Feasibility Study Template
March 23, 2012
The key sections of a feasibility study document
A feasibility study template is an invaluable and convenient tool that helps businesses research and assess the risks associated with a proposed project. Writing a feasibility study template is the ultimate responsibility of project managers and leaders. Such a document requires comprehensive research and insight into existing corporate practices and problems and also knowledge of how different solutions will affect a particular business environment.
The following Feasibility Study Template outlines the key sections of a feasibility study. It aims to help you reduce document preparation pressures and develop standard feasibility study document for your organization.
A typical feasibility study template consists of the following sections:
- Executive Summary
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
1. Executive Summary
The Executive Summary is not a required section for all feasibility study templates, especially for those having relatively short content and easy concepts. The section provides a general description of the feasibility study for the target audience. It should be written on a single page and after all other sections of the study are completed.
The Executive Summary should create a summary of the following issues:
- The problem analyzed in the feasibility study
- The business objectives supported by the study
- Organizational impact
- Process impact
- Expected costs and benefits
- Anticipated risks
- Start writing the Executive Summary after completing all the sections of your feasibility study
- Summarize the findings of the feasibility study
- Be ready to spend 1-2 hours for this work
- Try to write the text in several paragraphs, on a single page
The Introduction section of most feasibility study templates aims to provide a general statement about the overall objectives and content of the feasibility study document. This section should contain at least two topics – Purpose and Target Audience. It may also highlight other topics or sub-sections, such as Project Description, Solution Background, Assumptions & Constraints, References, etc.
- The Purpose topic provides a short description of the drivers for creating the document and the desired outcome to be received.
- The Target Audience sub-section states about the particular group of people who are identified as the intended readers and recipients of the feasibility study document.
- Create an overview of the factors that define the need for carrying out the feasibility study
- Identify who will be the readers of the document
- Write the Purpose and the Target Audience
- Summarize all other topics (if any) which are part of the Introduction section
- Dedicate about 8-10 hours to writing the Introduction section, including all sub-sections
This section provides a detailed assessment of the reason and motivation for carrying out the feasibility analysis. It contains a more detailed treatment of the drivers outlined in the Purpose sub-section and thus further contextualizes these drivers. The introduction to the Justification section should be short, no more than 3-4 paragraphs on a single page. It should provide a summary of the justification process and its objectives.
The following topics or sub-sections should be included the Justification section of a feasibility study template:
- Problem Statement – a description of the key problem being researched in the document
- Organizational Impact – a description of how the problem will affect the organization
- Business Impact – a narrative about the impact the problem has on the business divisions, resources, workforce, and other units and components of the organization’s business environment
- Process Impact – a detailed list of business processes affected by the process
- Solution Objectives – a description of the benefits to be received and the costs to be incurred, as a result of solving the problem
- Write your Introduction to the Justification section using simple words and placing the focus on describing the characteristics of the justification process rather than on how to perform this process
- Have a detailed analysis of the business activities of your organization before staring writing the section
- Be ready to dedicate 15-18 hours to writing the Justification section
This section of a feasibility study template contains a summary of the proposed solution. It often re-states the benefits and costs of the solution. But the main focus is put on describing how the solution can improve the organization’s environment. In addition to the improvements, the [Proposed] Solution section should provide an overview of the solution’s functionality and features and should also outline the impact the solution will have.
The Solution section of most feasibility study templates highlights the same topics or sub-sections as the Justification, but this time it relates to how exactly the solution will impact those areas (Organizational, Business, Process, others).
- Use the structure of the Justification section to write the Proposed Solution
- Summarize the characteristics of your solution
- Keep your narrative informative, comprehensive and complete
- Be ready to spend about 20-25 hours on writing content for this section
The Alternatives section describes what alternative solutions have been considered and compared to the proposed solution. It states about the options that have a similar impact on the problem as the proposed solution but for some reasons they have been missed and not selected. In any feasibility study report this section should highlight the key differences (in terms of effect, costs or/and benefits) between each solution.
- Use a cost-benefit analysis
- Design a comparison matrix to summarize the differences between alternative solutions
- Dedicate 7-9 hours to this job
6. Cost-Benefit Analysis
This section of a feasibility study template provides a description of the approach and tools used in the study to carry out a cost-benefit analysis. The purpose is to provide a comparison between the present value of the solution and its initial cost. This comparison is often called a “cost-benefit ratio“.
The section provides valued information for solution approval and further decision making. It should justify the proposed solution through some calculations and indicators. Many feasibility study templates include these values:
- Net Present Value (NPV)
- Return on Investment (ROI)
- Payback Period (PP)
- Select an approach and tools for carrying out a cost-benefit analysis for the proposed solution as well as the alternative solutions
- Calculate a cost-benefit ratio
- Define and select values (e.g. ROI, NPV, PP) you will use in justifying the proposed solution
- Dedicate 10-12 hours.