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New Post 3/22/2019 2:16 PM
User is offline Polka
1 posts
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Gap Analysis  

How do we conduct GAP analysis?? First stage? What we have to do first ?

New Post 5/29/2019 6:38 AM
User is offline Stewart F
112 posts
7th Level Poster

Re: Gap Analysis  


Hi there Polka, 

GAP analysis is a bit of a minefield - not because the task is hard or complicated, but because lots of people (Management mainly, which as I am one now, I can say I have certainly experienced it from both sides of the fence) abuse the task. 

In short, GAP analysis should look at a specified process (you can also carry out GAP analysis on the company as a whole or a department, but lets keep things simple and pretend we are carrying out GAP analysis on a particular process) see what you DO have, and set that against what you WANT to have. 

Once that is done, you will have a series of gaps which need to be filled in some way. Typically, GAP analysis only looks at identifying the gaps, once identified, a project or piece of work, separate to the GA looks at the best way to fill them.

Be careful not to mix the two. I should stress, they are separate. 

Once identified, typically you then need to present these to the Product Manager, Head of Department or whoever asked for the analysis in the first place. They way well turn round and say "OK, thanks, but we don't have the money to do anything right now", In which case, your job is done. 

Alternatively, they may want to initiate a project to do something about the gaps. If this is the case they should go through your companies 'Raising a New Project' process.

So that's the basic concept - how do you actually carry out the analysis I hear you ask?

Well there are lots of templates on the internet which help you carry out the analysis, but in short it is much the same as any normal requirement gathering. You need to first of all understand what the current process is - document it, process flow it  and double check that that is ACTUALLY happening. Remember, just because that is the 'proper' process, doesn't actually mean that is what is done in the real world. So do check - talk to the people who actually do the process on the 'shop floor'. 

Then talk to the process owner. This may be a Product Manager, a Line Manager or a Head of Department. Whoever, go through with them exactly what they would LIKE it to be. This is the classic WHAT IS/TO BE mapping. When mapping the new desired process, carry out a full end to end process flow. Leave nothing out. 

Once both have been done, then show where the gaps are. Typically, I would start with where are the biggest holes and/or the most deficient gap (useful if the process is a part of a regulatory requirement). Break all the gaps down into groups - typically try to keep it to no more than 4 or 5. When presenting these back to the requestor, go through each one, one at a time. If it is possible, see if you can find examples of other companies where your gap is done correctly.

So for example, lets say you are carrying out GAP analysis on the Client On-Boarding process. If one of the gaps is where you welcome them to your company, try to find good examples, where other companies do this well. You are not suggesting a solution, merely examples of what a filled gap looks like. 

Techniques such a SWOT analysis work quite well here, but there are lots of different methods. Tale a look around the internet to see what best suits your need. 

Some people will say that you should try to fill the gaps and come up with solutions, however, sometimes that is a massive project in its own right, and at this stage you don't know for sure if the requestor wants to go through with the change yet, so you could be wasting your time.     

So the stage are this:

1. Understand, agree and get signed off exactly what is in scope and what is out of scope as you would any project.

2. Agree a timeframe for how long you have to do the GA

3. Agree how the Requestor wants feedback. A presentation is normally the best method.

4. Get all your documents in order. Find a GAP Analysis template on the internet - there are lots. 

5. Then identify (ask your requestor to start off with) who are the keep people involved with this process.

6. Touch base with them, arrange meetings and go through what they do, who else is involved etc.

7. Keep repeating this cycle until everyone mentioned has been interviewed by yourself.

8. Put together a process flow - make it simple, but ensure it covers all the steps.

9. Ideally get everyone, or certainly the main people you spoke to, together in a room and go through the process flow that you put together. Ask them if it is correct and if anything else should be added. Be mindful of your scope. 

10. Sit down with the Requestor (or other person if suitable) who can go through what they WANT the new process to be. Do exactly the same as you did for the current process - interview all those mentioned (some of them may be the same people as you originally spoke to). 

11. When complete look for the gaps between the two. They should be fairly obvious, but also try to 'look outside of the box' - is there anything not so obvious. 

12. Group all of the gaps into larger groups, so for example, 'Contact Information', 'Welcome Communications' etc. highlight the gaps in each of these and create a presentation to highlight and discuss each group of gaps. 

13. Have that presentation with the requestor. They may want other people involved in which case invite them all at the same time for a workshop. 

14. Once complete, make sure you tell the requestor of what the next steps are:

a. If you do not wish to continue then the Analysis is closed, give me or her a copy of the presentation and start work on your next project.

b. If he/she wants to resolve those gaps, inform them that they will need to go through the companies 'New project request' process. Say that you are happy to help etc - BUT DONT actually start work on the project until you get clearance to,

I think that covers everything. Give me a shout if you need more info anywhere.  

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