Posted by tac_admin, February 4, 2015

The Anatomy of an Effective Feasibility Study

7466177118_400e9e2752_mWhen you create an effective feasibility study, you factor in two items: cost and outcome. As a business analyst, it’s up to you to project the ROI in a very clear way to stakeholders, but how do you accomplish that task?

To begin, effective feasibility studies have a blueprint behind them. Beginning with defining your stakeholders’ problem or opportunity, business analysts then move on to taking note of current operations, eliciting requirements, weighing out alternative action steps, and the presenting the plan.

It sounds pretty simple, but as you already know, business analysis becomes complicated fast. Here’s a play-by-play of your most effective feasibility study.

Define the problem or opportunity

Problems and opportunities are two different entities, but they have more in common than not. Both require action, and there exists the inevitable risk factor when creating a new dynamic within a business.

That’s why the first and most foundational steps to your most effective feasibility study are crucial. When you clearly identify the problem or opportunity in a robust way, that’s when you have set the foundation for a comprehensive solution.

Without a clear and thorough definition, you’ll end up running toward an objective you don’t want. And that’s no fun for anyone.

Take note of current operations

Circumstances must improve as they exist in the present. There’s no point in dredging up past performance and problems if they have no bearing on where the company stands right now.

In this second step, it’s important to get into the nitty-gritty of everything that happens in a company, and how your solution will make a positive or negative impact. During this step, you may find opportunities to amend requirements, so be sure to be adaptive in order to be successful.

Elicit requirements

In the second step, you’ve established the framework for requirements. If you’ve been reading my blogs and newsletters for any length of time, you’ll notice that my clients often need the most help with eliciting requirements.

In a nutshell, without the right requirements, you won’t arrive at the right solution. During this stage, make sure you have all the information you need to take decisive and comprehensive action.

Find an alternative set of action steps

The word “analysis” strongly implies factoring in multiple options. (Do you ever find that your BA career is a series of pro/con lists?)

An alternative right does not indicate that you’re indecisive—it means you’re considerate and thoughtful. During this step, you may find a hidden gem that makes the whole process easier and more effective.

Present the plan

This portion boils down to effective communication—specifically how well you make your case for your proposal.

Are you prepared? Join me for…

Effective Communications & Requirement Elicitation Training

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