April 16, 2018

Gap Analysis Template | Gap Analysis Example

What is Gap Analysis 

Every project manager managing a project has a fair view or idea of the ideal end state where they would like the project to be. In order to achieve the desired goal, it is necessary to identify what steps need to be taken to reach the desired outcome. For this purpose, a Gap Analysis Template can be used.Check out article with Gap Analysis Example in excel and word.

Gap Analysis Template, Gap Analysis Example
Gap Analysis Template

Gap Analysis Definition 

Gap Analysis is a useful technique used by organizations to compare differences between the current state and the potential future state. A Gap analysis template helps in assessing the gaps and identifying the necessary steps to complete these gaps and reach the potential end state.

Gap analysis consists of comparing the current and potential state by listing down the current situation - “What is” and the future objectives - “What Should Be” and then highlight the gaps and what needs to be done for these gaps to be bridged.

Gap analysis is a good way for project managers to understand where they are and where they would like to be. It also helps to determine what should be the next course of actions to reach the project to a desired state. Though a gap analysis can be used at any stage of the project to assess the project’s progress, it is particularly useful when done at the beginning of the project.

Gap Analysis Process

The first step in a gap analysis process is to identify where you would like your project to be. This basically involves identifying the objectives one wants to achieve and the timeline that one wants to achieve them in. Gap analysis is particularly helpful when the scope is clearly defined and there are not many changes.

Gap Analysis Example

For example, if an organization is currently using a time tracking tool and based on the feedback collated from the users, there are a few improvements to be implemented for the better functioning of the system. If this project of developing an improved time tracking system is assigned to a project manager, the first step would be to identify what is the end goal. i.e. what kind of changes are required and what functionalities need to be added for an improved system. 

Next, the project manager will start looking at the current system and the existing functionalities. After having identified both the current and the desired end state, the project manager would now be able to assess the gaps and how he/she needs to proceed to fill in the gaps and to achieve the end goals.

Gap Analysis Methods

Gap analysis can be conducted using a few methods which include:

Qualitative Analysis:

Qualitative Analysis mainly involves researching and understanding human behavior in particular situations. This involves understanding why people do things in a certain way. This is analysis done by talking to people either through interviews individual or group discussions.

Quantitative Analysis:

Quantitative analysis mainly involves using analytical tools like charts and graphs. For Example, survey results can be studied using quantitative analysis. Graphs and charts help one to visually organize complex numerical data.

GAP SWOT Analysis:

SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis helps to identify the current strength and weaknesses and helps to articulate the opportunities and threats. This analysis mainly focuses on maximizing one’s strengths, taking action to bridge the gaps that exposes the project/organization to threats and weak points in the strategic plans and taking advantage of the opportunities. Identifying SWOTs is crucial as it helps in determining the steps planned to achieve the objective.

Gap Analysis Template

Gap Analysis Definition, Gap Analysis
GAP Analysis Example
The Gap Analysis template can be maintained in a word or excel format and usually consists of the following fields:

Project Name: 
Name of the project for which the gap analysis is being done.

Project Id: 
Unique identifier to identify the project maybe based on a system where project details are maintained or a manual identifier.

Project Objective: 
This section specifies the objective of the project to help understand what is being tried to achieve.

Project manager and/or stakeholders involved in the gap analysis.

Date when the Gap Analysis is conducted.

Current State: 
This field defines/identifies the current state the project is in i.e. where the project is currently.

End Goal: 
This field specifies the end goal i.e. where you would like the project to be.

The field lists down the identified gaps or differences between the current and the potential end state.

Defines the impact/implications due to the identified gaps.

This field recommends the actions that can be taken to bridge the gap between the current and future situation.

Timelines to achieve or complete these goals are defined.

To summarize, gap analysis is a technique that is used by organizations to improve their performance levels. A gap analysis is an important and useful document that can help to assess the gaps between the current situation and the end state and thereby help the project manager identify the steps or actions required to be taken or fulfilled in order to reach the desired future state.

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