Establishing short-term and long-term goals provides a direction for your business to steer. However, many entrepreneurs and business people alike find it daunting to meet those goals. They find themselves stuck in their current state knowing where they want to be but unable to find the map or tools to get there. A gap separates their current situation from the future state they would like to achieve.
This is where Gap Analysis comes into play. It compares your current position with the goal you have in mind for your project. By conducting Gap Analysis, you can identify what objectives and steps need to be taken to “bridge the gap” and make your goal achievable. While you may use this methodology at any stage in your project to analyze your progress, it is best and most useful in the very beginning.
The first step in conducting a Gap Analysis is to identify your project’s completed goal which is the “future state.” For example, your goal may be to increase your volume of business clients or customers.
Now you must clearly define and analyze your current situation. You must find out the current client count and any other pertinent information. Ask yourself these questions:
Who has the knowledge that you need? Who will have an understanding of the current situation?
Is the information and quantitative data documented somewhere on file?
What’s the best way to get this information? By using brainstorming workshops? Through one-to-one interviews? By reviewing documents?
After defining your current position to meet that projected future goal, you must now identify how to “bridge the gap.” Consider what objectives and steps your business needs to initiate in order to begin attaining that goal. Continuing with the previous example of increasing customer volume, your objectives maybe to train and support employees to improve their skills, expand advertising campaign, identify a target market for direct mail, and etc. These tangible objectives are small steps to achieving your ending goal.
|“Future State”||Current Situation||“Bridge the Gap” – Setting Objectives into Motion|
|Increase volume of business clients/customers by 20%||Daily customer count of approximately 155||
Utilizing Gap Analysis will propel your business in achieving short-term and long-term goals. Not only is it an organized method for you and your team to follow, it will also ensure that everyone is on the same page to achieve that “future state” you desire. While this article examines a simplified use of Gap Analysis, don’t underestimate the usefulness of a logical process in achieving even your most complex goals in mind.