What is gap analysis? For corporate strategic planning, the answer requires a narrowing of focus of the usual definitions of the technique.
Gap analysis compares two things, to measure the difference between them. Often gap analysis helps in comparing two different states of something - the current state and the future state. Once the gap is identified, one can look for ways of bridging the gap.
Gap analysis is a method that an organization can use to measure the difference between its current, and anticipated future. This assumes it continues with its present strategies. It also means having a desired or targeted future state to compare with. The method may sometimes be termed need-gap analysis, needs analysis, and needs assessment.
Gap analysis can be conducted in situations such as the following -
just as with other strategic planning tools, one must be careful to use judgement. For some cautionary advice see the article Uses and Limitations of Strategy Tools.
In summary gap analysis consists of -
Gap analysis forces an organization to be clear on its current identity and performance, and challenge itself about what it wants to be in the future. It does so in clear, specific, measurable terms. This helps in designing or selecting specific strategies to fill the gaps.
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