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Gap analysis is a set of techniques to examine and describe the gap between current performance and desired future goals. It is the comparison of actual performance with potential or desired performance; that is the ‘current state’ the ‘desired future state’. It’s a reporting process used to improve processes within various industries. Ultimately, a strong gap analysis process allows project managers to determine where the business is—and where it wants to be. An important aspect of gap analysis is its ability to identify what needs to be done in a project.
Gap analysis can be used in areas such as:
- Financial performance
- Human resource management
- Quality assurance
- Cost control
- Employee satisfaction
- Energy conservation
- Market competitiveness
- Technical skills
For example, gap analysis is popular in problem solving because it is a technique used to investigate problems. If you are evaluating sales numbers and they are not where you would like them to be, you can begin to put together a plan to increase them, such as increasing the number of salespeople on your payroll or expanding into other regions. However, it all begins with gap analysis.
Various tools are also used in gap analysis, including fishbone diagrams, a SWOT analysis, McKinsey 7S Framework and the Nadler-Tushman Model. While a gap analysis is a simple concept, it requires a skilled project manager to lead the team to solve the problem.
An example of the general guideline of the Gap Analysis process:
- Select and confirm activity to be analysed
- Review activity profile information and describe key aspects of the activity in terms of measures of performance
- Develop a vision for the activity and/or identify targets to compare current performance
- Compare the degree of gap and describe as appropriate
- Determine actions required to get to the vision
- Summarise results
A gap analysis can help understand and prioritize business needs by helping identify any deficiencies or shortcomings that need to be overcome. Once gaps are uncovered, it becomes easier to quantify them and identify the work effort that will be required to address them. From here, you can help prioritize them so that the greatest gaps can be addressed first. Gap analysis provides a clarity on where you are and where you could go, baselined against project delivery best practice, that can add real value to your business. Effective measures for auditing project performance and controlling projects is the key to any project’s success.
Auditing Project Performance & Controlling Projects 2019 is a 3-day training course held on 24-26 April 2019 where delegates will receive hands-on training and experience, practicing the art of auditing your project against the project requirements documents, risk management plans, and budget estimates. You’ll learn the best in industry practices used to measure the triple constraints of project management and risk that ensure success and you’ll master techniques for estimating and forecasting future performance of your project.
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