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What information should be included in a feasibility assessment?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 37310 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, General, Solution Assessment and Validation (BABOK KA)


The purpose of a feasibility assessment is to evaluate whether a proposed solution can be expected to provide the desired business benefits, and to identify any barriers or risks that could potentially impact solution viability, value or benefit. The feasibility assessment is typically conducted at a point in the project where alternative solutions are being compared prior to selecting a single go-forward solution or approach. If there is only one potential solution or approach being considered, it is still beneficial to conduct a feasibility assessment in order to verify the viability of that solution before investing fully.

The amount of analysis and formality of documentation produced through a feasibility assessment is proportional to the size, scope and complexity of the proposed solution and its environmental context. The underlying principles and approach remain much the same however.

The information gathered and analyzed in the feasibility assessment must answer the following key questions:

Does the solution offer sufficient value or benefit to outweigh estimated cost and risk? Values and benefits should be quantifiable, although they can be measured in a variety of ways (dollars earned or saved, person-hours saved, percent increase in customer satisfaction, reduction in errors, etc.). Costs should be estimated in terms of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which covers acquisition, implementation, operations and support and includes hardware, software and personnel costs.

Does the organization have sufficient capacity and resources to acquire, implement and support the proposed solution or direction? Personnel capacity and resources are key considerations, as well as technical and financial capacity of the organization. Can the solution be supported by existing business and technical staff, or will new resources or skills be needed? Technical support staff working in a .Net/SQL Server environment may not have the skills and expertise needed to support a new software application that runs on a Java/Oracle platform only for example. Introduction of new technology adds to both cost and risk of a new solution.

How well will the solution fit into the organization’s business, technical and information environment? What is the estimated cost to the organization to address any gaps identified? Are there any functional gaps between what the business requires and what the solution can provide? Will a proposed new software solution work on existing technical infrastructure (servers, network, database systems, etc.)? If not, can the organization feasibly acquire and operate additional infrastructure needed?
Assumptions, dependencies, constraints and risks are also identified initially in the feasibility assessment and carried forward into the business case and project management plan once a go-forward solution is chosen.

Sandy Lambert
Business Architect
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.



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