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How to Write a Feasibility Study Report (FSR)

Mary Lewinson
December 15, 2010
31,408 views

Learn to report on your project's feasibility in 5 steps

how-to-develop-a-feasibility-study-reportConducting a feasibility study is one of the key activities within the project initiation phase. It aims to analyze and justify the project in terms of technical feasibility, business viability and cost-effectiveness. The study serves as a way to prove the project’s reasonability and justify the need for launch. Once the study is done, a feasibility study report (FSR) should be developed to summarize the activity and state if the particular project is realistic and practical. Let’s find out what FSR means, why it’s important and how to write it.

FSR Definition

What is a feasibility study report (FSR)? In simple terms, it’s just a document that aims to identify, explore, and evaluate a project’s solutions to save time and money. The following definition gives a broader understanding of the document:

A Feasibility Study Report (FSR) is a formally documented output of feasibility study that summarizes results of the analysis and evaluations conducted to review the proposed solution and investigate project alternatives for the purpose of identifying if the project is really feasible, cost-effective and profitable. It describes and supports the most feasible solution applicable to the project.

The report gives a brief description of the project and some background information. Formally this document is the starting point for running the Pre-Charter Sub-Phase. In practice, it signifies that the sponsor can proceed with deciding on project investment and make necessary assignments to the project manager.

FSR Importance

The process to write the report is called feasibility study reporting. Often it is a responsibility of the project manager to control such a process. The importance of writing the report consists in providing legal and technical evidence of the project’s vitality, sustainability and cost-effectiveness. The reporting process allows the senior management to get the necessary information required for making key decisions on budgeting and investment planning. A well-written feasibility study report template lets develop solutions for:

  • Project Analysis because an example of FSR helps link project efficiency to budgeted costs.
  • Risk Mitigation because it helps with contingency planning and risk treatment strategy development.
  • Staff Training because the report can be used by senior management to identify staffing needs as well as acquire and train necessary specialists.

The process of reporting is the trigger to run the project investing process through underpinning the business case document, stating the reasons for undertaking the project, and analyzing project costs and benefits.

Steps to Writing a FSR Example

How to write a feasibility study report? Regardless of project size, scope and type, there are several key steps to writing such an important document. Let’s view the steps in detail.

  1. Write Project Description
    At this step, you need to collect background information on your project to write the description. For example, your company needs to increase online sales and promote your products/services on the Web. Then in the first part of your report you could write the next description:

    “This project is website development to promote the products/services in Internet and increase online sales through encouraging customers to visit the website and make online bargains.”
  2. Describe Possible Solutions
    In order to take this step to write a feasibility study report template, you’ll need to perform an alternatives analysis and make a description of possible solutions for your project. For example, in your FSR template your e-commence project might have the following solutions description:

    “This project can be undertaken by the implementation of the two possible solutions: 1) Online Shop; 2) Corporate Website. Each of the solutions is carefully analyzed, and necessary information required for making the final decision is available for the management team.”
  3. List Evaluation Criteria
    Now it’s time to set and define evaluation criteria for possible solutions. This step of feasibility study report writing requires you to investigate the solutions and put them against a set of evaluation criteria. For example, you could add the following criteria to your report:

    “The possible solutions of this project are evaluated and compared by the following criteria: 1) Concept Spec.; 2) Content Audit; 3) Technical Design Spec.; 4) Launch Schedule & Time-frames.”
  4. Propose the Most Feasible Solution
    Once the criteria are used to evaluate the solutions, your next step for writing a feasibility study report is to determine the most economically reasonable and technically feasible solution which lets the company 1) keep to optimal use of project resources and 2) gain the best possible benefit. For example, your report might include:

    “After the evaluation of the possible solutions, the most feasible solution for this project is identified and selected, so the project turns to be cost-effective, vital and practical.”
  5. Write Conclusion
    The final step of the feasibility study reporting process requires you to make a conclusion by summarizing the project’s aim and stating the most feasible solution. For example, the conclusion of your FSR might be:

    “This project’s purpose is to develop a sophisticated and original design of the website that will contribute to online sales increasing, attract the target customer’s attention, and be cost-effective. The most feasible solution for the project has been chosen and approved and now is ready for further elaboration.”

Also, look at this Project Feasibility and Option Analysis Template to find out how to perform an analysis of alternative approaches.

Content Requirements for Sample Feasibility Report

The content of sample feasibility report is formatted and structured according to a range of requirements which may vary from organization to organization. Meanwhile, there are common suggestions, which are listed below.

Front Matter

To begin with writing a sample feasibility report, first you need to create a title page that provides a descriptive yet concise title, your (i.e. author’s) name, email, job position, and also the organization for which you’re writing the report. Next, you must include an itemized list of contents that provides headings and sub-headings sequenced the same way as they are structured in the report body. Also add a list of all material (tables, figures, illustrations, annexes) used within the doc. Remember that the title page shouldn’t be numbered and that no more than 4-5 pages should be dedicated to the front matter.

Report Body Format

Because there are many different styles and requirements for formatting the body of feasibility study report, it may be difficult for you to select right format for your report, so I suggest you discuss this issue with your curator or supervisor who should provide you with right styling and format requirements.

Meanwhile, there are several common suggestions as follows:

  • Each page of the report body needs to include a descriptive header with an abbreviated title for the report, the author’s name and page number (at the right top)
  • Structure the report by headings and sub-headings and indicate this structure within the document content
  • Make sure headings are properly formatted (i.e., flush left, indented, etc.) on each page
  • Use the same style for headings throughout the entire report template
  • Never use too larger or too small font (font should have a professional look, 10-12 point)
  • Use the same citation style (e.g., CBE, APA, etc.) for formatting sources used in your feasibility study template

Report Template Sections

The following list provides an outline of the key sections to be included in report content:

  • Executive Summary – a description of the problem/opportunity highlighted in the study, the purpose of the report, and the importance of the research for your target audience
  • Background – a more detailed description of the feasibility study, who it was carried out, and whether it was implemented elsewhere
  • Analysis – an examination and evaluation method employed in the conducting your feasibility study
  • Alternatives and Options – an overview of any alternative proposals or options and their features  in comparison to the main proposal of the study
  • Cost-Benefit Evaluation – a rigorous analysis method that was implemented to examine and evaluate the main proposal for cost-benefit effectiveness and to demonstrate the tech feasibility, economic practicality, social desirability, and eco soundness of the proposal.
  • Conclusion – a summary of the work done and your own conclusions regarding your analysis
  • Recommendations – a series of recommendations practices and follow-up actions based on your conclusions

Back Matter

One last thing you need to consider when writing your feasibility study report template is that the report should include a Reference page that lists all reference material (articles, books, web pages, periodicals, reports, etc.) cited in your document. This page should be styled appropriately.

Additionally, you can create an Appendix page that provides detailed discussions of all criteria used in analyzing feasibility and examples of each criterion. This page should also be styled appropriately.

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