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New Post 4/2/2014 4:46 AM
User is offline Nick
2 posts
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Gap Analysis 

 Hi all,

 

Having recently qualified as a business analyst, I've been tasked with carrying out a business system gap analysis.

 

The company I work at is at that critical stage of having undergone significant growth over the last 10 years picking up a lot of legacy systems with no defined processes and completely lacking in any IT strategy.

 

My main concern at the moment - prior to establishing the "to be" business system with senior managers - is that there is no defined 'mission statement', vision or overall business strategy. Brief 'cup of coffee' chats have given me a worrying insight that the senior managers really don't know what the overall mission, objectives, strategy and tactics are, or indeed what the differences between them are.

 

So I guess I'm asking for advice as to how to go about eliciting this information - it almost feels like I need to actually define what the company strategy is which is a rather daunting task!

 

Or is it actually necessary? If, through the interviews, I establish consensual KPIs, CSFs and the "to be" business activity model, is that enough to compare against the "as is" business system?

 

I know this is an amazing opportunity so I really want to nail it!

 

Thanks,

 

Nick

 
New Post 4/3/2014 2:29 AM
User is offline sammark360
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Re: Gap Analysis 
Modified By Chris Adams  on 4/3/2014 11:10:10 AM)

 hi i am sam and this is my first post.

 
New Post 4/4/2014 12:18 PM
User is offline Sandy
74 posts
8th Level Poster




Re: Gap Analysis 
Hi Nick, You are right to be concerned. It's very important to get the executive team's vision - without it, your 'to be' state will end up looking a lot like your 'current state'. No one will know or be able to commit to anything different, because that direction has to come from executives. Just because the executive team has not articulated their vision or strategy, does not mean that they do not have one. In fact, it's a good bet that they do. Right now, you're in the position of having to guess what that is - and as you've figured out, that's not a great position to be in. You may have to build some understanding and buy-in of the need for a vision, since it sounds like you're the only one recognizing that right now. It's in the best interests of the senior management team to have a vision and strategy from their executive, because ultimately they will be responsible when the executive team doesn't see their (unarticulated) vision in the to-be state that you produce. So I would suggest enlisting their aid in moving this forward. If you can, meet with your senior management team as a group as soon as possible, explain why the project needs an executive vision to be successful, and ask them to help you engage with executive on this. (Make sure it's clear that this is a project need, not your need - otherwise they will think it's your problem to solve, not theirs.) Have them speak to their respective executive managers, and champion the need for a vision on the project's behalf. Once they open the door to engaging with executives, you will have the authority (and responsibility!) for eliciting the vision. It's hard to get executive team time, so it's essential to have a well-planned and well-executed approach to getting their vision. When feasible, a joint workshop with all executive stakeholders works better than individual meetings. Have a clear agenda - state what you need from them, confirm scope and context for the meeting (summarize the project scope and goals), and provide some examples or questions to get the thinking going in advance. If you can get a copy of any existing business strategy or plan, you could use that to come up with these examples / questions. Sandy
 
New Post 4/7/2014 9:05 AM
User is offline Nick
2 posts
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Re: Gap Analysis 

Hi Sandy,

Thanks very much for your comprehensive response.

That all makes a lot of sense, thank you. I think I need to digest and plan the best way forward from your advice - the environment here is extremely political (I'm sure that's the case in most companies!) so I'd need to tread carefully about engaging the senior managers prior to any discussion with the 2 executive directors.

The two executive directors will be interviewed as well (when I say the senior management team I should have mentioned I also inlcude the two exec directors in that) so I may do as you suggest and actually carry out a workshop with them with the idea of building a MOST. It is extremely difficult to explain how important it is understanding the business strategy in carrying out a review of the 'system'. They very much see "IT" as separate, although I think I am slowly getting there in explaining that strategy should drive the system and not the other way round.

So many thanks again - I'll let you know how it goes!

Regards,

Nick

 
New Post 7/14/2014 9:52 AM
User is offline TomBA
5 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Gap Analysis 

Hi Nick,

In lieu of not having a formalized mission statement or vision created, you could rely on any documented goals or even objectives that may be nestled within such documentation as "strategic initiatives" or "balanced scorecards", for instance.   Alternatively, you can pursue performing a SWOT analysis that will garner opportunities for improvement, or current problem areas (inclusive of root causes).

Best,

Tom

 
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