Quick Start Tool

Key to any strategic planning process is a gap analysis. It quantifies the effectiveness of an organization’s management practices by identifying the distance between the current state of play - the ‘as is’ - and the desired state - the ‘to be’ - for future sustainable business operations.

The quick start “GAP TOOL” has been developed to allow agencies to gain a quick understanding of their position in relation to their overall management of their asset portfolio. This tool is defined as a Level 1 assessment. Decision-making tools that reflect more advanced asset management principles with a more complex level of detail will cater to large organizations requiring more complex decisions, according to the level of business risk exposure.

Confidence in decision-making

Millions of dollars can be at stake in the asset management arena. Understanding the quality with which assets are being managed is vital to staff, managers, directors, and other stakeholders. GAP-Ex provides a powerful tool for measuring the “confidence” level embedded in an organization’s asset management decision-making environment.

Online gap analysis

A gap analysis is key to any asset management strategic development process. This measures an organization’s asset management practices and its relativity to where it wants to be within a specified period of time. The gap is the distance between the “as is” of the current environment and the “to be” of the desired future viability of operations.

The GAP-Ex analysis is an online self-assessment process that allows an organization to rapidly measure its performance against data from more than 170 of the world’s leading asset management practitioners.

The process facilitates clear benchmarking of the organization’s asset management capabilities relative to:

  • Similar agencies including the best or top (10%), and the average (50%), from all over the world.
  • A set of comparable companies or asset owners.
  • What is reasonable and relevant for your particular organization?

Best Appropriate Practice Level 1

Given its online capability, GAP-Ex is regularly updated with relevant new standards, benchmarks and industry data that currently contain more than 170 agencies’ data.

Defining a reasonable, relevant standard is particularly important because not all “world-class best practices” are affordable or even applicable for every entity. GAP-Ex can identify Best Appropriate Practices that fit your organization’s needs or “value chain”.

Identifying areas for improvement

GAP-Ex is designed to serve two fundamental functions. It measures the current position of an organization against the seven key primary quality elements and guides future actions for the development of a prioritized, measurable improvement program. The changes that are identified provide a sustainable long-term transition to a better management culture, helping to prioritize the improvements for the biggest benefit for the investment.

Online Review Results

The GAP-Ex assessment tool takes the form of a comprehensive multiple-choice questionnaire. The input data is compared with that of similar organizations and Best Appropriate Practices and reported graphically. A short report and a detailed list of targeted and prioritized improvement projects accompany this benchmark comparison.

GAP-Ex is now available through GHD’s website for clients to rapidly undertake an online review of their processes and practices, data, information systems, organizational and people issues, commercial tactics, and asset management plans.

Examine the situation

The first step to improving your organization is to understand your current state. This involves:

  • Analyzing current processes and practices
  • Determining business drivers
  • Establishing goals and future priorities
  • Comparing your organization with the Best Appropriate Practice for your industry or sector.

You will then be able to determine your targets for improvement. An example is shown below:


Expose the GAP

Once you’ve set your desired performance levels and goals, it’s time to focus on areas that need improvement.

Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. Weigh each asset group on its importance to the service delivery outputs of the organization, identify areas of greatest need, and identify “quick wins”.

Execute the improvements

The GAP-Ex assessment will highlight deficiencies and demonstrate where your organization stands with its counterparts. GAP-Ex will:

  • Identify priority areas for improvements
  • Offer suggestions to initiate maximum impact with minimum resources
  • Provide evidence to secure commitment from senior management to drive the improvement processes.

Please visit GAP-Ex by clicking on the graphic below:

Focus for the future

Once you have commenced the improvement process, you can track your progress by reassessing your organization at any time. With GAP-Ex online, the benchmarks are always being updated so you won’t miss any critical steps or analyze data that is irrelevant. Ideally, you will conduct a reassessment every six months for the first year, and once a year thereafter.

GAP-EX Program

GAP-EX has been developed as a web based tool for the sole use of GHD staff and selected clients of GHD. To access information from this web site visit www.gap-ex.com

How GAP-Ex Works

By following the program prompts you will be guided through an extensive on-line questionnaire, which will provide the input for the gap assessment and report that contains a comprehensive graphical representation and list of tasks in priority order for the implementation of a justified improvement program. When you are satisfied that the questions answered are a true reflection of the organization's current capability in asset management, you will be prompted to generate a report to indicate what tasks are needed in priority order to develop your improvement program.

The first screen is a welcome page and will ask the user to create a new account or login.

Creating a new account

The user is prompted to enter name and email details, which will then be processed, and a return email to the user will give the required access to the program with security password attached. Please be aware that this security access could take a few minutes. An e-mail has also been automatically generated to the system administrator requesting credits for your new account.

New Assessment

This is the “main menu” screen, which will allow the user to change details, passwords, enter tokens, and request more tokens or contacts the system administrator.

At this point, the user will need to enter a token to update credits to allow the user to proceed beyond this point. These will be made available to the user by e-mail when the account has been created and approval has been issued by GHD.

The next screen will ask you to fill in a series of details about their organization. Please read the text titled “Create New Assessment” for information about the need to record certain mandatory fields that will provide a database for future “Best Appropriate Practice” benchmarks against different industry sectors, in different countries & regions.

The program includes several quality value chains, which are specific for the industry sectors chosen. When like organizations submit their information for report generation the quality element ratings are modified to represent the updated future benchmarks used to measure best appropriate practice.

It is important to note that the benchmarking data that has been included in this program has been derived from over twenty five years of GHD’s AM experience working with clients in these industry sectors mostly in Australia and New Zealand to date. The further information gathered from this program will allow the benchmarking to be fine tuned to allow world wide and country based benchmarks to be established.


The next screens will lead the user through a number of questions relating to the organization’s infrastructure life cycle processes and practices, data and knowledge, information systems, organizational and people issues, commercial tactics, and asset management plans. The user has the ability to enter information into the questionnaires as many times as they like providing before exiting the system you click the “save and continue” button.

Each time a section is completed and you wish to enter the next screen of questions press the “save and continue” button. As each screen is entered the primary and secondary elements shown at the top of the page will direct where you are in the program.

Report Generation

When all questions have been completed the final page will prompt a further save and direct the user back to the “main menu” entry point where you will be prompted to generate a report.

From the main menu once a report has been generated an e-mail will be sent to the user advising that the report has been completed and can now be accessed through the front entry screen by clicking “open report”.


At the front entry screen the “generate report” tab has now changed to “open report”. This will open a PDF file, which will give you a comprehensive report and graphical representation of your organization's asset management capabilities.

The report will be categorized into the seven quality elements and you will able to prioritize the improvement areas from the rankings.

Security of data

All data lodged by an individual client is held in a secure database that is for that agency's use only and is not accessible. To enable the overall benchmarks to be continually improved, each participating agency/organization agrees to the overall scores being utilized in further improving the averages and top 10% benchmark figures. The identity of each organization is not revealed nor used in any of the benchmarking activities; only the industry type/sector and the scores are utilized for benchmarking purposes.


GHD has developed this self-assessment program to give your organization this snap shot of where you sit in relation to Best Appropriate Practice (BAP) and other like industry benchmarks together with an indication of where the top ten percentile is also placed.

The outputs generated by the report will demonstrate a realistic representation of your organization's current capability in its asset management functions.

It should be noted that the accuracy of this report is heavily dependent on the honesty and accuracy with which users complete the survey.

The key issues outlined above will provide you with the basic information, which you need to address in order to achieve the improvement processes. By acting on these issues will bring your organization to an acceptable level in the management of your assets.

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Reviewing Asset Management   Bringing About Change