A feasibility study is performed by a company when they want to know whether a project is possible given certain circumstances. Feasibility studies are undertaken under many circumstances - to find out whether a company has enough money for a project, to find out whether the product being created will sell, or to see if there are enough human resources for the project. A good feasibility study will show the strengths and deficits before the project is planned or budgeted for. By doing the research beforehand, companies can save money and resources in the long run by avoiding projects that are not feasible.
The Many Types
There are many different types of feasibility studies; here is a list of some of the most common:
- Technical Feasibility - Does the company have the technological resources to undertake the project? Are the processes and procedures conducive to project success?
- Schedule Feasibility - Does the company currently have the time resources to undertake the project? Can the project be completed in the available time?
- Economic Feasibility - Given the financial resources of the company, is the project something that can be completed? The economic feasibility study is more commonly called the cost/benefit analysis.
- Cultural Feasibility - What will be the impact on both local and general cultures? What sort of environmental implications does the feasibility study have?
- Legal/Ethical Feasibility - What are the legal implications of the project? What sort of ethical considerations are there? You need to make sure that any project undertaken will meet all legal and ethical requirements before the project is on the table.
- Resource Feasibility - Do you have enough resources, what resources will be required, what facilities will be required for the project, etc.
- Operational Feasibility - This measures how well your company will be able to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities that are presented during the course of the project
- Marketing Feasibility - Will anyone want the product once its done? What is the target demographic? Should there be a test run? Is there enough buzz that can be created for the product?
- Real Estate Feasibility - What kind of land or property will be required to undertake the project? What is the market like? What are the zoning laws? How will the business impact the area?
- Comprehensive Feasibility - This takes a look at the various aspects involved in the project - marketing, real estate, cultural, economic, etc. When undertaking a new business venture, this is the most common type of feasibility study performed.
When Are They Done?
Feasibility studies should be undertaken any time that a completely new project, process, vendor is being used, or business is being built. A feasibility study can not only provide the direction but also will define the focus for your team.