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Feasibility Study: Importance, Structure and Comparing Solutions

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 2771 words Published: 9th Nov 2020

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The feasibility study is an analytical report which is used to determine the viability of a project. [1] The study helps to determine the viability of a project by evaluating if the project is technically feasible, feasible within the estimated cost of the project and if the outcome of the project would be profitable.[2] 

The aim of this report is to provide an insight as to the importance of carrying out a feasibility study, to detail the components which make up a feasibility study, detail various requirement gathering techniques and key drivers, provide an account of the impact of various feasibility criteria on a software investigation and to provide a detailed comparison on different technical solutions.

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Importance of the Feasibility Study

As previously mentioned, the feasibility study is an important component in determining the viability of a project. This is because it identifies a number of variables that can determine the difference between a project being deemed as a worthy investment and a project that is deemed as impractical or unnecessary. In order to make this determination,  there are five areas of criteria that a feasibility study would examine, which is referred to as TELOS.[1]

TELOS is an acronym which was first presented in 2007 by James A. Hall in a book called “Accounting Information Systems” and refers to technical, economic, legal, operational and scheduling feasibility. It has since been adopted to cover a wide range of business settings as it provides a simple and logical structure to identifying the most important issues which are related to feasibility. [3]


Technical feasibility refers to the technical resources that are available to the business or organisation. It helps to determine whether the idea for a system is capable of being made into a working solution. It includes an evaluation of the hardware and software available to the organisation, assessing if they meet the technical needs of the proposed system.[1]

Determining the technical feasibility of a system is important as it allows an organisation to consider the viability of the project by identifying whether or not the proposed system can be completed with the current hardware and software that the organisation has access to, or if they would require purchasing new hardware and software which would have an impact on the economic feasibility of the project.


Economic feasibility typically involves a cost benefits analysis (CBA) of the proposed project.[1] It is used to determine the viability of the project by identifying what costs would be involved in the system (such as purchasing new software or hardware, the cost of training staff members to use the new system and the cost of maintaining a new system over the duration of its use) and weighing them against the benefits of that the new system would provide (such as increased revenue from sales, improvement to staff moral and an improvement to customer satisfaction).[4]

 It is important to determine  the economic feasibility of a project as failure to do so could result in the development of a system where the cost of the system being developed could be far greater than the benefits that would be provided by the system.


Legal feasibility assesses whether or not any aspect of the proposed project would conflict with legal requirements such as complying with data protection acts or copyright laws within a software project.[1]

It is important that a project considers legal requirements as failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against the organisation, such as in the case of breaching copyright laws.[5] Likewise, a breach in compliance of data protection acts could result in the organisation facing substantial fines or imprisonment.[6]


Operational feasibility aims to determining whether or not the needs of the organisation can be met upon completion of the project.[1]  It also assess how well the proposed system will solve the problems that the organisation currently has as a result of using the current system.[7]

It is important to consider the operational feasibility of a proposed system as developing a system that does not meet the needs of the organisation, or solve the problems that the organisation currently face would likely result in substantial time and money being spent to gain a system that is no more suitable than the system currently in place.


Scheduling feasibility provides an estimate to how much time a project is going to take to complete. This is important as a project which is not completed on time would likely be considered as a failure.[1]

The information which makes up a feasibility report is collected using various gathering techniques. These techniques can include document analysis, such as a case study, in order to gain an understanding of the business background, the systems that are currently in place and what deficiencies exist within the current system. Interviews with stakeholders and users in order to gain an understanding of the goals and expectations of that the system must fulfil. Also, conducting observations on the current system can aid in providing a first-hand account of the deficiencies in the system or areas that could be improved upon or changed within a new system.

Feasibility Report Structure

The feasibility report is divided into various sections, all of which provide insight on how the different assessment criteria will affect the prospective project. All of the information gathered within the report will help to determine the viability of the project in question and will also help to determine whether or not the organisation would be better off purchasing an off the shelve piece of software for their system, or if they would require the development of a bespoke system (a system which is tailored to fulfil the needs of the organisation).[8]


The feasibility study will begin with an introduction, which includes an overview of the organisation, which will provide information on what the business focus of the client is, the system that is currently in place within the business and any issues that exist within the current system which have led to the requirement of a new system being developed.

Statement of Purpose and Client Needs

This section will contain information regarding the purpose of the new system and the needs of the client. By describing what the purpose of the project is, the needs of the client are able to be easily listed and also help to determine what functional and non-functional requirements the proposed system may have.

For example, functional requirements that a client may need could include restricting sensitive information (such as revenue data) to staff members of certain roles (such as managers) or allow for the recording of customer sales within the system. [9]

While examples of non-functional requirements could include the need for a website to be capable of handling substantial traffic without affecting its performance or restricting members of staff from updating certain data pertaining to them (such as their salary).[10]

Statement of User Requirements

The user requirements section is similar to the previous section as it lists what the system needs to have in place. The difference being that rather than listing the client needs of the system, the needs of the end user are instead listed.

Definition of Scope

Definition of scope determines what the system will and will not be capable of. For example, an online shopping system will store information pertaining to all orders a customer has made, however, it will not make product suggestions to the customer based on their order history. A high level data flow diagram (DFD) will be included in this section which will provide a general overview of the system.

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Resource Implications

Hardware, software and personnel requirements are covered in this section, in order determine if the system will be able to run with the current hardware and software available or if the system will require new hardware or software to function as expected. The personnel requirements will determine whether or not the personnel who will be using the system have sufficient technical knowledge to be able to adapt to the new system once it is put in place.

