The gap analysis is a management tool for the early detection of vulnerabilities. With their help, it can be determined whether the planned corporate goals can be achieved if today’s actions are transferred to the future.
It is difficult for companies to estimate what can be achieved in a certain period of time if there is no basis for evaluating and comparing the current situation. To identify potential for optimization, companies need to know both their current status and their future direction. The gap analysis identifies and quantifies differences of any kind between TARGET (a vision to be achieved by a new strategy) and ACTUAL (acceptance of further development while maintaining the current strategy).
It describes whether current developments and activities based on the actual values achieve the desired or planned result.
The gap analysis is a tool for the identification of fields of action through quantitative and qualitative deviation analyzes. Or simply put: the gaps between the current state (actual state) of a company and the target state are shown.
The scope of the analysis can extend to the entire company or only to a specific department or team. The gap analysis can focus on a business process, a corporate strategy or a technology. The main purpose of the gap analysis is to define the necessary action steps as a catalog of measures to get from the current state to the desired state and to reduce the gap.
The gap analysis is carried out as follows:
Compare the planning sizes for a certain planning period with the actual developments
– Analysis of the current situation and exploration (projecting values into the future)
– Definition of the target image
Interpretation of the gap
– Presentation of the deviation from the planned target achievement and identification of the target gap
Development of a catalog with defined measures (suggestions to close the gap
Without a systematic approach, companies can end up setting goals that are over- or under-ambitious. Companies that set arbitrary goals usually have difficulty in achieving them or they pay extra.
Companies use gap analysis in many areas. One of the most common uses is competitiveness analysis to see where the company is compared to its competitors. The gap analysis provides a clearer picture for future orientation and a basis for a catalog of measures.
In IT, gap analysis offers a solid basis for creating the roadmap for digital initiatives. Prioritize the results of the gap analysis in different measures to close the gaps. And determine the optimal sequence of actions, for example as a work breakdown structure with a clear definition of predecessor-successor relationships for each element.
This approach quickly reveals where there are significant gaps and where there is potential for optimization. From this, the phase plan for the roadmap can be used as Rough planning and basis for further project planning be developed.