STEP 1: Identify Strategic Objectives
While many methods for undertaking a gap analysis start with looking at your own company's performance, I think that it's helpful to first have a goal, or end in mind before undertaking the analysis process. Some companies look to benchmarking and best practices of other companies to perform their gap analysis. Here, I'm going to use a couple of standards from California's Model Content Standards. Let's say that my school wants to incorporate a better music program, based upon music content standards set by California educators. Here are a couple sample content standards:
- "1.1 Read an instrumental or vocal score of up to four staves and explain how the elements of music are used."
- "1.5 Identify and explain a variety of compositional devices and techniques used to provide unity, variety, tension, and release in aural examples."
- "2.5 Perform on an instrument in small ensembles, with one performer for each part."
- "3.1 Identify the sources of musical genres of the United States, trace the evolution of these genres, and cite well-known musicians associated with them."
Now, as I go through the process of creating my gap analysis between what the school currently offers, what students are demonstrating as far as knowledge goes, and what needs to be offered to be considered proficient in musical education by the State of California, I will want to make note of each of these standards. You can use our gap analysis template for MS Word, or the gap analysis template for MS Excel, if you wish to follow along with this example.
Once I have identified my content standards, I can place them into the strategic objectives boxes in my file, as you can see in the picture to the left. (Click any image for a larger view.)
*California State Board of Education, Visual and Performing Arts Content STandards for California Public Schools: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve." (Sacramento, CA: CDE Press, 2001) 70-71.