Anjana Rao Product and tech leader. Reader. Traveller. Author. Coach.

Fit gap analysis templates and best practices

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Fit Gap Analysis Templates And Best Practices

Improving business operations can be a wide-ranging and daunting task. One method organizations use to enhance performance and efficiency is known as the fit gap analysis. This analytical method offers a precise lens through which companies can scrutinize their current performance and compare it with their potential.

A fit gap analysis can help you shed light on discrepancies hindering optimal performance, create streamlined strategies, and accelerate toward your business objectives. But how do you conduct a fit gap analysis? What are the challenges that might surface, and how can these obstacles be navigated?

In this guide, we’ll help you unlock the secret to amplifying business success using the fit gap analysis approach.

Table of contents

What is a fit gap analysis?

A fit gap analysis is a detailed assessment of how a current or proposed solution aligns with the organization’s business processes, operations, and overarching goals. This method usually involves assessing a current or planned system, but occasionally it may also be applied to business processes or standard operating procedures.

The result of a fit gap analysis is a list of “gaps” that illustrate where the current or proposed solution falls short in meeting the operational needs of the business.

How to conduct a fit gap analysis in 6 steps

The typical steps involved in performing a fit gap analysis are as follows:

  1. Assess existing business process
  2. Evaluate current business results
  3. Define expected business results
  4. Determine and documenting the gap
  5. Identify requirements to fulfill the gap
  6. Develop applications to fulfill the gap

1. Assess existing business process

The first step is to examine your current business processes. To do this, you’ll need a solid understanding of all the tasks and steps involved in your operations.

You can gain this understanding through a mix of employee interviews, process walkthroughs, and a review of existing process documentation. The goal is to map out the process as it exists currently, complete with steps, roles, inputs, outputs, and any decision points.

2. Evaluate current business results

After you’ve assessed your current process, you’ll need to evaluate the results of that process. This involves examining both quantitative metrics, such as throughput, error rates, and cycle time, and qualitative outcomes, such as customer satisfaction and employee morale.

It’s important to evaluate these results in light of your organization’s strategic goals because the fit gap analysis seeks to align processes with these objectives.

3. Define expected business results

The next step involves defining what you want the process to achieve.

Again, these desired results should be grounded in your organization’s strategic goals. They may include improving customer satisfaction, reducing error rates, or increasing process speed.

You should express these expected results in measurable terms, using specific metrics that will allow you to assess the success of process improvements.

4. Determine and documenting the gap

Now that you’ve evaluated your current process and defined what you want to achieve, it’s time to determine the gap between the two. This involves identifying the differences between your current process and the desired future state.

Document these gaps in a structured way that highlights the specific areas of the process that need improvement.

5. Identify requirements to fulfill the gap

With the gaps identified, you’ll need to determine what needs to change to bridge these gaps. This may involve modifying steps in the process, changing roles or responsibilities, introducing new technology, or redefining performance metrics.

Each of these changes should be clearly linked to a specific gap, providing a roadmap for process improvement.

6. Develop applications to fulfill the gap

Finally, you may need to develop new applications or systems to support the redesigned process. This could involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies or other software solutions to automate certain tasks, enhance decision-making capabilities, and improve process visibility.

Types of fit gap analysis (with templates)

A fit gap analysis can be conducted using several methodologies, each focusing on a different area, such as processes, systems, or resources.

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In the following sections, we’ll delve into specific types of gap analysis, provide templates for each, and discuss when it’s most appropriate to use each method.

Process gap analysis template

A process gap analysis is designed to help reveal gaps in your organization’s processes. This process gap analysis template helps visualize and track these gaps, taking into account their criticality, category, origin, and additional notes for each identified gap:

Process area Category Criticality Source of gap Gap details Proposed process changes
Process 1 Workflow High Inefficient process steps Time-consuming manual data entry leading to errors Implement automation for data entry, reducing errors and improving efficiency
Process 2 Lead time Medium Lack of performance metrics No tracking system in place to monitor lead times Introduce performance tracking software to monitor and reduce lead times

Note that the template is populated with example data; you should replace that data with information specific to your project or business, and add rows as needed.

