A Feasibility Study may need to be completed for your project. The best time to complete it is when you have identified a range of different alternative solutions and you need to know which solution is the most feasible to implement. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Research the Business Drivers
In most cases, your project is being driven by a problem in the business. These problems are called “business drivers” and you need to have a clear understanding of what they are, as part of your Feasibility Study. For instance, the business driver might be that an IT system is outdated and is causing customer complaints, or that two businesses need to merge because of an acquisition. Find out why the business driver is important to the business, and why it’s critical that the project delivers a solution to it within a specified timeframe.
Step 2: Confirm the Alternative Solutions
Now you have a clear understanding of the business problem that the project addresses, you need to understand the alternative solutions available. For example, if it’s an IT system that is outdated, your alternative solutions might include redeveloping the existing system, replacing it with a package solution or merging it with another system. Only with a clear understanding of the alternative solutions to the business problem can you progress with the Feasibility Study.
Step 3: Determine the Feasibility
You now need to identify the feasibility of each solution. The question to ask of each alternative solution is “can we deliver it on time and under budget?” In other words – is it feasible to complete this project for a reasonable timeframe and cost? To answer this question, you need to use a variety of methods to assess the feasibility of each solution. Here are some examples of ways you can assess feasibility:
- Research: Perform research to see if other companies have implemented the same solutions. This may tell you if the solution is practical.
- Prototyping: Identify the part of the solution that has the highest risk, and then build a sample of it to see if it’s possible to create. This will tell you if the solution is technically feasible.
- Time-boxing: Complete some of the tasks in your project plan and measure how long it took vs. planned. If you delivered it on time, then you know that your overall schedule may be feasible.
Step 4: Choose a Preferred Solution
With the feasibility of each alternative solution known, the next step is to select a preferred solution to be delivered by your project. Choose the solution that is most feasible to implement, has the lowest risk, and you have the highest confidence of delivering.
After completing these four steps, get your Feasibility Study approved by your sponsor so that everyone in the project team has a high degree of confidence that the project can deliver successfully.
Do you need help with project definition, feasibility or business case? Contact us today to discuss how we can help your organization choose the right projects.