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Gap Analysis

GAP ANALYSIS

A current view of the business process and the future  view where the organization desires to achieve it. This is mainly done to broadly identify the client’s needs. It mainly revolves around 2 questions i.e Where are we? and Where do we want to be?.

It provides  a foundation for measuring time, money and human resources which is required to reach a particular outcome.

There are some the problems associated with it. They are:

  1. Like most of the IT projects, lack of documentation on the legacy applications made the analysis harder, requirements had to be identified by reverse engineering.
  2. If the ‘to-be’ product was an off the shelf solution, then the limitations were on customizing the functionality.
  3. The stakeholders were from various business units within the organization with different work priorities.
  4. It was assumed that the chosen product matches all the required functionality of the existing solution and gap analysis was not recognized as a required task before project planning to agree on timelines.

Solution:

  1. Meticulously compare the new product offering with the existing solution and identify the gaps. i.e. functionality that will no longer be available in the new solution/functionality that will be different in the new system.
  2. Identified and logged all the gaps in a ‘gaps register’.
  3. Each gap was analyzed for the following
    1. Does this have an impact on the customer either in terms of user experience or reduced functionality or any other? If yes, how many customers will be impacted and what will be the communication strategy.
    2. Is there a security/compliance issue? If yes, then what is the mitigation plan.
    3. If an existing functionality is not available in the to-be solution, assess the business need for the technical solution and raise a change request to get the changes done or identify if there a process workaround.
    4. Prioritize each gap based on the remedial steps identified and track the progress.
    5. Does the solution to address the gap require staff training?
  4. Recurring workshops were scheduled to understand the functionality
  5. Regularly track the gaps identified
  6. To keep the key business stakeholders inform about the gaps
  7. Agree on the action plan for each gap.
  8. To prioritize the actions for implementation.

 

Advantages

  1. Project Owner & key stakeholders were extremely happy with the gap analysis process as the gaps register provided them with full visibility and had an audit log of all the decisions made and why they were made.
  2. Avoided a lot of potential post-implementation complaints and issues.

Disadvantages

  1. Time-consuming activity which was not planned or expected in the project.
  2. Required lot of extra effort and persuasion with stakeholders and project management office to do the right thing.
  3. Incurred additional costs for the changes to be implemented.
  4. Additional effort was included in the project schedule, though not attributing to huge delays.

  • The gap analysis activity contributed majorly not only to the success of the project but also helps (business solutions analyst on the project) get a lot of recognition within the organization.
  • The gaps register, and the process involved in the analysis proved to be a value-add as it was referenced as a template to analyze and prioritize new features for future projects and enhancements.

About Adarsh Shirish Vadodkar

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