Gap analysis is a business assessment tool enabling an organization to compare where it is currently and where it wants to go in the future. This provides the organization with insight to areas which have room for improvement. This can be used to determine the gap between ‘What do we want?’ and ‘What do we need?’ for example.
The process involves determining, documenting and approving the variance between business requirements and current capabilities. Gap analysis naturally flows from benchmarking or other assessments such as service or process maturity assessments. Once the general expectation of performance is understood then it is possible to compare that expectation with the level of performance at which the company currently functions. This comparison becomes the gap analysis. Such analysis can be performed at the strategic, tactical or operational level of an organization.
Gap analysis can be conducted from different perspectives such as:
- Organization (e.g. human resources)
- Business direction
- Business processes
- Information technology
Gap analysis provides a foundation for how much effort, in terms of time, money and human resources, is required to have a particular goal achieved (e.g. how to bring a service from a maturity level of 2 to 3).