What Is Gap Analysis? 3 Steps and Examples to Use | Lucidchart Blog
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Let’s answer your question upfront: What is gap analysis? 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.

If you’re wondering how to do a gap analysis, follow these three simple steps. Regardless of your industry, you’ll be able to apply these tips across any discipline and meet your business goals.

1. Analyze your current state

For those wondering how to do a gap analysis, you first need to discover what we’re calling “the once and future you”—where your organization currently is and where you would like to be.

Start with your current state. Your analysis can include qualitative information, such as team processes/methodologies, and quantitative information, such as the number of sales calls made each week. In fact, your gap analysis process should evaluate everything you currently do so you get the “big picture.”

2. Identify the ideal future state

Once you have a big picture figured out and understand how your team or organization currently functions, you need to become strategically idealistic. Where would you like to be? What’s not happening that should be? What could be happening that hasn’t before—or maybe was but changed? But most importantly, what needs to happen to get there?

Maybe you have an exceptional marketing team that outsources all its content; maybe your goal is bringing that creative process back in house to meet your brand guidelines. Perhaps you realize you want to create a cultural shift to better match your product or services. The sky’s the limit, and you should dream big!

3. Bridge that gap

This is the harder part: getting from here to there. You have to determine what gaps exist and how they’re preventing you from reaching your goal. The better part is figuring out how to transcend the difficulties. Establish clear objectives that will help you actualize your transition. You can use the tools described below during this gap analysis process.

Gap analysis process tools

Many tools exist to help you bridge the gap. Whichever tool you choose, you can create any of the visuals you need in Lucidchart for free.

SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is, perhaps, one of the oldest textbook marketing assets. SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can perform a SWOT analysis both quantitatively and qualitatively. This process will help you determine internal and external threats to your organization and see where how you stand out against the competition.

Lucidchart acts as the ideal SWOT analysis tool. Get started with this template!

SWOT analysis
SWOT Analysis Template (Click on image to modify online)

McKinsey 7S Framework

The McKinsey framework was developed by its eponymous consulting firm. It ultimately helps determine whether a company is meeting expectations and actualizes the shared values of an organization. It works through the 7 S’s of an organization to see what values cross over. Additionally, this framework bridges the gap between the company’s present and desired states.

McKinsey 7S Framework
McKinsey 7S Framework (Click on image to modify online)

Nadler-Tushman Model

Perhaps the most dynamic of the models, the Nadler-Tushman model examines how each business process affects another and identifies which gaps affect efficiency. It creates a holistic view of your organization’s operational processes from beginning (input) to end (output).

Nadler-Tushman model
Nadler-Tushman Model (Click on image to modify online)

The model finds gaps by comprising your organization's processes into three groups:

  • Input: Entire company culture and workforce; all resources used to create product/service, and operational environment
  • Transformation: The systems, teams, and processes that take the input value(s) and turn them into the output product
  • Output: The final product or service

The gap analysis process is essential for any business to streamline their operations for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. If you’re considering process improvement, take a look at how using Lucidchart can help with your endeavors!