A feasibility study is an analysis of how successfully a project can be completed, accounting for factors that affect it such as economic, technological, legal and scheduling factors. Project managers use feasibility studies to determine potential positive and negative outcomes of a project before investing a considerable amount of time and money into it.
A feasibility study is used to determine the viability of an idea. The objective of such a study is to ensure a project is legally and technically feasible and economically justifiable. It tells us whether a project is worth the investment.
Feasibility studies are useful to businesses in many ways. Some of the reasons organizations conduct feasibility studies are as follows:
- Not every project is doable.
- Not every project should be taken up. This will engage otherwise useful resources and block their use on other tasks.
- Not every project makes effective use of the resources of an organization.
Five Areas of Project Feasibility:
Technical Feasibility – assessment is centred on the technical resources available to the organization. It helps organizations assess if the technical resources meet capacity and whether the technical team is capable of converting the ideas into working systems. Technical feasibility also involves evaluation of the hardware and the software requirements of the proposed system.
Economic Feasibility – helps organizations assess the viability, cost, and benefits associated with projects before financial resources are allocated. It also serves as an independent project assessment, and enhances project credibility, as a result. It helps decision-makers determine the positive economic benefits to the organization that the proposed system will provide, and helps quantify them. This assessment typically involves a cost/ benefits analysis of the project.
Legal Feasibility – investigates if the proposed system conflicts with legal requirements like data protection acts or social media laws.
Operational Feasibility – this involves undertaking a study to analyse and determine whether your business needs can be fulfilled by using the proposed solution. It also measures how well the proposed system solves problems and takes advantage of the
opportunities identified during scope definition. Operational feasibility studies also analyse how the project plan satisfies the requirements identified in the requirements analysis phase of system development. To ensure success, desired operational
outcomes must inform and guide design and development. These include such design dependent parameters such as reliability, maintainability, supportability, usability, disposability, sustainability, affordability, and others.
Scheduling Feasibility is the most important for project success. A project will fail if not completed on time. In scheduling feasibility, we estimate how much time the system will take to complete, and with our technical skills we need to estimate the period to complete the project using various methods of estimation.