Spotting and Filling Capability Gaps!

Spotting and Filling Capability Gaps!

At some point in your career, you might have come across the word, Capability Gaps, especially at the corporate level. It refers to the inability of the Company to meet certain working requirements due to inept existing systems, lack of knowledge or skills.

But, why do these gaps exist? How does one spot these gaps? What tools or techniques can be used?

Well, these gaps can exist due to many reasons such as:

  • Lack of knowledge or skills.
  • Inept resources (read employees).
  • Constant technological changes.
  • Vagueness of Company’s goals and targets.
  • Shortage of operational and leadership capability.
  • Lack of training and development or lack of monetary resources to fund the training programs.

These gaps can also exist due to a lack of ability to connect, sustain and scale up the existing capability requirements to the business goals by providing the right kind of environment.

The most common methods of spotting capability gaps include formal discussions with management and colleagues, customer’s feedback or informal meeting with peers. In addition, there are two main techniques to spot capability gaps including competency mapping and SWOT analysis.

Capability gap spotting through competency mapping involves identifying competencies required to meet or exceed customer’s expectations. It monitors the existing critical expertise and desired proficiency, a person must have. This technique aids in new hires recruitment process and training requirements of the staff. Commonly used methods for mapping competencies are interviews, feedbacks, questionnaires, appraisals, analysis of tasks or jobs, etc.

SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats that are part and parcel of a business organization. It offers a snapshot of an individual’s approach as well as his proficiency in line with internal and external factors. It is a simple tool that leverages team dynamics and helps in team building.

However, timely identification, combination of the strategic process and cohesive planning options that anticipate and identify potential gaps can lead to the formulation of cost effective solutions to fill capability gaps.

Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • Devharsh Johri

    Organizations need to migrate from a qualitative analysis of their capabilities to a quantitative one, where all the enablers that help organizations in realizing specific and measurable goals are duly accounted for. These enablers could be expressed in terms of both internal and external factors like efficiency of the business processes, efficacy of the workforce, maturity of IT systems, efficiency of supporting and management processes, quality of the product/service, value added by different components of the value chain, long term relationship with customers and other suppliers, differentiated service level to different type of customers, reputation of the brand, etc.
    It is relatively simple for organizations to spot gaps in their capabilities (comparing achieved results against the goals).The cumbersome part is the identification of the source of variance, i.e. the set of internal/external factors that did not add value to the extent they ought to have. An incorrect analysis leading to the organization not focusing on the ‘real culprits’ can prove to be counter-productive. A rather clichéd example is what happens when an organization automates an inefficient process—it ends up merely increasing the rate at which failures occur.
    Methodologies like Balanced Score Card and Activity Based Costing are in essence designed to capture the contribution made or the cost consumed by different components or factors. Drilling down into the component level allows organizations to focus their energies on specific problem areas instead of trying to fix everything at the same time.

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  • Hey Asma; I feel thirsty as the article finishes! Its just a collection of initial though. Why don’t you make one conclusive with some more thoughts, processes, expected results etc.