A gap analysis can be defined as an examination of your current performance for the purpose of identifying the differences between your current state of business and where you would like to be.
Conducting a gap analysis will enable your organisation to improve its business efficiency and profitability. During the gap analysis process, you would want to be pinpointing any weak areas within your business’s management system. The results should include detailed advice on how to effectively apply the suggested changes. This will enable your management team to focus resources and energy on areas that need improvement. A gap analysis is often also referred to as a need’s analysis, needs assessment or need-gap analysis.
Usually as part of a project kick-off phase, or even at the beginning of an organisation’s development, a gap analysis is performed. Those that commission a gap analysis are seeking to answer these three questions:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be?
- How are we going to close the gap?
While a gap analysis can be conducted in many branches of an organisation, when it comes to ISO certification conformance preparation, the gap analysis will focus on the entire organisation and area related to the standard being implemented.
The WWISE Gap Analysis process
The WWISE Gap Analysis process is condensed into 3 key stages:
Step 1: Identify the organisation’s current state (Where they are)
The first and most important step in the process is to identify gaps in the organisation’s business practices (against the backdrop of the relevant ISO Standards and Guidelines). This will determine the organisation’s current state (where they are now) and the desired future state (where they want to be). To fully comprehend the current state of an organisation, previous and existing data will be analysed. The analysis can include qualitative and quantitative information, depending on the situation and available information.
Step 2: Identify the organisation’s ideal future state (Where they want to be)
Once it is understood how the organisation currently functions, it must be decided what its goals are for the future. To do this, the following questions must be answered:
- What is the organisation’s future state (as is required by the relevant ISO Standards and Guidelines)?
- What should be done differently to achieve the future state (in order to achieve the relevant ISO Certification)?
Step 3: Filling the gap
Once the current and future state of the business has been established, a clear path on how to achieve the desired state must be put in place. The gap analysis will determine what gaps exist and how these prevent the business from moving forward towards achieving the ISO Certification they are aiming for. A clear plan can then be put in place to fill the gaps, wherein short-term goals are established to achieve the desired state.
Why conduct a gap analysis?
When looking to achieve ISO Certification, conducting a gap analysis can benefit your organisation in a variety of ways:
- Once the gaps have been identified, your management team will have a clear idea of which areas needs to improve and the amount of time and resources needed to address the problem.
- It can indicate how to drive process improvements, increase business response times, and develop employee skills.
- Decision makers will have a comprehensive view of the entire company’s areas of strength and weakness. From there, it can be assessed whether the current amount of resources is enough to achieve the desired goals.
- Gaps can be categorised according to their level of severity and urgency.
- Identifying and measuring gaps will contribute to stakeholder satisfaction. This will ultimately lead to better projects, enhanced reputations, and an increase in business and profits.
- Your path towards ISO Certification will be quicker and more cost effective.
Managing Director & Lead Auditor of WWISE, Muhammad Ali says – “Our Gap Analysis process has saved our clients time and money. It’s the best way to fast track to ISO standard compliance.”
Ensuring that your organisation follows procedure and provides quality products and services is only one piece of the puzzle. While a gap analysis detects problems within a business, supplier audits and legal audits can also be conducted to detect and resolve problems beyond the organisation itself.
Having issues with a supplier will not only cost your organisation money but it can also negatively impact your customers. Your organisation can conduct a supplier audit to identify, eliminate and prevent quality problems beforehand. The audit will examine the supplier in question and ensure their internal processes align with the set quality standard. Supplier audit results can be used to identify issues with processes, training, or documentation that affect a supplier’s quality metrics. While key suppliers are usually audited annually, those that have poor quality metrics can be audited more frequently.
Simply put, a legal audit is a detailed examination of your business that helps to identify areas of weakness and potential liabilities. This will allow your business to take measures to avoid or minimize risks and ensure smooth business practices. Conducting a legal audit can detect hidden issues within your organisation before it has financial implications. By identifying potential problems early on, these can be managed in an effective and cost-efficient way.
WWISE currently provides Legal Audits on the following Legislations in Line with ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001:
- National Environmental Management Act
- Environment Conservation Act
- Hazardous Substance Act
- National Buildings Regulations Act
- Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Disease Act Occupational Health and Safety Act
- National Water Act
- National Air Quality Act
- Road Transportation Act
- Transport Appeal Tribunal Act
- Noise Control Regulations
- Water Service Act
- Health Act
- Tobacco Controls Act
- Green Management Audit