A Feasibility Study Done Right

04 October 2010

A feasibility study is the single most important factor in the beginning of a project. This is because no matter how great the deliverable is or how cheap it can be made, if it does not sell in the appropriate qualities to the target customer, it will be an economic failure for the company. The feasibility study is a documented plan starts with who the target audience or customer is to be. What needs to be understood is that the proposed target customer might not be the ideal customer. This is one of the reasons the study is being conducted, to confirm the assumptions about the project so confirmations can be made on the variables involved. To properly plan out a feasibility study, many project managers are deploying the use of a project management template to help guide them in the proper construction of this document. Within the document will be a clear explanation of the business opportunity that is being studied as a business venture. 

Another part of the feasibility study that is sometimes overlooked is alternatives to the original proposal. It is true that the study should have a primary focus in the deliverable and the target audience, but if the opportunity arises for greater acceptance of a product that is similar it should be explored with the same diligence of the primary focus items. Opportunity generally only knocks once.

As part of the overall feasibility study should be the examination of the risks and issues with not only the deliverable but also the target customer base. This can be as simple as the acceptance by the target customer of the deliverable. It can also include whether the target customers can actually afford the deliverable. In the study there should be some observations if a slightly less expensive deliverable would be greeted with a greater response.

Once all of the required data is accumulated then the formal feasibility study can be documented. This will be the report turned into the stakeholders of the project. They will have the ultimate say in whether the risks of the project are worth the rewards of producing the project.