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Feasibility study

Piece of work designed to give support to an initial concept or idea

As mentioned previously, the feasibility study is used to provide evidence that an initial concept is likely to work. Both the concept phase and feasibility studies are often considered to be ‘pre-project’ activities, on the assumption that the major activities leading to the end user product are the main project.

Report or practical activity

The feasibility study can take many forms, it just needs to provide evidence that an original concept could work.
Typical forms might be:

  1. A period of research activity.
  2. A report.
  3. Manufacture of a prototype.
  4. Suitable market research report etc.

Clearly, the nature of the feasibility study should have been approved as part of the concept approval system.

Objectives and success criteria

This does of course rely on setting suitable success (or failure) criteria on which to base this decision.
The success criteria should demonstrate that the project is possible (at reasonable cost) and that there is a Business Case for doing it.

Could be run as a stand alone project

It is common practice for the feasibility study to be treated as a project in its own right.
In this way it will have its own goals, start and end point and success criteria defined at the start.

Requires a milestone decision to proceed

The end of any feasibility study represents a milestone that requires a decision point to proceed.
The decision point may result in a need to gather more data.

The appropriate authority for making this decision would be the Project Board.
Under PRINCE2® [see ‘The Complete Project Management plus PRINCE2’] the first appointments for a project would be the Executive and the Project Manager.

If the project is part of a programme they will appoint the Executive and may influence the appointment of the Project Manager.
The Executive will appoint the rest of the Project Board.

PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.