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  • Writer's pictureKathy Miles

Part 4 - Completing the Gap Analysis

Before you can begin achieving the vision, mission and core values that you have developed for your organisation, you must first take stock of the current situation.

A Gap Analysis is where you analyse the actual performance of your organisation against the desired performance of your organisation across a number of categories. It should be noted that it is difficult to improve on something if you don't know how you are currently performing. Any performance gaps should be seen as an opportunity, as once they are realised you can take your first real steps towards improving performance and ensuring that high performance becomes the norm.

Potential Gaps in Performance:

The Human Performance Technology (HPT) Model developed by the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) in 1992, identifies six potential gaps in performance as shown below:

  1. Present Positive

  2. Present Neutral

  3. Present Negative

  4. Future Positive

  5. Future Neutral

  6. Future Negative

They also identify three things to be aware of in relation to the positive and neutral gaps:

  1. Don’t become complacent about positive gaps as these can easily turn to neutral or negative gaps without focus, work and awareness.

  2. Organisations can distinguish themselves by applying innovation to a neutral gap.

  3. The greatest opportunity for performance improvement may occur when a future neutral gap exists. This is because competitors can often overlook them.

Areas to Measure when Conducting a Gap Analysis:

When looking for performance gaps, I like to use the 6 P's:

  1. Product/Service - The product or service that you provide.

  2. People - The people you have working for your organisation, the suppliers you use and the customers you have.

  3. Promotion - This is about how you promote your products/services.

  4. Price - The pricing that you charge for your products/services, profits etc.

  5. Place - The environment that you work in.

  6. Pace - The planning that is done, the work pace and the turnaround times for customers.

Conducting the Gap Analysis:

To complete a Gap Analysis, you would follow these steps:

  1. Identify how you are currently doing in relation to product/service, people, promotion, price, place and pace.

  2. Identify where you want to be in relation to product/service, people, promotion, price, place and pace. Ensure that you take into account your vision, mission and core values.

  3. You will now be able to clearly see the gap between the current state and the desired state, so the next step is to prioritise each of these gaps. What is the most crucial to fix?

  4. Analyse the causes of the gaps and identify some strategies that can be implemented to overcome each of the gaps.

An Example in Action:

This is an example of a people performance gap:

  • Current - There is duplication of work across multiple employees/departments.

  • Desired - Everyone has a full understanding of their role and other people's roles ensuring that the correct person is completing each task.

  • Cause - Lack of inter-team communication and role clarity.

  • Strategies to Overcome - Conduct regular inter-team meetings to identify current tasks and discuss processes for completion. Clear job descriptions and key performance indicators for each position which are measured at regular intervals by employees manager.

This is the fourth part in a series of posts on strategic planning. For the first part on 'Creating a Shared Vision of Success', the second part on 'Developing Organisational Values' or the third part on 'Defining a Successful Mission Statement' please visit my website

PDI Solutions can work with organisations to create and implement an effective strategic plan. We follow five key steps. Step 1 (Environmental Scanning) and Step 2 (SWOT Analysis) are designed to review the work that your organisation does and a review of the organisations internal functioning. Step 3 is to define the organisations vision, mission, core values and objectives. Step 4 includes a full gap analysis between the desired state and the actual performance state. Step 5 is about pulling all of this information together into a strategic plan with key result areas. This step also looks at obstacles for implementation and change management.

This whole process takes approximately one week to work through thoroughly with numerous group exercises for leadership parties. This can also be completed over a longer period if desired.

Contact us today for a free consultation at or visit our website at

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