GAP Analysis is a broader technique aiming to examine and compare the now and the future. It describes the current situation and sets the target for the desired conditions. GAP analysis is usually performed in structured, specific, identifiable and unique steps. It always starts with a scope definition and then a review of all the information under study. The desired conditions are predetermined through a set of regulations, standards, performance indicators etc. The analysis itself contain understanding of current conditions and determining the appropriate course of action. All results, findings, steps and decisions have to be recorded and documented. Some cases maybe straight forward, whereas the analysis is a result of a series of questions with Yes/No as answers; and the desired result can be achieved through an of the-shelf tool. Other cases might have much more complex desired conditions or performance metrics, requiring cross-functional teams and quality tools.
Even though a time-consuming technique, a proper and clear GAP analysis will save time in the long run, bearing more reliable results.
For SMS set-up, the initial GAP questionnaire and desired targets are determined by the Authorities based on the ICAO framework. Completing the assessment provides the big picture of which available components or elements are currently available and what must be added. Identifying the missing components facilitates the initial development of the implementation plan, which must include the “how to achieve” alongside the responsible manager, the targeted timeframe etc.