Essentially, a gap analysis pinpoints the techniques that will help your business achieve and exceed its goals. It refers to the “gap” between desired results and the ones you actually see.
Now, keep in mind, a gap analysis is not the same as a risk assessment. A gap analysis examines your current situation, whereas a risk assessment looks to the future.
As a result of a gap analysis, you know what you have to do to achieve the results you expect quickly and efficiently.
What Are the Benefits of a Gap Analysis?
You can use the tool in your business as a whole, for individual campaigns, and even to evaluate and improve individual or team performance.
Regardless of its specific application, it allows you to compare potential to results. In other words, it pushes you to ask, “how far did they fall from their capacity” and, “did the resources fall short of the needs?”
When applied to other business processes, a gap analysis becomes a reporting procedure that’s used for improving performance.
4 Steps to Performing a Gap Analysis (with Examples)
1Identify the area you want to evaluate and state the ideal outcome
Let’s say you want to find out why your sales team is not meeting their required calls per day.
The goal here would be to discover the causes that contributed to the targets not being met. Then, you would also recommend some suggestions on how to remove those causes.
If everything worked out according to plan, where would you be?
2Analyze the current state with honesty and based on facts
- What caused the targets to be missed?
- Was the sales team not trained enough?
- Were they short-staffed?
- Did they not have the collateral and materials needed to hit those targets?
3Compare the current state with the ideal results and quantify the difference
How far off was the sales team from the actual target? Did your company expect 300 calls a day, but only got 200?
To quantify, we would see that there was a 33% shortfall from the expected result to the actual result.
From there, you may find that insufficient training may have been the culprit. Alternatively, staffing shortages could have put a dent in the results.
Whatever it is, be sure to quantify that difference with simple terminologies, such as poor, fair, remarkable, or even on a 1-50 scale.
4Develop a plan to bridge the gap
Now you can determine what needs to be changed and what steps need to be taken in order to fix these shortcomings.
Ensure you monitor all the steps in the process and measure the before and after results.
In summary, businesses usually perform a GAP analysis to help them identify the difference between where they are now to where they want to be.
If you want to run a healthy, scalable business, performing this type of analysis will help you have a much better understanding of what you need to do to achieve your targets.