Developing an understanding of the purpose of a gap analysis report typically is the first step in writing a useful document. A gap analysis report examines the gap between the current state of a business and its goals. This information can help an organization outline a plan for achieving goals. The gap analysis report also reviews the history of the entity to determine how it reached its current status. This can help planners determine which methods are most desirable for making improvements.
The primary goal of a writing a gap analysis report usually is to demonstrate an understanding of the impact of each element in the organization. This is an effective way to find individuals, departments and activities that hinder the accomplishment of organizational goals. Although it can be useful to observe how well an element of the organization functions in itself, the overall purpose is to determine how each of these pieces affects the entire operation.
In most cases, a gap analysis report is compiled by a team. This is partially because of the volume of work that is required to make a thorough analysis. It also is a good way to ensure that the report does not reflect the point of view of one individual. Information for gap analysis reports can be gathered via interviews, surveys and the examination of records such as those in the areas of finances and human resources.
One of the key elements of a gap analysis report is the problem statement. This is a summary of the most pressing issues that are keeping the organization from accomplishing its goals. These issues will be incorporated into the plan to provide a starting point for making improvements.
After the information has been gathered, a plan for closing the gap between the current and desired state of the organization can be made. Some of the things that might be considered when making this plan include resources needed, such as money, time and people. The plan might also describe what tools or other materials are needed and possibly how they can be obtained.
A gap analysis report also typically will describe what process should be followed for the organization to reach its goals. This can include timelines, deadlines and metrics for measuring success. An analysis also will often include benchmarks for specific goals so that progress is uniform and consistent.
Some organizations will use another type of analysis to determine which steps to take to close the gap. This is an examination of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) that are related to a particular enterprise and is called a SWOT analysis. By understanding these overall attributes of the company and the reasons for the gap, a comprehensive plan for advancement can be made.