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FIT-GAP ANALYSIS

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Lindsay Spain

What is a Fit-Gap Analysis?

01/20/15

A fit-gap analysis determines where gaps in functionality exist when we compare operating or business requirements for the organization to system capabilities. The fit-gap process is most beneficial to organizations that are dissatisfied with a particular system but do not have a clear and thorough understanding of why.

Fit-gap analyses are eminently flexible

Your organization can use the outcomes of the analysis to differentiate technical or system limitations from other issues, such as poorly aligned business processes or insufficient training. A nice feature of fit-gap analyses is that they can bring clarity to a wide range of issues, from complex IT issues to more straightforward problems when you need objective metrics to help your team make a decision.

For example, if you have a need for data mining to create reports but your current software does not allow data searches based on multiple criteria, a fit-gap analysis could help you identify where the gaps in functionality exist. In another situation, let’s say your organization wants to combine its department calendars into one holistic schedule, but the system does not allow the calendars to be combined without manually creating a new one. A fit-gap analysis could help reveal the functionality gaps in the calendar system.

How can you use a fit-gap analysis for your organization?

List your requirements. For each department or business unit, create a list of functionality needs to meet operating objectives, including any goals for efficiency and regulatory requirements, if applicable. The list should be prioritized based on common criteria for the organization.

Compare your requirements to the capability of your system. Determine whether your current system is capable of meeting your requirements. Be methodical in your assessment and engage the functional users to obtain their input.

Determine where additional capability is needed. If the fit-gap analysis indicates that the system does not provide sufficient functionality to meet your organization’s needs, there are three options to consider. 

  1. Process change. To align with system capabilities, you can change your business process by altering how your needs are met. This can be an effective compromise to close the gap.
  2. Improve the configuration. Many systems have additional capabilities that are not implemented in your current configuration. Understanding your options and making changes may require reaching outside of the organization to a vendor or specialist. Applying effective change management practices along the way will increase the chances of obtaining the desired implementation.
  3. Purchase a new system. If a new system is the best solution, remember to formally document the business requirements so that you can be prepared during the system selection process.

Don’t forget about training

Whether a change to your system is required or not, additional training for your personnel, both new and established, can enhance efficiencies and improvements in all of your business processes.