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Capability Gaps : Spot and Fill

A capability gap is an unavailable expertise that is strategically important. The expertise could also be inadequate. The extent to which a firm might go through a capability gap depends on:

• Relevance of the necessary technology to the core technological capability of the firm
• Current familiarity of the firm with required expertise
• Mistakes in recruitment procedures
• Shortage of trained professionals
• Lack of funds in order to train people
• Incompetent leadership and operational capabilities

The managers must first identify the capability gap by understanding the connection between strategy and technology. A business development model that links technology to strategy comprises of specialities, procedures and technology. The core and enabling technologies help sustain the specialities and procedures. The most probable outcome of identification of a capability gap is outsourcing. The capability gap can be determined using a competency map and a SWOT analysis.

A competency map is used to identify talent and skill sets that can be used to meet customer requirements. Some methods that entail a competency map are:

• Identification and Analysis of Jobs
• Interviews
• Surveys
• Performance Appraisal
• Analysis of Recruitment Strategies

The process to create a competency map is:

• Profiling a particular job
• Working out competencies with the help of a specialist
• Indicating knowledge, skills, etc…
• Breaking down competencies into tangible results

SWOT is expanded as Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. This method is used to audit both the organization and the environment. The strengths of the person might be evaluated by asking questions like:

• What kind of work does the person enjoy?
• What value proposition does the person bring to the team?
• What unusual skills does the person have?
• In what areas is the person competent?

Weakness can be assessed by questions like:

• What does the person dislike?
• In what areas is the person weak in performance?

Opportunities can be identified by asking; in what areas the person can perform well based on his strengths and weaknesses, the processes in the business model where the person’s strengths can be leveraged, etc…And threats can be determined from knowing where the persons lack skills.

Based on this analysis, four quadrants are drawn in order to design strategies. The quadrants are Strengths-Opportunities strategies, Strengths-Threats strategies, Weakness-Opportunities strategies, and Weakness-Threats strategies. SWOT is particularly useful because it is simple, focuses on the domains that have competitive advantage, is a good team-building tool, leverages team dynamics, and helps business see the overall picture.

Capability gaps can be filled by constantly defining customer needs, reviewing and evaluating solutions, evaluating people’s capabilities, and incorporating a sound strategic plan.

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