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Five Steps to Determine Project Feasibility

You believe in the project – you can see the money it will save the company, the benefit it brings to customers , and the clear alignment to business goals. But are you seeing everything as it actually stands? Is the project really that good, or are you just chasing windmills? There are plenty of methodologies for project management. Many of them focus on risk mitigation, process best practices, and resource allotment, all worthy and important elements. However, there is a very important first step (or even a pre-step) that should be taken: determining project feasibility. Is there even a possibility that the project will get off the ground? Is it worth the effort? Are there alternative solutions? Dr. Andrew Makar systematically lists five steps that help determine if the project is justified and will be built on time and within budget. The final tip is a re-assessment at a lower level: It's now time to take your chosen solution and reassess its feasibility at a lower level. List all of the tasks that are needed to complete the solution. Then run those tasks by your team to see how long they think it will take to complete them. Add all of the tasks and timeframes to a project plan to see if you can do it all within the project deadline. Then ask your team to identify the highest risk tasks and get them to investigate them further to check that they are achievable. Use the techniques in Step 3 to give you a very high degree of confidence that it's practically achievable. Then document all of the results in a Feasibility Study report. The above paragraph is interesting: a large part of the feasibility study (and an element that is often overlooked by management) is going to the people who are doing the work and asking what they think about the work to be performed. Collecting their understanding, concerns, and opinions can dramatically impact the likelihood of projects being feasible.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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