, be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bounded) about your gap analysis. Be holistic with your approach, make it flexible and adaptive to changes. Most importantly, make sure to create a contingency plan in case things don't go according to plan.
4. Identify the Gap
Identify the gap between where you are now and where you want to be at a certain time. How far are you from your target state from your actual production? Compare your current state with your ideal state and fill the gap. Describe the gap and quantify the differences. After researching its potential causes, outline contributions that can fill the gap differences between your present state and your ideal state.
5. Fill the Gap
Provide quantitative data and simplify everything to make it easily understandable for your audience. Summarize all your recommendations and create a plan to bridge the gaps. Decide on what needs to be changed, look beyond what is obvious to see the bigger picture then determine steps to fix the dilemma. You can use different frameworks for your gap analysis and if everything goes well, the management will begin improvement plans.
6. Review Analysis
Before submitting your report, review and recheck for any errors and uncertainties with your gap analysis. Make sure that it is feasible and can be easily utilized to perform the processes. Support your recommendations with data from your analysis and delegate people to take responsibility for ensuring the task to be completed.