A technique that businesses use to determine what steps need to be taken in order to move from its current state to its desired, future state. Also called need-gap analysis, needs analysis, and needs assessment.
Gap analysis consists of (1) listing of characteristic factors (such as attributes, competencies, performance levels) of the present situation ("what is"), (2) listing factors needed to achieve future objectives ("what should be"), and then (3) highlighting the gaps that exist and need to be filled. Gap analysis forces a company to reflect on who it is and ask who they want to be in the future.
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