“The focus of gap analysis should be getting to the other side. If you bend-over to analyze a gap too long, you’ll probably fall into it” – Ryan Lilly
Human ambition, coupled with entrepreneurial drive to enhance business performance in pursuit of higher profitability, represents a key motivating factor that underlines modern commerce. That said – business operators must enroll the services of various techniques, paradigms, and technologies as part of efforts to gain a sustained edge over commercial peers and market competitors. A gap analysis tool has emerged as a unique technique that empowers businesses to plan strategies and initiate actions that drive business performance. Such tools can serve different missions in multiple contexts. For instance, in the domain of modern information technology, “gap analysis reports are often used by project managers and process improvement teams. Small businesses, in particular, can benefit from performing gap analyses when they are in the process of figuring out how to allocate resources.” In this context, flowcharts can help business operators design an appropriate gap analysis tool with a view to push the needle on business performance and enhance the market footprint of a commercial enterprise.
Organizations can assign designers the task of creating flowcharts that execute the function of a gap analysis tool. The primary objective could vary in tune with the immediate requirements of said organization. For instance, a provider of outsourced business services could survey the quantitative aspects of the business in terms of measuring the number of outbound calls targeted at potential clients. The flowchart designed for the purpose could feature a rich matrix of data and information pertaining to the current state of such a metric and its desired state in the future. We note such an attempt to design a gap analysis tool must be data-rich in order to yield significant instruction in terms of pure business value. Hence, various silos of operational data can be positioned inside the flowchart; the projections that depict the desired future state of the business must also find prominent representation. Intelligent interventions could emerge from observers, and these could form the body of an analysis that emanates from the completed illustration.
Distinctive stages, when depicted inside the calibrated expanse of a modern flowchart, could prove instructional in plotting the corporate journey of an enterprise. The various stages that depict the inception (and growth) of a business can be depicted through the early stages of a flowchart intended for use as a gap analysis tool. Phases one through four could signify the legacy arc of a business; however, phase five of business growth may invoke the exponential in terms of fresh investments, new strategy, and elaborate expansion plans to power business performance in the future. The emerging gap between the two sets of phases could be populated by a singular sequence of sub-stages that variously describe the inputs and requisite effort that drive the (future) achievement of phase five. Ergo, corporate captains could survey the outcomes in this instance of a gap analysis tool and subsequently put in motion a slew of appropriate and relevant actions, measures, and stratagems. We note said flowchart gains momentum in proportion to the density of information positioned inside the illustration.
Twin expressions of linearity can distinguish – and drive the outcomes – of a gap analysis tool constructed inside a flowchart diagram. We use the term ‘linearity‘ to emphasize the graded outline of a business enterprise at strategic and operational levels. In terms of the former, the flowchart could be used to compare the condition of a business vis-à-vis the industry inside which it operates. In terms of operations, the second linearity could compare the current levels of business performance with a higher, desirable state to be attained in the future. The various components of these lines could comprise market capitalization of a business enterprise, the number of customers and segments thereof, cash flows, new store openings, EBITDA profiles, etc. This instance of a gap analysis tool allows business operators to gain a comprehensive view of the health of the enterprise, while assessing the prospects of business growth in expansion in different market segments. In addition, said flowchart can expand into a roadmap that drives the business into higher orbits of profitability and expansion.
Specific problems that bear manifest potential to disrupt a business could find resolution through a flowchart that projects a gap analysis tool. In line with this, a business operator could decompose said problem and its effects inside the various stages. This requires a thorough interrogation (and subsequent depiction) of the problem and its manifold aspects. The various stages of the illustration could be color-coded to spotlight the developing momentum inside the flowchart. In time, the outlines of a solution could emerge in the terminal stages of the flowchart, thereby revealing a different terrain in terms of evolved business strategy and a higher level of sophistication in business operations. However, the proprietors of the business must bear in mind the importance of aligning the solution to the avowed objectives of an enterprise; any deviations that emerge in the gap analysis tool could be parked outside the limits of the diagram for subsequent analysis. Further, the flowchart could project higher levels of utility when business operators affix timelines that signify certain aspects of change management inside the illustration.
Compliance with various norms and procedures established by market regulators is central to the sustained operations of a modern business enterprise. In line with this, businesses could configure a flowchart as a gap analysis tool that spotlights possible deviations from the elements that comprise compliance systems and procedures. Such a flowchart may hinge on advice from external talent such as consultants and independent process experts. Therefore, the flowchart must accommodate analysis and advice from such agents at every stage of mapping various forms of compliance in existing business operations. The subsequent, comprehensive gap analysis can unearth potential locations of non-compliance that may result in hefty, punitive impositions that originate from market regulatory mechanisms. In this context, we may state the gap analysis tool proffers the mighty sinews of a robust, in-house compliance program for the sponsor enterprise.
A flowchart-driven gap analysis tool can unearth deficits in the range of products manufactured and marketed by a business enterprise. Such an exercise must gain priority because said deficits can erode the profitability of an enterprise and force it to cede commercial territory to competitors. The flowchart must commence with a wide-ranging survey of product types that populate the inventory of the sponsor. Subsequently, the illustration must analyse the many-faceted requirements of the growing consumer base and identify corresponding gaps in said product inventory. The outcomes projected by this “gap analysis tool” can instruct the business operator to close identified deficits by, inter alia, expanding the range of products offered to the clientele. This may entail fresh capital investments, new marketing initiatives, an enhanced outreach program, higher levels of quality control, and fresh impetus in ongoing business development plans. Flowcharts emerge as a key aspect in triggering such actions, thereby reinforcing its position as a stellar gap analysis tool.
We can appreciate the analytical abilities that flow from a close perusal of the flowchart diagram. Each business operator may prize a certain perspective, and subsequently develop a remarkable level of detailed analysis based flowcharts. However, different parameters and varying metrics may precede each such initiatives thereby calling for closer interaction between the canvas and the relentless powers of the human intellect.