What is a Gap Analysis? Why is it needed? Could it be better?
A gap analysis is ideally meant to help determine what is missing from a management system, and a list of actions that is needed to ‘close the gaps’ on the road to certification.
There are many ways that certification professionals and consultants define a gap analysis. They include:
- “It’s an assessment that identifies the gaps between what you have and what is needed.”
- “We tell you where you are now compared with where you want to be.”
- “It’s a report that identifies what you have to do.”
- “Our Gap Analysis will help you identify your shortfalls.”
A gap analysis should be a really useful tool to determine what is missing in a management system and be helpful in producing a list of actions that need to be performed to “close the gaps”.
However, does a gap analysis go far enough?
A gap analysis does not tell you if you have an oversupply of controls or procedures or information. It does not tell you about surplus, nor does it highlight duplication. It does not identify areas that can be referred to as a “Glut”.
In order then to get a clearer picture of a management system and its processes, one could look at including a gap analysis and introducing a “glut analysis” – in which you find out not only what information is missing (the gap) but if you have too much (the glut).
If a gap analysis is done properly, it will identify where additional controls are required. The gaps identified could be around documentation, training, equipment and resources, leadership, and any other area where your management system is weak.
That’s great, but does it paint the whole picture of your management system?
So, how do we improve on this?
By undertaking a gap analysis where weak areas are identified, as well a glut analysis which identifies areas that are overburdened with excess amounts of documentation, controls, and therefore inefficiencies.
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