Five Effective Gap Analysis Tools

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Five Effective Gap Analysis Tools Gap Analysis
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What is Gap Analysis?

Gap analysis is the process of evaluating a company’s performance by identifying the gaps between its actual performance and its desired performance. The “gap” in gap analysis refers to the space between actual and desired performance. Once these gaps are identified, organizations can then take measures to reduce or eliminate them. 

Gap analysis is an effective tool to achieve increased efficiency, optimized allocation of resources, and improved productivity. Within this article, we will take a look at a few different tools used by businesses to conduct a gap analysis.

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Tools used to Perform Gap Analysis

Many different tools and approaches can be utilized to perform a gap analysis. Let’s take a look at five effective tools used to conduct gap analysis: 

  • SWOT Analysis
  • McKinsey 7s Model 
  • Fishbone Diagram 
  • Nadler-Tushman’s Congruence Model
  • PERT Technique
  • SWOT Analysis

Five Effective Gap Analysis Tools Gap Analysis

SWOT analysis, or the SWOT matrix, is a framework used to identify the internal and external elements that affect an organization. More particularly, it is used to outline:

  • Internal Origin
  1. Strengths: Strengths refer to the characteristics of a business that give it a competitive edge. 
  2. Weaknesses: Weaknesses refer to the characteristics of a business that place it at a disadvantage relative to its competitors. 
  • External Origin
  1. Opportunities: Opportunities refer to the characteristics of the external business environment that can be leveraged toward the organization’s advantage. 
  2. Threats: Threats refer to the characteristics of the external business environment that could create challenges or troubles for the organization. 

The SWOT matrix has a simple structure that provides a comparison chart that businesses can use to examine their current situation so that strategic plans and decisions can be made to help the organization reach its goals more effectively. 

  • McKinsey 7s Model

Five Effective Gap Analysis Tools Gap Analysis

The McKinsey 7s model is a tool that analyses 7 key internal elements of a business that must be aligned so that an organization can succeed in achieving its objectives. These 7 elements are divided into soft and hard elements: 

  • Hard Elements: Elements that can be identified and controlled.

  1. Structure: The way business units and divisions are organized and the way responsibility is distributed. 
  2. Strategy: The plans developed by a firm to achieve a competitive advantage. 
  3. Systems: The processes and procedures of the company that reflect how decisions are made within the organization. 
  • Soft Elements: Elements that cannot be identified and controlled but play a bigger role in giving an organization a competitive advantage.
  1. Skills: The abilities of those in the firm’s workforce. 
  2. Style: The way top-level managers manage the company. 
  3. Staff: The number and type of employees in an organization and the way HR activities such as recruiting and training are conducted. 
  4. Shared Values: This is the core element of the 7s model; it reflects the norms and standards that dictate employee behaviour and organizational culture and is therefore at the foundation of every organization. 
  • Fishbone Diagram

Five Effective Gap Analysis Tools Gap Analysis

A fishbone diagram is a tool that facilitates the visualization of the cause-and-effect relationship between organizational issues and their root causes. It helps managers identify and communicate complex gaps within business processes and outcomes in a way that makes them easier to understand. As its name suggests, the diagram takes the shape of a fish skeleton, where the main underlying problem is placed at the fish’s head and the causes branch out to the left out of the lateral line. The ribs branch out off the back of the fish, reflecting the major causes and their sub-branches branch off to denote the root causes of the issues outlined.

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  • Nadler-Tushman’s Congruence Model

Five Effective Gap Analysis Tools Gap Analysis

The Nadler-Tushman model involves looking at the broader picture to understand how different elements of an organization work in amalgamation to influence certain outcomes. It particularly focuses on the following four aspects of an organization that transform inputs into outputs: 

  • Work
  • Culture
  • People
  • Structure

The model dissects each of these elements to help managers and decision-makers understand the ways in which the organization functions and how different parts interact with one another. After this thorough evaluation is complete, its deficiencies are identified so that an action plan can be created to eliminate them. 

  • PERT Analysis

PERT, an abbreviation for ‘program evaluation and review technique’, is a project management tool used to evaluate the tasks in a schedule with the aim of determining the amount of time it will require to finish a project. This tool is leveraged by organizations to plan tasks within a project and create a schedule that facilitates coordination and efficient execution of tasks.

FAQs on Gap Analysis Tools

Gap analysis is a strategic planning tool used for the evaluation of a company’s performance by comparing its current performance with its desired or predicted performance.

A myriad of tools can be used to conduct gap analysis, including: 

  • SWOT Analysis
  • McKinsey 7s Model 
  • Fishbone Diagram 
  • Nadler-Tushman’s Congruence Model
  • PERT Technique
  • Burke-Litwin Change Model

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used by organizations to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It provides an understanding on the current state of the organization so that they can capitalize on their strengths and take measures to eliminate their weaknesses.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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