Fast tracking the Gap Analysis… is it possible?

Recently, I was talking to an executive and they asked if we could accelerate the Gap Analysis process. “hummm, yes, sure, it’s possible”, I quickly said… as I didn’t want it to be a career limiting answer! So I did one on the spot. I asked questions!

I asked very similar questions I would if I was doing a “real” need assessment or if I was being tasked on a project or if my husband was being pressured by my son to get a new phone… (by the way, he works in IT, so he would do the exercise differently but his first question is always ‘what’s your requirement?” lol.

Here they are:

Q1- What is it you’re trying to achieve?

o What is the gap that you’re trying to fill? Who has a problem with it/with not having it? Why do you feel that way? What does right look like? Define success? How is this connected to our ‘why’?

o Still not sure or not convinced or confused? Ask: “say more”

Q2- Where did you hear (see-feel-manipulate) this ?

o Was this part of a success story or a lesson learnt report? Was the context GC (Government of Canada) or not-GC-related?. What is the scope of the comparison? What were the factors/elements that made that idea pop-up? How many people does it impact or target? What benefits did you see or witness?

o Still not sure or not convinced or confused? Ask: “say more”

Q3- What’s your role in this? Or Who did you hear it from?

o Based on the GC Digital Standards, we should strive to be a “user-employee-learner”- centered organization. As a learning geek, I say WIIFT (what’s in it for them)? Is the person you heard the story from the expert in the field? A user with first-hand experience? A manager that administer the ‘thing’? Is this a game changer? A deal breaker? Is this a piece of a bigger puzzle? As the School or the GC: WIIFCSPS?/ WIIFGC? (no, we don’t need another acronym but I couldn’t help it!!!) Understanding the LX, EX or UX (learner-employee or user experience)’s, insights, pain points and desirable outcome is key for success.

Q4- By when do you need this by? (well…. Let’s pray it’s not for yesterday!)

o What is the urgency or risk? How are we shifting the other priorities? In the meantime, is it already done by someone else? How can we repurpose it/ borrow it/curate it? Is there a software, an open-source platform or an Open Educational Resource that can do it? Can we contract someone to do it? Without forgetting the most important player in any project: procurement (GC standards…), funding (GC budgets…) and integration (GC IT, Security, HR, and Learning…).

For the purpose of my challenge, this became a “4 back-pocket question” that I shared. This is way less detailed than a “real” need assessment that would also include a list of knowledge, skills, abilities and level of quality/performance desired but I am confident that is a good mitigation strategy to the original question : How might we accelerate the gap analysis process????

Also, I am aware that this simple 5 min conversation happens every week for several of my colleagues, including me including for much greater learning (or not) projects. This is the reality of our fast-paced and remote workplace. YES AND, as Learning Professionals, we can agree that learning (and training) is NOT the answer, but I wonder if we could be smooth the conversation and offer a combination of 2–3 options that could work and would be less committing than a full-on baked course? PERHAPS AND, to our senior leaders, it wouldn’t be a no… right?

What do you think?

Stay Tune as next week, my friend @helen will be sharing her blog from her conversations at the Canada Revenue Agency, followed by how to use the Workflow of Learning, a decision-tree for learning decisions, and finally my friend Kim will share how she uses the “Action Mapping” in her learning projects.



Reflections from Learning Professionals along their journey navigating the government context. Building on each other’s ideas and initiatives will make us better at offering amazing learning experiences for learners.

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Kony Trudel

Passionate about learning, people and how the two co-exist and connect at work. Striving to be a caring leader and novice at blogging!