Feasibility Study in Software Engineering

Feasibility Study in Software Engineering

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Updated on Jun 15, 2023 16:48 IST

A feasibility study, is designed to reveal whether a project/plan is feasible. In this article we will study about Feasibility study in software engineering and it also includes feasibility report format and types of feasibility study.

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In software engineering, the feasibility study is a project done to determine software’s technical and commercial viability before its development. The project evaluates the system’s impact, functionality, and performance before investing in its development. Providing input on the design, development, deployment, and administration of software systems from conceptualization to maintenance is a tedious task that needs a lot of expertise. Hence, a feasibility study beforehand will help develop software with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. We will learn what is feasibity study in software engineering.

Table of contents

What is a Feasibility Study?

The process of conducting a feasibility study in software engineering involves analyzing all aspects of the project when planning it before starting it. The process involves collecting data and evaluating different aspects of the project based on specific parameters such as time and budget constraints. After analyzing all factors involved in planning the project, participants will reach a consensus regarding whether or not it is feasible to complete this project within the given time frame and budget constraints. After determining if this project is feasible, participants will plan how to complete this project by creating documentation for each phase of this process using DFD- modeling techniques for designing software systems- dynamic flow mapping for designing flow in computer applications, etc.

For example: If planning this project becomes tedious- due to numerous considerations- stakeholders’ expectations, etc., then a pre-feasibility study may be needed. In this case, stakeholders assess to determine if this project is feasible before actual development begins. If such an assessment seems daunting, then an informal survey via internal communication may also suffice. This assessment may reveal that stakeholders desire certain features that would make this project feasible but would prefer to participate in making those requirements known to those responsible for its development.

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Why Feasibility Study?

The feasibility study is an essential phase of the software project management process. After the feasibility study is completed, the proposed project is either continued as, in fact, feasible or the proposed project is abandoned. A conclusion is drawn as to whether, If it’s not correct/feasible, develop it or reconsider/analyze the proposed project.

In addition to this feasibility study, it helps identify risk factors associated with system development and deployment. Risk analysis also plans limited business options and improves success rates by analyzing various parameters associated with proposed project development.

Types of Feasibility Study

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1. Technical feasibility 

Technical Feasibility analyzes/evaluates current resources for hardware, software, and technology needed to develop the project. This technical feasibility study provides information on whether the appropriate resources and technology required for use in project development are in place. In addition, the feasibility study also analyzes the technical strength and capabilities of the technical team, whether existing technology can be used, and whether the selected technology is easy to maintain and upgrade.

  • Analyze the technical skills and capabilities of software development team members.
  • Determine if the relevant technology is stable and established.
  • Assess that the technologies chosen for software development will have many users so that they can be consulted if they encounter problems or need improvement.

2. Operational Feasibility 

Operational feasibility analyzes the level of service delivery according to requirements and the ease of operating and maintaining the product after deployment. Along with these other operational areas, it determines the product’s usability, whether the software development team’s decisions for the proposed solution are acceptable, and so on. 

  • Determine if the expected issue in the user request is a high priority.
  • Determine if the organization is satisfied with alternative solutions proposed by the software development team.
  • Determine if the solution proposed by the software development team is acceptable.
  • Analyze whether users are comfortable with new software.

3. Economic feasibility

Project costs and benefits are analyzed in a profitability study. This means that as part of this feasibility study, a detailed analysis of the costs of the development project will be made. This includes all costs necessary for the final development, such as hardware and software resources required, design and development costs, operating costs, etc. It is then analyzed whether the project is financially beneficial to the organization.

  • The costs incurred in software development generate long-term benefits for an organization.
  • Costs required to conduct a complete software study (e.g., requirements extraction and requirements analysis).
  • Hardware, software, development team, and training costs.

4. Legal Feasibility 

In a legal feasibility study, the project is analyzed from the view of legality. This includes analysis of obstacles in the legal implementation of the project, data protection or social media laws, project certificates, licenses, copyrights, etc. Overall, a legal feasibility study is a study to determine whether a proposed project meets legal and ethical requirements.

5. Schedule Feasibility 

A schedule feasibility study mainly analyzes the proposed project deadlines/deadlines, including the time it will take the team to complete the final project. This has a significant impact on the organization as the project’s purpose may fail if it is not completed on time.

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Feasibility Report Includes 

• A high-level plan with the most important activities and milestones 

• Discussion of business considerations

• Risk analysis. What could be the problem? What is your fallback plan?

Feasibility Study Report

1. Definitions, acronyms, and abbreviations

This section should contain brief descriptions of possible definitions, acronyms, and abbreviations. These are displayed so that anyone can interpret them correctly. If not, please explain that it is not applicable. It must be listed in alphabetical order.

2. Overview

Use this section to describe what is included in the rest of the software proof-of-concept documentation. It is similar to the end of the introduction of an academic paper. 

3. Purpose

Clearly and concisely describe the purpose of the project. Lighting traits focus on the management level. Use infinitives.

4. Scope/Range

Describe the project’s scope and highlight which aspects are covered and which are not. For uncovered aspects: Justify why they are not covered.

5. Current diagnosis

Describe your current situation. Describe the software, its version, the supplier, a brief description of its characteristics, and how it is used. Highlight the current environment and the difficulty of that environment. Attach supporting documents such as receipts, contracts, spreadsheets, reports, etc.

6, Requirement

One of the key points of the feasibility study document is covered in a dedicated post on requirements.

7. Proposed alternative

List all alternatives for solving the problem, including the one you suggested. Look for similar solutions in the market or academic research in this area. Consider analysis time, implementation, and training time for the proposed tool.

8. Benefits

 State the expected benefits of implementing the system. Tangible and intangible benefits.

 9. Cost

Allocate costs for implementing alternatives as accurately as possible. Please enter the source of the expense. risk Identify potential risks associated with alternatives. It also identifies preventive and emergency measures. Consider different risks such as people; organization, tools; and requirements.

10. Timeline

Presentation of preparatory activities, including dates and resources. Based on the phases of software development. 

Feasibility Studies: Common Problems

• The scope of the report is ambiguous. Without a clear definition of the range, this is the case

It is unclear whether the project is feasible.

• The plan does not describe activities in sufficient detail to estimate effort.

Persuasive.

• The project is too ambiguous. The report must describe how you will act. Monitor progress and adjust scope as needed.

Conclusion

A pre-feasibility study can save time and money when planning new software projects because it helps plan them efficiently. This project helps determine whether a new system is technically viable before investing in its development. Therefore, it is crucial in software engineering.

FAQs

Who is involved in conducting a feasibility study?

Conducting a feasibility study involves various stakeholders, including software engineers, project managers, business analysts, financial experts, legal advisors, and key decision-makers from the organization. Their collective expertise and perspectives contribute to a comprehensive assessment of the project's feasibility.

When should a feasibility study be conducted?

A feasibility study is typically conducted during the early stages of project planning, before significant resources are allocated. It helps stakeholders determine whether to proceed with a project idea or explore alternative options based on a thorough analysis of feasibility factors.

Can a feasibility study guarantee project success?

While a feasibility study provides valuable insights and informs decision-making, it cannot guarantee project success. Feasibility studies help identify potential risks and challenges, but other factors such as project management, execution, and market dynamics also influence the outcome. It is important to use the feasibility study as a tool for informed decision-making and to incorporate its findings into project planning and execution.

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