There are so many gaps, how do I know where to start?

There are so many gaps, how do I know where to start?
No need to panic. Identifying a large number of gaps will actually help you contextualize and even prioritize the work during a project. But it's important to understand what kinds of gaps you're dealing with. Gaps can usually be subdivided into people, process, and technology.

The following table suggests some approaches for thinking about each type of gap and its likely solutions. The table will help you categorize and prioritize your efforts. It's important to consider that people gaps and process gaps are usually less expensive and time-consuming to solve than technology gaps, though politics within the organization may cause resistance to changes involving people or processes.

Gap type Questions to consider Ways to address the gaps
  • Are the right number of people doing the work?
  • Are the people currently doing the work well-trained and empowered?
  • Are the roles clear? Are the right people doing the right work?
  • Staffing adjustments (hire or move people into different roles, etc.).
  • Training, coaching, other development and up-skilling strategies.
  • Role definition, communication, expectation-setting.
  • Is the process well-defined and clear?
  • Is the process efficient and streamlined?
  • Process definition and documentation.
  • Process improvement, including introduction of automation where feasible.
  • Could existing technology address the gap with modifications?
  • Could other technologies outside the organization fill the gap?
  • Enhance or adjust existing technologies.
  • Purchase additional technology to supplement present systems.
  • Upgrade or replace current technology.

After you categorize the gaps, you can begin prioritizing and sequencing them. As you review the gaps, try to identify those that, if addressed, will result in the clearest alignment with the business goals, and give highest priority to these gaps. At this point, the sequence of gaps will depend on the situation. Sometimes, the gap with the greatest business value will be first in line; but occasionally lower-hanging fruit will come first—if, for example, it simply must be addressed before anything else can happen.

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