In life, there stands a gap between where we are and where we hope to go. Setting our sights on the future is how we improve. This gap applies in business too and is one we should be ever mindful of.
If you’ve ever traveled to London and ridden on the subway system, called The Tube, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Mind the gap.” The phrase is blared over the P.A. system as people get on and off the subway train cars. What it means is, you need to be mindful that there is a gap between the train car and the station platform. This warning ensures that you don’t accidentally misstep and get your foot caught in the gap – which could lead to an injury or worse.
The important lesson here you ask? (That is of course, besides the obvious take-away of ensuring personal safety.) See where you are and determine where you want to go and how to get there.
In business, you need to remember to mind the gap, too – if not on a daily basis, at least on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. You may wonder, “What’s the gap in my business?” The gap is the difference between where your company is currently and where you want it to be. The way to be mindful of this gap is to conduct a gap analysis – also called a needs analysis or assessment.
A gap analysis is a business assessment tool that looks at specific factors, such as sales, customer service, employee performance, etc., to determine the business’ current performance in each of those factors compared to where you want it to be. Once you’ve identified the difference between where you are and where you want to be – the gap – you can make important decisions on how your business needs to change in order to close the gap and reach your desired goal.
For example, you may survey your customers to determine their satisfaction level and then compare it to where you want their satisfaction level to be. Perhaps the analysis shows that a gap exists between the level of customer service your clients actually receive compared to the level you want them to receive. You could then develop an employee training program focused on improving customer service, which would raise your customers’ satisfaction levels, hopefully, to your desired, future performance level.
The benefits of performing a gap analysis
- Improve inefficient business processes.
- Optimize the allocation of your business resources.
- Build superior workforce.
- Identify if you need additional capital, technology or other resources.
- Deliver higher-quality products or services at a lower total cost.
There are several gap analysis methods you can use to conduct your analysis. If you need help identifying the right tool for your business, give me a call. I can also help you identify specific actions that may be needed to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
When you mind the gap in your business, you can quickly diagnose problems in your company and develop ways to solve those problems, so your company doesn’t continue to misstep.
Discovering gaps in your business is quite important not only for future success, but for future improvements as well. On your journey, you may very well find that gaps are present in business processes (even those you believe to be seamless). After all, with the ever-changing developments that arise in technology, this should not come as much of a surprise. To learn more ways about bridging the business process gap and streamlining it, consider reaching out to the experts at AccelaWork.