Gap analysis (sometimes referred to as a feature gap analysis) involves analyzing the gap between actual and expected results. Product managers can perform a gap analysis to determine whether they have achieved what they need to with a product.
For example, a company may rush new software to fill a gap in the market and only realize that users are unhappy with its range of features after launch.
However, performing a product gap analysis can help companies understand these issues and how to address them.
Gap analysis in product management offers the following benefits:
Helps you identify the discrepancy between a product’s current state and the desired future state.
Assists in making decisions, allocating resources, and planning strategically to fulfill the product’s potential.
Find ways to save money down the line, like minimizing wasted time and resources spent on non-essential features.
Delivering a product that best suits the target user’s needs, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Here are the most important steps in product gap analysis:
Start by defining the problem and the most important outcome for your product team, e.g. implementing features into a product update to boost user satisfaction and generate more sales.
Consider your specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive (SMART) goals to identify what you need to do to succeed. Focus on objectives you can realistically achieve and measure.
Look at the gaps in depth to pinpoint the cause of the problems holding you and your product back. It could be due to understaffing, too few resources, or a lack of collaboration with other departments.
Formulate a plan to plug gaps with your team. What steps do you need to take to fix problems, implement demanded features, and secure customer satisfaction?
Identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) can help you define your plan for success. Shed light on what you’re doing right, doing wrong, and what challenges you need to overcome to release a better product.
PESTEL is an acronym for political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal. A PESTEL analysis is crucial for understanding which external factors can affect your product’s success.
Distributing customer feedback surveys gives you a direct insight into the buyers’ and users’ experience.
A competitive analysis can reveal your competitors’ weaknesses and opportunities that might give you a competitive edge.