Technical Feasibility In Software Development: Things To Consider

Technical feasibility can be described as a formal process that assesses whether the production of a product or service is technically feasible. Before launching a new offer or starting a customer project, it is important to plan and prepare for each phase of the operation.  By analyzing the process, including tools, technology, materials, labour, and logistics, technical feasibility helps determine the efficacy of the proposed plan.

A technical feasibility study provides answers to the following questions:

- Is it possible to develop the product using the company's available technology?
- Is the organization equipped with the necessary technology to complete the project?
- Are there technically strong employees who can deliver the product on time and on budget with the technology available?
- Is it possible to add more technical resources to the company's budget?
- Is the available technology the best option for assisting the product team in saving time and staying within budget?
- Is the client looking for a specific technology, or is the client open to developing the product regardless of technology?

Types of Feasibility Study

Organizational viability: Refers to the extent to which the solution benefits the organization. It is determined whether users will adhere to the use of the solution due to organizational culture and the perception of those involved; whether is the solution in line with the organization's strategic goals; whether there is understanding and supports the organization's strategic goals regarding the project, etc.

Operational viability: refers to how well the solution fits the organization; what are the solution requirements; what the customer expects from the system.

Economic feasibility: analysis between development costs and benefits after the end of the project (cost-benefit).

Technical software feasibility: related to the technical support provided by the organization for the development of the project; group or technology restrictions; the need to invest in research before implementing the project; and so on. 

Time feasibility: the intersection of the investigated activities and their estimated implementation time; identify project milestones; delay effect.

Theoretical part: a technical feasibility study

A feasibility study is an analytical process that shows whether a particular software project is practically feasible or not. In other words, this study examines different perspectives of project planning to suggest whether the company should proceed with its plans. When thinking about developing new software, it is impossible to jump straight into the development phase. It is important to analyze a few variables to see if such a leap is even possible.

In the future, the main goal of the feasibility study is to find out whether the software engineering project is technically, organizationally and financially feasible. In addition, there are many other factors to consider. However, the above three cores. If so, it is important to understand that the success of the technical feasibility depends directly on both organization and the project.

7 Steps to Do a Feasibility Study

1. Perform a Preliminary Analysis

To determine whether a full feasibility study is warranted, a preliminary investigation is required. Key information will be gathered during this stage in order to assess the project's potential and make a preliminary decision on its feasibility. A review of relevant documents, interviews with key personnel, and surveys of potential customers or users should all be included.

2. Prepare a preliminary income statement

In order to carry out a feasibility study, it is necessary to make an expected profit statement. Your projected income statement shows how much money your business is expected to make in the next year. Includes both estimated income and estimated expenses. This document is important for making informed decisions about your business.

3. Conduct market research 

Market research is an important part of any feasibility study. You can determine if there is a market for your product or service by understanding the needs and desires of your potential customers. You will also learn what your competitors are up to and how your company can best position itself to meet the needs of your target market.

There are several ways to do market research. One popular way is to complete a survey. You can interview potential customers directly or use information from secondary sources, such as surveys conducted by other organizations. You can also use focus groups or interviews to get feedback from potential clients.

Once your data is collected, you can use it to build a profile of your ideal customer. This will help you better understand your target market and how to reach them.

4. Plan the organization and operation of the company

When you start a business, one of the first things is to plan your organization and operations. This involves creating a structure for your business and determining the logistics of how you will run it. Many factors must be taken into account when planning organization and operations, such as:

- Business Structure: What type of business are you (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.)? What will the hierarchy be like?
- Location: Where is your business located? Do you have a physical store or do you only operate online?
- Marketing: How do you advertise your business?

5. Prepare an Opening Day Balance Sheet

The opening day balance sheet represents the company's financial position at the start of the business venture. The purpose of the opening day balance sheet is to give the company an idea of how much money it has to work with and to track its expenses and income as they occur. This information is necessary to make sound business decisions. The following will be included on the opening day balance sheet:

- Cash on hand
- Accounts receivable
- Inventory
- Prepaid expenses
- Fixed assets
- Accounts payable
- Notes payable
- Long-term liabilities
- Share

6. Review and analyze all data

The feasibility study must include verification and analysis of all information relevant to the proposed project. The collected data must be compared with the source documentation and any discrepancies must be noted. The purpose of the feasibility study is to provide a basis for decision-making, and the data should be sufficient to support the decision.

