Gap Analysis: Rethinking the Conceptual Foundations

Report Number: NPS-AM-08-025

Series: Acquisition Management

Category: Gap Analysis

Report Series: Proceedings Paper

Authors: Gary Langford, Raymond (Chip) Franck, Tom Huynh, Ira Lewis

Title: Gap Analysis: Rethinking the Conceptual Foundations

Published: 2008-04-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: NPS Faculty

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Keywords: Gap Analysis, System Acquisitions


Gap Analysis is widely regarded as a useful tool to facilitate commercial and defense system acquisitions. This paper is a rethinking of the theoretical foundations and systematics of Gap Analysis with practical extensions to illustrate its utility and limitations. It also provides a new perspective on those theoretical foundations from the perspectives of systems and value engineering. The growing sophistication and complexity of new systems or system-of-systems have resulted in a dramatic increase in time and money to reach operational capability. Gap Analysis, properly defined and enacted, clarifies goals, appropriate investment and the end-use.