How to investigate technology with Gap Analysis

More than any other situation Change is about cooperation and collaboration. No matter if your company is in serious trouble or just wants to find a new way to line itself up – it always needs people to initiate, moderate, steer, coordinate and live that Change.

So what? The problem is that often people simply don´t know how to cooperate. Of course people cooperate on a daily base, but this is mostly routine, it´s like a form of vegetative state. Change causes different needs and different needs urges people to modify their behavior.

Over years I have collected several “Creativity Techniques” to support Cooperation between people – not only in times of Change. It is always better to be prepared than surprised…

What are Creativity Techniques?
Creativity techniques are heuristic methods to facilitate creativity in a person or a group of people. They are most often used in creative problem solving.

Generally, most creativity techniques use associations between the goal (or the problem), the current state (which may be an imperfect solution to the problem), and some stimulus (possibly selected randomly). There is an analogy between many creativity techniques and methods of evolutionary computation.

In problem-solving contexts, the random word creativity technique is perhaps the simplest such method. A person confronted with a problem is presented with a randomly generated word, in the hopes of a solution arising from any associations between the word and the problem. A random image, sound, or article can be used instead of a random word as a kind of creativity goad or provocation.

Gap Analysis
Gap analysis is a methodical investigation throughout the whole area of a given technology for ‘gaps’. Thus highlighting inadequate areas in existing technology that are open to speculation with a view improvement. For example a study for the analysis of transportation technology, using the aspects:

  • Speed
  • Maximum range
  • Demand

Three areas well served by existing improvement are:

  • Pedestrian
  • Motorcar
  • Aircraft

However, between these exist three gaps (between pedestrian and car, car and aircraft, and beyond the aircraft range) in which consumers considered existing means of transport less satisfactory. Between walking and car travel, for instance, there are many forms of transport available:

  • Bus
  • Motor scooter
  • Bicycle
  • Underground train

None of these realize the need perceived by town planners for a mass transport system, possibly continuous, operating at a speed of about five times the walking rate, for distances of between half a mile and three miles. Between motor transport and conventional aircraft, there are helicopters, short-take-off aircraft and hover-trains, but all need improvement. Finally, supersonic aircraft for distances greater than 700 miles are still not easily accessible. These gaps are representative of areas where creative input in a descending order of demand is an option (the requirement of a mass transport system traveling at 20 miles per hour is a lot greater than a requirement for supersonic transport in terms of the numbers who wish to travel at these speeds).

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