Types of Feasibility Studies
First off, there are various types of feasibility studies. According to the University of Toronto, the most common types include:
- Technical Feasibility
- Economic Feasibility
- Schedule Feasibility
- Operational Feasibility
The first three types of feasibility studies listed here usually involve determining if a project or process will be effective, whether that project or process is internal or external, costs, and scheduling.
An example of an operational feasibility study, or the fourth type, analyzes the inside operations on how a deemed process will work, be implemented, and how to deal with change resistance and acceptance.
The Need for Operational Feasibility Studies
Operational feasibility studies are generally utilized to answer the following questions:
- Process – How do the end-users feel about a new process that may be implemented?
- Evaluation – Whether or not the process within the organization will work but also if it can work.
- Implementation – Stakeholder, manager, and end-user tasks.
- Resistance – Evaluate management, team, and individual resistance and how that resistance will be handled.
- In-House Strategies – How will the work environment be affected? How much will it change?
- Adapt & Review – Once change resistance is overcome, explain how the new process will be implemented along with a review process to monitor the process change.
Example of an Operational Feasibility Study
If an operational feasibility study must answer the six items above, how is it used in the real world? A good example might be if a company has determined that it needs to totally redesign the workspace environment.
After analyzing the technical, economic, and scheduling feasibility studies, next would come the operational analysis. In order to determine if the redesign of the workspace environment would work, an example of an operational feasibility study would follow this path based on six elements:
- Process – Input and analysis from everyone the new redesign will affect along with a data matrix on ideas and suggestions from the original plans.
- Evaluation – Determinations from the process suggestions; will the redesign benefit everyone? Who is left behind? Who feels threatened?
- Implementation – Identify resources both inside and out that will work on the redesign. How will the redesign construction interfere with current work?
- Resistance – What areas and individuals will be most resistant? Develop a change resistance plan.
- Strategies – How will the organization deal with the changed workspace environment? Do new processes or structures need to be reviewed or implemented in order for the redesign to be effective?
- Adapt & Revi****ew – How much time does the organization need to adapt to the new redesign? How will it be reviewed and monitored? What will happen if through a monitoring process, additional changes must be made?
Pulling It All Together
The most important part of operational feasibility study is input—from everyone, especially when it affects how or what an organization does as far as processes. If the process were to build a new sports arena for a client, then a study determining how the arena will operate in a way that is conducive to its inhabitants, parking, human flow, accessibility and other elements is a good example of an operational feasibility study.
Create a sample operational feasibility study if you plan to change something inside the company that will affect how the organization runs or when a client asks you to explore a new product or process that will affect elements within their own organization.
Learn more about how to create all types of feasibility studies through Joe Taylor’s five-part series on project feasibility studies.