Thursday, January 17, 2013

Strategy Assessment Methods: GAP Analysis



 By John Kyriazoglou

 The following methods and techniques may be utilized for the analysis, assessment and evaluation of strategy of any type of organization. The evaluator may use only one method, or more than one, depending on his (or her) experience and situation.
These methods and techniques are: SWOT analysis, PEST Analysis (also known as PESTLE Analysis), Gap Analysis, Portfolio analysis, Value chain analysis, Delphi Method, Life cycle analysis, Screening strategic options, Financial analysis, Scenario planning, Critical success factor analysis, The five forces, Directional Policy Matrix, and Competitor Analysis.

Previous posts described SWOT and PEST. Other future posts will deal with the rest of these methods and techniques.

 
Gap Analysis

Gap Analysis is a method used extensively in the process of designing the strategy of an organization.  With the use of this method, the gaps between the present situation and the desired state are defined, in terms of processes, procedures, technology, systems, human resources, infrastructure and organizational structure.

The steps to achieve this are:

Step 1. Describe the business goals and objectives to be achieved. Describe where you want your whole business or business function or department to go. This could be a long-term plan for the company, or something more immediate for a particular business function. Consult with all managers involved, directly or indirectly, with the systems and procedures of the company or function.

Step 2. Select the basic performance metrics, quality and quantity criteria, which you will use to monitor your gap analysis work.

Step 3. Describe the existing business processes. This could involve all business processes of the company as a whole or the processes of a specific department or function. This description also includes identifying the IT systems utilized in the processes you document.

Step 4. Define the desired future performance position.

Step 5. Measure your current performance.

Step 6. Recognize the gaps between your existing and the future desired position. This involves identifying the gaps, which are the differences between your goals and the existing processes, and recommend remedies. A chart or summary table may be useful in showing the "to be" and "as is" cases.

Step 7. Design a strategy to achieve the desired position as described above by bridging all the defined gaps, and for all processes, procedures, technology, systems, human resources, infrastructure and organizational structure components identified.

Step 8. Execute the strategy described in step 7 to achieve the desired position by bridging all the defined gaps, and by improving the processes, procedures, technology, systems, human resources, infrastructure and organizational structure.

Step 9. Request feedback on a draft version of the gap analysis document. The review process might identify additional gaps and help build awareness and support for your recommendations.

Step 10. Monitor and report progress achieved.


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