Performing Gap Analysis
With the advancement in the technology, especially with Information Technology, companies now start looking outside of their confined traditional knowledge library for the best practices and Job aids to improve their quality of product and culture. Gap analysis is a tool for those managers and CEOs who want to stay on the top of success. If a gap analysis is done only one time then it makes very easier to monitor any new changes or improvements. Gap analysis is an In-process document and it is never considered a complete document until the whole project is either completed or terminated.
Let us create a basic yet effective Gap Document for our Gap Analysis. We will attempt to identify the Gap between Current and Future State (assuming current and future states are both known to us). Open an excel file and start creating columns as steps below:
- Identify the Current State or As-Is process/state: Name the first column as “Current State “ and start listing all the current state functionalities or processes or anything that you want to perform gap analysis on.
- Identify the future state or To-Be process/State: Name the Second Column as “Future State” and start listing the future states corresponding to Current states. If there is no future state then mention “N/A” in the corresponding row. In care we do not know the name of future sate or simply the future state is unknown to us then mention “Unknown”.
Note- Lets take an example as I am creating a Business Requirement Document and I want to make sure that I listed out all the requirements. The best way to identify the missing requirement is by performing a quick gap analysis but how? Now after completing above two steps you can create a third column as “Identified as Requirement”. If you identified that enhancement in functionality as a requirement then mention “YES” in the corresponding row if not then say “NO” and this “NO” is the problem now. It is a GAP for this situation.
- Gap Exists? The third column can be named as “Gap Exists?” When current state and future state doesn’t perfectly match up then Gap Exists= “Yes”. In our example, when future state is unknown or N/A for us then that means there is a gap.
- Fourth Column as “Gap Description”: Use the fourth column to describe the Gap in detail. For the Gap which exits as Unknown, we can describe it as this gap exists due to unknown future state of corresponding current state. This gap should be reolved after the identification of future state is completed. You can even provide the Name of contact person and gap resolution strategies here in this column.
- Fifth Column- “Gap Resolution”: Column 5th, 6th and 7th are dedicated to Gap Resolution. As we already found Gaps, now we need to resolve them. In this column mention the detail how the Gap was resolved. Provide all the information as possible.
- Column Six- “Gap Resolved By”: It is always good to mention the source in documents. Here in this column the name of person or source who resolved the Gap.
- Column Seven- “Gap Resolved Date”: Mention the date when the Gap was resolved.
- Column Eight – “Comments/Attachments”: Mention additional detail which you missed to include before.
There columns are not the standards. You can use it whichever way you want to, there are no standards or Gap Analysis Columns. These columns are used here because they are the best fields I could find to compare the Current and Future State, a simple illustration. You can add other columns like: Dependencies, Risk, Priority and so one as needed by your situation.