Gap Analysis Technique in Meetings

Meeting Technique for Getting From Here to There

Have you been in a meeting intended to figure out how to get from where you or the organization are to where you want to be?  One way to achieve your objective is to do a Gap Analysis. Businesses often use this technique to compare actual performance with potential performance.  The analysis provides insight into areas that can be improved to achieve a goal.

What is a Gap Analysis? It’s a way to identify the obstacles preventing achievement of a desired goal.

What does it do? Gap Analysis encourages exploration of the gap, or obstacles or blocks that are in the way of your objective.  It forces a realistic look at where you are at present and helps identify the specific actions needed to be taken in order to be successful

How does it work? Gap Analysis creates alignment among team members through discussion of each obstacle because people begin to understand what steps are open to them and make decisions given that shared understanding.

Steps of Gap Analysis:

1.  Identify the desired objective. You might do some visioning on this or imagine magazine articles detailing the achievement or use any approach that captures a mental picture of where the group wants to be in future.  Post the picture or phrases on a flipchart and place it on the wall.

2.  Identify the present situation. Create a detailed picture of what exists today.  If possible, see what the elements identified in Step 1 look like today.  Again, write this on flipchart paper and post it on the wall.

3.  Focus on the gap between what is now and what is desired.  Identify the gaps/barriers.  Is anything missing that is necessary to bridge the two mental pictures?  (This can be done in small groups so that you move forward quickly.)

4.  If the group was broken into sub-groups, come together into one group and share the identified gaps/blocks/obstacles.  Again, write these up on a flipchart and post them.

5.  Have the group review all the gaps and reach a rough agreement on the key problem ingredients.

6.  Divide the group into smaller groups and have each sub-group focus on a gap and generate ideas to address it.

7.  Come back together as a single group and share recommendations and action plans.  Get new ideas from the full group on what they hear.

8.  Create an overall action plan that will move the group forward to addressing the gap between where they are now and where they want to be.

One thought on “Gap Analysis Technique in Meetings

  1. Great post on getting more out of a meeting by using a gap analysis! I thought you’d be interested in our online tool for gap analysis – Spidergap. We often use it ourselves to send out an assessment to people before a meeting. We find it helps people to focus on the priorities, while understanding the full picture.

    You can try it for free at http://www.spidergap.com – feel free to get in touch directly, we’d love any feedback and are happy to help with any queries.

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