Gap analysis

Also known as: Gap analysis

The gap analysis is an instrument of strategic controlling with which strategic and operational gaps between the target setting and the expected development of the basic business can be identified.

Definition / explanation

The gap analysis is a controlling instrument with which the current development of a company can be compared with the planned development. The principle on which the gap analysis is based is based on the comparison of future projections.

It is more common in companies that the planned target goals are missed due to changed strategic or operational circumstances. There is a gap between the planned and actually achieved target values. With the help of the gap analysis, these gaps should be made visible.

Operational gap and strategic gap

Basically, in the context of the gap analysis, a distinction is made between the operational and the strategic gap.

Strategic gap - The strategic gap is the distance between a future base business and the target value of the strategic goal. The strategic gap in new business is limited by the company's development limits.

The strategic gap can only be closed through additional strategic measures. For example, by opening up new product or market combinations.

Operational gap - The operational gap can be divided into the performance gap and the competitive gap. The performance gap can be closed by realistically perceiving all potential for rationalization and the competitive gap by exploiting all further potential of the company. The operational gap, on the other hand, can be closed by optimizing all resources in the current basic business.

advantages and disadvantages

advantages - One of the advantages of this analysis method is that it can reveal rough strategic and operational gaps. In doing so, it forces companies to define and concretise their objectives. The gap analysis provides good indications of the areas of the company in which changes and improvements need to be made.

disadvantage - The gap analysis cannot precisely calculate certain values. In addition, the gap analysis leads one to lose sight of the overall view of the company. They also cannot be used to derive a specific recommendation for action.


  • Gap analysis is a strategic controlling tool
  • Objective: to identify gaps between targets and the expected development of the basic business
  • Gap analysis differentiates between the operational and the strategic gap
  • Advantage: Finding strategic gaps
  • Disadvantage: No concrete recommendations for action can be derived
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