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Example of Gap Analysis

Gap analysis is the study of a situation dealing with the present case and the desired future situation. This is a systematic approach to problem solving.

There are 3 basic stages in gap analysis:

1. Description of the nature of the current situation, including: Characteristics of the situation, nature, performance, competencies, etc., basically a situation report.
2. Requirements for the future, which is a subjective analysis of needs, logistics and prerequisites for future objectives.
3. A comparison of 1 and 2, describing what's needed to achieve the objectives.

Gap analysis is the comparative study of a situation dealing with the present case and the desired future situation. This is a systematic approach, using specific measures to ensure a full quantification of the two cases. The differences between the existing situation and the preferred future situation are referred to as ''gaps''.

Gap analysis is a highly efficient method of comprehensively analyzing cases and scenarios. It's a highly flexible and adaptable methodology, able to deal with multiple values and variables in any study.

For example:

A graphic design business has made a strategic decision to upgrade its capabilities and expand its range of services.

The current situation is that the business can provide a range of services including:

  • Web videos
  • Graphic designs
  • Logos
  • Illustrations
  • Icons for apps
  • T shirt designs

This range of services is very limited in the modern market, and the business must increase its capabilities to be competitive and get higher paying jobs.

The business sets goals for expansion:

  • Animation
  • 3D graphics
  • Gaming graphics
  • Movie graphics

The business also aims to cut out some existing lines of services, specifically logos and icons for apps, which haven't been performing and are time consuming diversions of resources.

The new business will therefore be doing:

  • Web videos
  • Graphic designs
  • Illustrations
  • T shirt designs
  • Animation
  • 3D graphics
  • Gaming graphics
  • Movie graphics

This is where the gap analysis begins. The four new business functions will require software, hardware, and in the case of movie graphics, a dedicated studio for testing and basic modeling, separate from the other functions. This is a hardware intensive function.

The gap analysis now has to deal with:

  • The sequence and cost of introducing the new business functions
  • Retiring the two functions no longer in operation.
  • Costing the upgrades in terms of resources, software, etc.
  • Evaluating staff and/or outsourcing requirements

There are multiple options for both how and when the upgrades are conducted. Gap analysis allows the business to carry out separate studies of different possibilities and evaluate the best approach to the upgrades.

An action plan is developed after assessment of options, and presented to business management in a clearly laid out form, identifying options and scheduling the upgrade for implementation.

Examples of Gap Analysis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gap_analysis
http://depts.washington.edu/natmap/projects/wagap/
http://gapanalysis.nbii.gov/portal/community/GAP_Analysis_Program/Communities/GAP_Home/