System Fit-Gap & Impact Analysis Framework

System Fit-Gap & Impact Analysis Framework

 

A fit-gap & impact analysis is undertaken to determine where your current systems, or planned new systems, fit or do not fit your business and organizational requirements, and the impacts of changing your systems.  In the context of software requirements identification, fit-gap & impact analysis is a formal process of identifying how well a specific organization’s current or planned systems fit those requirements on a day-to-day operational basis, and highlighting the impacts of implementing those systems.  In other words, WHERE are the problems occurring, WHY are they occurring, and HOW BAD are they?  A fit-gap & impact analysis identifies the true cause of a problem (i.e. gap).  This is important because not all business problems are caused by software.  An example would be that of an outdated procedure being the root problem causing a frequent delay in processing a certain type of transaction.  Performing a proper fit-gap & impact analysis at the detail level will easily uncover these issues.  Another benefit of a correctly done fit-gap & impact analysis is that it forces the correct priority level to be assigned to each problem scenario, something which is very useful when planning budgets and implementation schedules.  At the end of the day, a fit-gap & impact analysis is instrumental in collecting the information needed to answer key questions – “Where are we?  Where do we want to be?  What do we need to do? – in a much clearer and formal manner.

The need for a fit-gap & impact analysis can be triggered by any number of business situations, such as the following:

• Selecting or implementing a new software solution

• Making a replacement or upgrade decision

• Deciding which of several systems to standardize on

• Changing software requirements

• Aligning system functions to standard and common business processes

A formal and detailed fit-gap & impact analysis provides the organization with the following benefits:

• Comparison of the delivered functionality of planned software to current business practices

• Identification of the delivered functionality that improves current business practices and processes

• Understanding WHERE the current or planned software system does not fit current requirements

• Understanding WHY the gap or problem is occurring

• Prioritization of the solution

• Understanding WHAT is needed to solve the problem

• Prioritization of the solution

• Documentation of the benefits resulting from a correction or change

Once the actions and/or items needed to correct deficiencies are identified, the organization is in a position to obtain the cost of corrections from vendors and calculate Payback and ROI for each competing system, thus allowing you to determine which proposed system is best for your needs.

 

IT Architects provides a service to conduct a complete and robust fit-gap & impact analysis and provide recommendations.  IT Architects uses a proven fit-gap & impact analysis framework to determine how well the systems under consideration fit a given business requirement, and if any gaps or deficiencies exist which are recorded in a prescribed format using a series of inter-related templates.  Furthermore, the degree of the gap is recorded as a full, partial, or minimal in order to prioritize each requirement set.  This process starts the creation of a detailed list of prioritized software requirements for use in the subsequent steps of software evaluation, selection, and/or implementation process, including:

• RFP creation

• Software demonstration

• Price/Contract negotiations

• Implementation requirements

• Post-implementation audit

IT Architects pinpoints any gaps and describes impacts to process, data, people, applications/systems, and technology.  As indicated earlier, not all problems are caused by software deficiencies.  Since fit-gap & impact analysis is a formal assessment of each task in a given business process, determining where a problem is encountered is critical.  The type and cause of the problem can be related to business process, system functionality, user interface, technical deployment, regulatory/compliance rules, etc.  IT Architects’ fit-gap & impact analysis framework ensures that these deficiencies and problems are properly recorded and measured.  Many important gap documentation, mitigation and/or remediation details need to be documented and managed before effective software selection and/or implementation planning can be achieved, and business processes modified.  It is very important to measure the impact that changed business procedures, changed user interfaces, the need for user re-training, and many other things will have on the organization. This is especially true during the fit-gap & impact analysis performed during the assessment phase of any large, multi-location system, such as SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Workday, or Microsoft Dynamics.