Development Constraints

Throughout this section, variables that may put constraints on the project are assessed. The timeframe for the completion of the project is discussed and how the permitted schedule could impact the projects ability to suitably meet all the requirements as they are set out in the client needs and user requirements sections. The budget that is available is also discussed for the same reason, a project with a smaller budget may not be able to meet all the requirements that the organisation has. This section also discusses how the system compatibility with existing software, the ability of staff members, what possible legal considerations and what possible supplier or customer considerations will impact the project. Security measures and links to other systems are also discussed to determine what constraints they will have on the project.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

This section is an analysis weighing up the costs and benefits of the proposed system, as previously covered in the economic feasibility section of this report. This part of the feasibility report helps to determine if the cost of the new system is justifiable in regard to the benefits that it will provide. If the cost of the new system outweighs the benefits it will provide, it is likely the project will not be deemed as viable.[4]

Conclusion and Recommendations

In this section, a recommendation is made on what type of solution would be most appropriate to the organisation. This includes what type of software system would be most beneficial to the organisation and whether the software system should be purchased as an off the shelf solution or a developed as a custom made bespoke solution. This section also breaks down the solution into an order of stages in which it should be implanted.

Comparing Technical Solutions (Off the shelf and Bespoke)

There are a number of ways in which technical solutions can be compared when deciding on whether or not an organisation should buy an off the shelf software solution or have a software solution tailor made to their needs. These include the following:


There is a substantial difference in cost between purchasing a software solution and having one developed specifically for the organisation in question. Off the shelf solutions are mass-market solutions which are intended for use by many clients. As such, they are cheaper than bespoke solutions but do come with the drawback of being unlikely to meet all of the needs of the organisation.

On the other hand, bespoke software solutions are tailor made to fulfil the needs of a particular client or organisation. As a result, the software must be developed from scratch and the client must pay for the development process. So, while the client will benefit from a solution that is developed with their needs in mind, the cost of developing said solution is much higher. [11]


Time is another factor that must be considered. Using an off the shelf solution will save the organisation time as the solution will be ready for use as soon as it is purchased, with the organisation only having to choose among various brands of the solution in question and configuring the solution upon acquisition.

Bespoke solutions, however, requires a lot more time to implement as the solution must first be designed, developed and tested. [11]


Another difference between the two solutions is how they are maintained. When bugs or other issues are found within bespoke solutions, the organisation has the luxury of being able to have the issues fixed in a short period of time by specialists.

Whereas issues found within off the shelf solutions must be corrected by the developer of the solution, which may take a longer amount of time as they may not be aware of the issues, may not consider the issues as a high priority of things to be worked on or in some cases the developer could decide to discontinue support for the solution altogether.[11]


In conclusion, a feasibility report is a well-documented report which provides very valuable insights into a business or organisation, allows for the analysis of different types of criteria that can either validate or invalidate the viability of a proposed project. It also aids in providing a clear understanding of the needs of the client and assists in selecting the most appropriate technical solution for the project in question.


  1. Why a Feasibility Study is Important in Project Management [Internet]. Simplilearn.com. 2019 [cited 25 November 2019]. Available from: https://www.simplilearn.com/feasibility-study-article
  2. Do you know this term? [Internet]. BusinessDictionary.com. 2019 [cited 25 November 2019]. Available from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/feasibility-study.html
  3. Rudy L. Can We Really Do It? How to Conduct a TELOS Feasibility Study [Internet]. Business Envato Tuts+. 2019 [cited 25 November 2019]. Available from: https://business.tutsplus.com/articles/can-we-really-do-it-how-to-conduct-a-telos-feasibility-study--cms-21442
  4. How Cost-Benefit Analysis Process Is Performed [Internet]. Investopedia. 2019 [cited 25 November 2019]. Available from: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cost-benefitanalysis.asp
  5. Copyright Infringement Penalties [Internet]. Lib.purdue.edu. 2019 [cited 25 November 2019]. Available from: https://www.lib.purdue.edu/uco/CopyrightBasics/penalties.html
  6. What is the Data Protection Act? | Experian Business [Internet]. Experian.co.uk. 2019 [cited 25 November 2019]. Available from: https://www.experian.co.uk/business/glossary/data-protection-act/
  7. 1. TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY 2. OPERATIONAL FEASIBILITY 3. ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY [Internet]. Osarome.blogspot.com. 2019 [cited 25 November 2019]. Available from: https://osarome.blogspot.com/2011/10/1-technical-feasibility-2-operational.html
  8. Requirement Gathering Techniques - Tutorialspoint [Internet]. Tutorialspoint.com. 2019 [cited 27 November 2019]. Available from: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/business_analysis/business_analysis_requirement_gathering_techniques.htm
  9. What is bespoke software? | Blue Wren [Internet]. Blue Wren. 2019 [cited 26 November 2019]. Available from: https://www.bluewren.co.uk/blog/what-is-bespoke-software/
  10. Functional Requirements vs Non Functional Requirements: Key Differences [Internet]. Guru99.com. 2019 [cited 27 November 2019]. Available from: https://www.guru99.com/functional-vs-non-functional-requirements.html
  11. Context Data-Flow Diagram Level 0 - 2012-ITCS371-Dev-Sec3-Ocha [Internet]. Sites.google.com. 2019 [cited 26 November 2019]. Available from: https://sites.google.com/site/2012itcs371devsec3ocha/context-data-flow-diagram-1/context-data-flow-diagram-level0
  12. Bespoke software vs. off-the-shelf software [Internet]. Headchannel.co.uk. 2019 [cited 26 November 2019]. Available from: https://headchannel.co.uk/bespoke-software-vs-off-the-shelf-software-321


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