What is a feasibility report?

Introduction

As the name implies, a feasibility study is an analysis of the viability of an idea. The feasibility study focuses on helping answer the essential question of “should we proceed with the proposed project idea?” All activities of the study are directed toward helping answer this question.

Imagine you were starting your own business, a cake shop! There are tasks that you would need to perform to work out whether it would be feasible to start the business. You may need to evaluate the following:
  • Market research
  • Your level of knowledge and competence
  • Budgets / fund availability
  • Competition
  • Will it be profitable?
By evaluating these and other factors you will be able to make a recommendation as to the feasibility of your project. You will analyse risk, identify opportunities and provide potential plans that are successful, rather than being ignorant of threats or the weaknesses of the concept. 

The Format of Feasibility Reports

Most design and feasibility reports contain the following elements:
  • An abstract that concludes with a short summary of the recommended design.
  • An introduction that presents the context of the situation and then gives a clear and concise statement of the problem to solved.
  • A list of design criteria, in order of importance with the most important first. Clear and concise design criteria are crucial to any design process. They establish the standards by which it possible to determine whether a specific design is successful and to decide intelligently among competing designs.
  • Descriptions of possible implementations. A design report will often describe only one possible implementation. A feasibility report will often present several possible designs.
  • A recommendation with a comparison of alternatives. If a design report does not present any alternative designs, it should still explain the reasons for specific design choices with respect to the design criteria. Feasibility reports usually present one (or sometimes two) recommendations and argue for the recommended solution by showing how it best meets the stated criteria. Graphic devices, such as a table listing how each implementation meets each design criterion, are very effective in summarizing the reasons for the specific design recommendation.
  • Elaboration of design. Design reports and feasibility reports often then give a more detailed description of the recommended design.
  • Conclusion with recommendations for further actions and a listing of issues that must be resolved before the design can be implemented.

Useful Links

Below you will find a number of links that will help you to investigate feasibility criteria and reports. Please ensure that you appropriately reference any information that you use.
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