Gap analysis is a technique used by businesses to determine what steps will allow them to move from their current state to a desired future state. It is sometimes referred to as needs analysis or needs assessment. It generally consists of three stages.
- Listing of current inputs/resources – the “what is” state
- Listing of factors needed to achieve future optimized performance – the “what should be” state
- Identifying any gaps that exist between the two states and reflecting on what needs to be accomplished to bridge the difference.
Upon completion of this module, learners will:
- Understand the meaning
- Be able to develop a gap analysis for their innovation initiative
- Understand the basic themes and processes involved in developing an analysis for an innovation initiative
- Know the best strategies for managing an analysis
Gap Analysis Template: Key Elements
It compares the gap between an organization’s actual performance against its potential performance. In gap analysis, you typically list out the organization’s current state, its desired state, and a comprehensive plan to fill out the gap between these two states. This analysis can yield a lot of insights into an organization’s performance and functioning. It is pertinent for businesses as well as more organic organizations such as school classrooms and communities.
It is more organic and flexible than SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, which typically follows a four quadrant pattern. Gap analysis may be highly quantitative or conceptual, using either Excel worksheets or flowcharts. The analyst has much more freedom in choosing what to focus on. At the same time, every gap analysis template must have a few essential components.