The expansion of businesses is definitely an exciting prospect, but have you ever wondered why countless firms weren’t able to meet their goals according to their expectations? What was the reason behind the failure of a new product? Why entering a new market may or may not be a feasible target? Why are many sales projections not achieved? This difference between the company’s current state and desired outcome is best tackled through a tool known as the “gap assessment”.
When you clearly define your company’s vision – as in knowing exactly where you want it to be in the future – but lack guidance as to how this vision could be achieved, then a gap assessment is needed. In brief, a gap assessment is a method of evaluating the performance of a business unit to determine whether the business requirements or objectives are being met and, if not, what steps should be taken to meet them. This phase is a must for strategic planning because it may be used to identify the areas that need to be improved in the firm, whether related to communication, structuring, policies, processes, human resources, technology, strategies, or any other business aspect.
In other words, a gap analysis is a bridge between your current and future states:
Future State – Do you know what is your desired future state?
Set your business objectives or goals in order to guide the development of the change strategy and identify potential value.
Develop your mission and vision statements, as well as objectives, upon which you will define the ideal conditions you desire your organization to reach. For instance, some of the goals that you might want to achieve could be: “automated process flow; 50 full-time employees; well-structured recruitment process and policies; uniform pricing strategy; efficient sales process; etc.”
Then, compare this desired situation to your current state.
Current State – Are you assessing your current state?
After determining where you strive to see your company in the future, its current state should be evaluated. In this respect, the following should be addressed “Are we working toward our vision? Are we recruiting people to meet our target number of employees? Have we started writing recruitment policies and strategies? How are we pricing our products/services?”.
So, how can you know whether your company has gaps or not?
Once you define your ideal and current states, start by drawing the difference between both. A simple yet efficient way to identify any potential gap is by listing all the goals that you’d like to achieve, comparing them with your current state, identifying whether there’s a gap between them, then setting the action plans and solutions that could serve in bridging those gaps.
Here’s an example:
|Desired State||Current State||Gap (Yes/No)||Action Plan|
|Operational presence in 3 markets||Operational only in Beirut||✔||Seek a business development consultant|
|Turnover > USD 700,000||Yearly sales account for USD 250,000||✔||Enhance sales structure and set sales strategies|
The effectiveness of a performance gap study varies between each type of organization and industry, but it is a useful way to take a close look at your firm and help it thrive. A gap analysis can be done in a simple manner to get better insights about the company’s current performance and enhance it for the upcoming years. However, when there are too many gaps, it might become overwhelming and the need to prioritize arises.
The good news? You don’t have to do it on your own! We have conducted detailed gap assessments for several companies, locally and internationally. It just takes the right action plan, the right mindset, and the right consultancy for you to achieve the goal you’ve always wanted to attain.