(1) The comparison of a current condition to the desired state.
(2) A term associated with the SERVQUAL survey instrument, gap analysis is a technique designed to assess the gap that can exist between a service that is offered and customer expectations.
(3) A formal study of the gaps between what exists and what needs, or ought, to exist.
Gap analysis is a tool that helps companies compare actual performance with potential performance. At its core are two questions: "Where are we?" and "Where do we want to be?" If a company or organization does not make the best use of current resources, or forgoes investment in capital or technology, it may produce or perform below its potential. This concept is similar to the base case of being below the production possibilities frontier.
Gap analysis identifies gaps between the optimized allocation and integration of the inputs (resources), and the current allocation level. This reveals areas that can be improved. Gap analysis involves determining, documenting, and approving the variance between business requirements and current capabilities. Gap analysis naturally flows from benchmarking and other assessments. Once the general expectation of performance in the industry is understood, it is possible to compare that expectation with the company's current level of performance. This comparison becomes the gap analysis. Such analysis can be performed at the strategic or operational level of an organization.
Gap analysis is a formal study of what a business is doing currently and where it wants to go in the future. It can be conducted, in different perspectives, as follows:
1. Organization (e.g., human resources)
2. Business direction
3. Business processes
4. Information technology
Gap analysis provides a foundation for measuring investment of time, money and human resources required to achieve a particular outcome (e.g. to turn the salary payment process from paper-based to paperless with the use of a system).
The gap analysis also can be used to analyse gaps in processes and the gap between the existing outcome and the desired outcome. this step process can be summarised as below: Identify the existing process, Identify the existing outcome, Identify the desired outcome, Identify the process to get the desired outcome, Document the gap. develop the means to fill the gap.