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Fit / Gap Analysis

Morgan T. LeeA Fit / Gap analysis is a great tool to help identify the strengths and weaknesses in a current or future state environment.  A Fit / Gap can be used to analyze software, processes, knowledge, skills, activities, et cetera.

I often use a Fit / Gap process to compare the business and user requirements with the features which clients are looking for.  There are many ways to perform a Fit / Gap, but one of the techniques I like to use is to assign a priority to see how well a feature fits a desired requirement:

High – Out of the box or with minor setup
Medium – Requires a small amount of work to satisfy the requirement
Low – Requires a lot of work to satisfy the requirement (Often custom configuration is required)
None – Requirement is not satisfied
N/A – Does not apply

If a requirement is not met (None or N/A) this may be considered a gap.
When you have a gap in requirements, you should do your best to identify a possible solution or workaround.
Gaps can often be met with plug-ins, software configuration, coding, or additional third party hardware / software.

Steps I follow to complete the Fit /Gap process:

  •  Work with stakeholders to identify requirements (get client to approve list);
  •  Identify list of potential solutions to help satisfy requirements;
  •  Narrow down list with clients help to create a short list (2-5 solutions);
  •  Perform a Fit / Gap analysis on short list;
  •  Prioritize and score fit based on approved requirements;
  •  Compile results (Metrics and diagrams);
  •  Create Fit / Gap analysis report;
  •  Include an executive summary with recommendations;
  •  Include detailed findings with diagrams to back up recommendations; and
  •  Present findings to client (get client approval).


Sample Fit / Gap Matrix

Requirement Solution 1 Solution 2 Solution 3 Solution 4 Solution 5
Req #1 High High High Medium High
Req #2 High Low High Medium Low
Req #3 Medium None High None Low
Req #4 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Req #5 High Medium Low None N/A

Posted in Article, Business Analyst, Techniques.

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