Consider this template when your business processes are inefficient or not generating the desired outcomes. Process-based gap analysis is strongly recommended when the inefficiencies can be traced back to the design of the processes themselves, rather than the systems that support them.

For instance, workflows may be missing or siloed, and handover touchpoints may need better definition. Following a process gap analysis and the resulting process transformation, a review of the supporting systems would likely be necessary.

System gap analysis template

A system gap analysis is intended to identify gaps within your organization’s systems, examining aspects such as system category, the reason for the gap, additional information on the system gap, and required updates to align the system with business needs.

Use the template below as a starting point for your system gap analysis:

System Type of system Number of users Source of gap Gap details Proposed system updates
System 1 IT system High Issues with third-party integration Integrations are frequently breaking down causing downtime Upgrade to a more reliable integration system or partner with a more stable third-party
System 2 Business process tool Medium Outdated or heavily manual processes System requires manual intervention causing delay in processes Update system to include automation capabilities for reducing manual intervention

Note that the template is populated with example data; you should replace that data with information specific to your project or business, and add rows as needed.

The system gap analysis template is most useful when the systems within your organization are not fostering efficiency or productivity. This might suggest that while business processes are well-defined, the systems in place to support them are not as effective as they could be.

Whether it’s due to poor third-party integrations or outdated technology, a system transformation may be in order. This template can facilitate that transformation by clearly outlining the current system gaps.

Resource gap analysis template

A resource gap analysis, unlike the process or system gap analysis, is inherently forward-looking. It’s designed to identify what resources will be needed to carry out future projects or programs, comparing that with the resources currently available within the organization.

Here’s a good template for a resource gap analysis:

Resource pool or type Resource category Importance of resource group Source of gap Gap details Updated resource requirements
Resource pool 1 Business Low Unqualified candidates Several applicants lack necessary skills or qualifications Revise hiring strategy to focus on more specific qualifications
Resource pool 2 HR Medium Insufficient number of candidates Current resource pool unable to meet increasing HR needs Launch recruitment drive to attract more qualified candidates

Note that the template is populated with example data; you should replace that data with information specific to your project or business, and add rows as needed.

A resource gap analysis is particularly useful when current resources are insufficient to meet the needs of future projects. It’s applicable in scenarios where the organization’s systems and processes are aligned with business needs or have been updated based on previous gap analyses, but the manpower or resources are inadequate.

Actions following this analysis may include hiring, reskilling, or cross-training to better equip your team for future challenges.

Common challenges and how to overcome them

When conducting a fit gap analysis, it’s common to encounter several challenges along the way regarding things like:

  1. Change management — The operational and strategic shifts that result from identifying and bridging gaps may require substantial change management efforts
  2. Resource and financial constraints — Budget or resource constraints might limit the ability to assess all parts of the organization. Therefore, conducting the gap analysis might need to be split into phases or staggered to achieve a comprehensive view
  3. Knowledge dependency — Conducting a fit gap analysis requires specialized personnel who understand the business vision and can assess gaps with the current processes and systems

Best practices for driving continuous improvement

A fit gap analysis can be an incredibly effective tool for identifying areas of continuous improvement and alignment with expected business outcomes. It can be even more impactful if you keep a few best practices in mind while you’re performing fit gap analyses:

  1. Set SMART goals — Ensure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely (SMART) to assess if the current processes align with expected business outcomes
  2. Identify the type of gap analysis — Understand which template needs to be used according to the nature of the business under consideration
  3. Training — Implement the improvements identified by the fit gap analysis, but also provide training as a key aspect of this process
  4. Documentation — Document the identified gaps and create action plans to bridge them
  5. Focus on efficiency — The key result area for the gap analysis should be improving efficiency and reducing suboptimal performance/utilization

Final thoughts

Fit gap analysis is an essential tool to optimize any organization and ensure the processes are working according to business goals. While this process comes with its own challenges, it is instrumental in assessing and performing the corrective steps to keep the organization aligned.

The analysis helps derive solutions to resolve the gaps and offers guidance on how to prioritize these solutions for implementation. As such, a fit gap analysis serves as a powerful mechanism for performing a status check, making corrections, and improving the overall efficiency of an organization.

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Anjana Rao Product and tech leader. Reader. Traveller. Author. Coach.

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