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Doing a feasibility study

A feasibility study tests the time, funding, organisational and technical aspects of your project, and enables you to decide whether or not to go ahead.

Use options appraisals to make informed decisions about your project.

Before your project even gets onto the drawing board, you need to ask: is this really viable?

A feasibility study tests reality against a project’s aspirations and vision. It is crucial to do a feasibility study as early as possible to confirm whether to carry on or not. A study may also be requested as part of the funding process.

This is not just about a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for your project. The study may also reveal that some major aspects of the project, such as the preferred location or the speed with which it can be completed, should change.

How do I do a feasibility study?

  1. Ask the right questions
    Use your feasibility study to be as honest and robust as possible about current conditions and likely future scenarios
  2. Consider getting expert help
    A comprehensive assessment of feasibility is likely to mean involving outside expertise
  3. Compile your feasibility study
    Present the information you have researched clearly so that your organisation is well-placed to make a decision about whether or not to proceed.
  4. Decide whether the project is feasible
    Based on your study the organisation and senior appointments need to own what it says and decide what to do next.

Example of doing a feasibility study

Completion checklist

  • You have sought expert advice - independent where appropriate.
  • You have considered a range of options.
  • You have tested project assumptions regarding the timetable, funding, and organisational and technical aspects.
  • You have been realistic about the project's feasibility.