The proposed project's positive and negative aspects should be considered in the analysis. The financial analysis should be comprehensive, with all assumptions documented. The risk assessment should identify potential hazards as well as risk-mitigation strategies. The project team must conduct a feasibility study and make a recommendation to the organization's management.

The organization's management must decide on the continuation of the project based on the results of the feasibility study. If the project is approved, the organization must prepare a project plan including a detailed budget and schedule. 

7. Make a Go/No-Go decision

Knowing when to cut your losses is important when starting a business. The go/no-go decision comes into play in a preliminary study. The go/no-go decision is a key part of a feasibility study and can help you decide whether your business idea is worth pursuing.

Making the go/no go decision is a matter of risk assessment. You need to weigh the risks and benefits of starting your own business and decide if the potential benefits are worth the risks. If the risk is too high, it might make sense to reconsider your business idea.

Write a feasibility report

1. Determine definitions, abbreviations, and acronyms

Brief explanations of relevant definitions, acronyms, and abbreviations should be included in this section and organized alphabetically. They should be provided in the first place so that anyone may accurately comprehend them, and if it is not applicable, please explain why.

2. Have an overview

Describe what is contained in the rest of the software proof of concept (POC) documentation in this section. It is such like how an academic paper would conclude its introduction.

3. Clarify the objective

Simply and clearly state the project's goal. Lighting characteristics concentrate on the level of management. Utilize infinitives.

4. Specify the scope/range

Define the project's scope and emphasize which elements are and are not covered. Give an explanation for any parts that are not included.

5. Describe the current situation

State your present circumstance. Give a brief summary of the software's features as well as its version, manufacturer, and intended usage. Focus on the latest environment and its challenges. Include any necessary supportive papers, such as invoices, agreements, reports, and spreadsheets.

6. State the requirement

One of the major aspects of the feasibility study paper is addressed in a separate post on requirements.

7. Propose alternatives

List all possible solutions to the issue, especially the option you proposed. Searching for comparable products on the market or relevant academic studies. Take into account the suggested tool's analysis, implementation, and learning time.

8.Provide the benefits

List the merits, both tangible and intangible, of putting the system into place.

9. Describe the cost

Costs for developing alternatives should be allocated as precisely as feasible. Please indicate where the spending risk comes from and determine any hidden threats related to the alternatives. Additionally, it should list both emergency and preventative methods. Consider, furthermore, various risks, including those related to people, organizations, tools, and needs.

10. Outline the timeline

Description of the planning steps, including dates and materials, based on the software development lifecycle.

Recommended Approaches for a Feasibility Study

You are definitely correct if you believe that your software development team will benefit greatly from our feasibility study. By doing a risk analysis, it protects you from any loss and prevents your technical staff from experiencing any early problems. Follow these recommended practices if you want to take advantage thanks to the study because it also analyzes feasibility from several perspectives.

Using project management software like Project Manager can help you organize your data and work quickly and effectively.

  • Use templates and any other technology and data that support you.
  • Request the necessary stakeholders to provide comments.
  • Use market research to complement the data you already possess.
  • To confirm that your data is trustworthy, conduct research and ask questions.

PoC vs. Prototype vs. MVP: What should be used?

There are several phases in the development of a product, including proof of concept, prototype, and MVP. At the pre-product stage, a PoC and a prototype are leveraged and only small to moderate investments are needed.

With MVP creation, you launch a product with the core features and functionality to assess the market's reaction to your ideas. As opposed to developing a PoC or prototype, building an MVP takes more effort and money.

The difference between these three approaches is analyzed below:

A Proof-of-Concept (PoC) examines the issue of whether a concept is practical, examines the intricate specifications, and lowers the risk of further software design. It's usually an internal project, thus it's not the ideal way to demonstrate to investors your concept. A prototype is your best choice if you want to show how your product will seem or work without actually building it.

While a prototype doesn't show your product's business logic, it does show off its UI/UX or specific capabilities. It may be sent to a focus group for the first input, allowing you to learn how people perceive the main idea and identify any inconsistencies in the flow. It's also a great way to attract investors and get money for more research and development.

A working product with the key elements that best illustrate your company concept is referred to as a minimal viable product. Although it is not a finished product yet, you may use it to gather user metrics and deploy more or improve features in later iterations.

Building a PoC and a prototype is optional but creating an MVP is generally suggested for all companies. For instance, you don't need to create a PoC if a project doesn't call for feasibility testing. While creating prototypes is usually always advantageous for a business, doing so may be unnecessary in some circumstances, such as for extremely small projects.