Gap Analysis can be used in many scenarios and across departments, industries, and even in your own personal life. It is basically an analysis of what we are missing or how far we are from a goal, e.g. where are we compared where we want to be, or how do our product compare to the competitor.
When doing a Gap Analysis, we can split it up in 4 main steps.
Gap Analysis Step One – Identify Goals
Some methods start with looking at your own company first, but personally I think it is beneficial to have a goal or target before starting the analysis.
Some companies benchmark against competitors, but it could also be a Gap Analysis as part of implementing a ISO 9001 QMS. In that case the requirement from ISO would be our goal, and we would compare our company to that.
No matter what your goal is, it must be clear and quantifiable before starting the gap analysis, so that the gap can be measured.
This can now be entered into your template
Gap Analysis Step Two – Benchmark Current State
When the goal is defined, you need to collect data on your current state against each of your strategic goals. As the data is collected, enter it in the column with current state and the deficiency column.
As in our example with ISO 9001, then there is a requirement for a Non Conforming Material Process, you would then be looking at how your company comply with that in you Gap Analysis.
Gap Analysis Step Three – Bridging the Gap
Next step is to look at how you make a bridge to get from current to desired state. The last column in the Gap Analysis is for the actions needed to get to the desired state. Here brainstorming can be used to come up with different ways to achieve the goals, and example could be to hire a quality consultant to help with the implementation.
Gap Analysis Step Four – Compile the Report
Once all the investigation and planning is done, the report with all the data and analysis need to be written.
Start with an executive summary that quickly gives the current versus desired state for each goal and the reason for those gaps.
Each goal should then be covered fully in its own section, and at the end a conclusion that summarises the report and feed into an improvement plan to address the gaps.
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