Organizations are constantly looking to improve, meet long-term goals and generally stay innovative. One of the tools to strategically analyze where you are, where you want to be and how to get there is called a gap analysis template.
Use our free gap analysis template to develop a rough vision of how the organization can bridge the gap between the current state of affairs and its desired destination. Download our free gap analysis template today and get started.
What Is Gap Analysis?
Gap analysis is a way to strategically look at a current state and compare it to what the desired state is. This allows you to build an action plan that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.
Organizations will use gap analysis as a means to hit business targets. But it can be used for any scenario where you want to move from Point A to Point B and need to develop a roadmap to get you there.
Why Do You Need a Gap Analysis Template?
Any business or project is all about growth, whether that’s increasing market share or getting the product out the door faster and cheaper. How do you move from where you are to where you want to be? Using our gap analysis template helps to visualize the path so that the gap between the two is then easier to traverse.
It also acts as a communication tool to inform stakeholders and employees of your goals. This helps bring everyone together to work with the same end goal. Now the focus of the entire organization can be on closing that gap.
Finally, gap analysis is a strategy that will likely be used over and over again in an organization or project. There’s always a long-term goal to work towards achieving. Having a gap analysis template makes it simple to get started adding efficiency to the process.
When to Use a Gap Analysis Template?
As noted above, the gap analysis template should be used whenever there is a strategic business target to hit. It will determine the actions necessary to reach that goal. Using a gap analysis template can help you discern why you’re not meeting deadlines.
Gap analysis works best when you have the most accurate picture of your current state. Project management software can help give you more details. ProjectManager is cloud-based so you get live data for greater insights. Zero in on where you want to improve with filtered reports on workload, costs and more. Closing the gap is just a plan that can be organized on Gantt charts that link dependencies, calculate the critical path and set basellines. Using our real-time dashboards help you monitor your plan as you put it in action. Try ProjectManager free today.
Who Should Use the Gap Analysis Template?
Gap analysis is used in a lot of business settings and who uses them can vary depending on where they’re being used. For example, project managers in IT environments will often generate a gap analysis to improve team processes.
When dealing with a business that is looking to move to the next level, it is usually the owner who will lead any strategic initiative. They will involve any relevant employees who can help them develop a more accurate picture of the current state of the business. These people will also likely be involved in the action plan.
Software developers also use the gap analysis template. It can help them note the services or other functions that might have been neglected. It also can point to those that need development.
Gap analysis templates are often used in compliance. It helps those who are responsible for staying in compliance compare requirements to what is currently being done on the job site or other area. There are any number of business professionals who can use the gap analysis template to help them improve and do their jobs better.
How to Use ProjectManager’s Gap Analysis Template
Download our free gap analysis template for Excel and get started on meeting those business targets and improving processes. We’ve formatted the gap analysis template for use in a project, with space to name the project, project manager and date, but the fully customizable template can be applied to any job that requires a gap analysis.
- General Information: The first column under that is dedicated to whatever you’re focusing on. On our template the second sheet explains how to use it, while the first sheet is the template with a sample example added for clarity. Each row is a separate item to focus on, such as our examples or add to the dev team, new equipment, more square footage.
- Current Item State: The next column is the current state of that item which you’re focusing on. We kept it simple, such as adding to the dev team notes that there are currently 10 people on that team. However, these cells can expand to capture all the pertinent information regarding the current state of the item you’re dealing with.
- Future Item State: Next comes the future or desired state. That is, where do you want to be in the near-term. For our example, the dev team would like to expand to 20 employees. Now you have a focus, its current state and the desired state you plan to reach.
- Gap Percentage: What comes after that is the gap you need to close. This gap is usually represented by a percentage. Therefore, following our example, if the dev team wants to grow from 10 to 20 employees that’s a 50 percent gap to close. We made it easy to add the percentage by creating a dropdown menu.
- Actions to Close Gap: The next section deals with how you’re going to close that gap. To begin you’re going to need resources. Those could be people, equipment, materials, etc. In our example, it’s contracting with a hiring manager to recruit new dev workers to the existing team.
- Identify Responsible Party: Following this, you identify the person in your organization who will be responsible for leading the initiative. They are tasked with managing whatever the action is designed to close the gap between the current and future state.
- Action Status: Finally, there’s a pulldown menu to note the status of the action. It can be designated as not started, in progress, behind, stalled or done. These can be edited to match your own usage. Then there is a column to capture any relevant notes that don’t fit in any of the other columns.
How ProjectManager Helps You Close the Gap
Once you’ve a clear idea of where you are and where you want to go, you need to put that plan into action. ProjectManager organizes all your tasks to help you get there faster and for less money by streamlining efficiencies.
Online Gantt charts plot your action from start to finish. It’s easy to add milestones, planned effort and more. That way when you start to execute your plan you can compare the actual effort to your plan and know if you’re falling behind schedule or overspending your budget.
Share reports with stakeholders to keep them updated on progress. In fact, you can share the whole project with them. Managers set the admin rules, so stakeholders can stay in touch with read-only files and your work can’t be mistakenly deleted or changed.
What Other Templates Help With Gap Analysis?
This gap analysis is only one of dozens of free templates we offer for your business. Try as many as you like. We’re sure that they’ll prove helpful and lead you to upgrade to our software. Until that time, here are some other templates you might want to use:
As you meet with your team to discuss how to move from the current state to the desired one, you can use our free action items template to capture all the ideas in one place. It will help you define who is responsible, what they need to do and when the deadline is.
Once you have your action items defined with deadlines, you’ll want our free project timeline template. Now you can map those tasks across a visual timeline from start to finish. You’ll see the duration for each and know how long it will take to reach your desired state.
You have your tasks and they’re on a timeline, now you need to assign the team. Using our free work schedule template will help you organize your resources. Connect the team member to the task and schedule their hours across our weekly planner.
While you’re downloading templates, stick around the site. We’re an online hub for all things project management, publishing several blogs a week. There’s also tutorial videos, guidebooks and more. To get you started, here are a few blogs that speak to the topic we’ve been discussing.
- How to Make a Process Improvement Plan
- Continuous Improvement Business Strategy—A Quick Guide
- How to Implement Business Process Improvement
Our gap analysis template is a great tool to move your business forward or just improve processes. But to stay competitive you need software that can handle everything from planning, monitoring and reporting on your performance and progress. ProjectManager is an award-winning tool used by NASA, the Bank of America, Ralph Lauren and more. Tens of thousands of teams work better together with our software. Why don’t you give it a try for free today?