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How to do a feasibility study? The different stages

Carrying out a feasibility study is an essential step in the management of a project. Indeed, the first steps of managing a project are theoretical, taking place "on paper". They mainly concern the design of a project, the designer's imagination, and its first developments. The feasibility study shakes up the established order by verifying whether the project is possible, viable and whether large-scale development is necessary.

The feasibility study

Credit Photo : Pexels Lukas


A feasibility study aims to ensure the possibility of implementing a project. It is a question of verifying what the consequences of this project will entail in financial or organisational matters. The goal is also to ensure that the project can ultimately achieve some kind of profitability. The feasibility study also makes it possible to become aware of some obstacles or difficulties that may hinder the project and delay, for example, a return on the investment.


I.The different stages of a feasibility study

The first step of a feasibility study is to assess all the needs of the project. These needs can be primary or secondary, basic or complex, and concern material, equipment, and skills. The first estimate of needs, in terms of funding, is made at this stage. It will be refined throughout the feasibility study.

A second step includes getting to know the project environment. Matrices or classic analyses, such as SWOT or PESTEL analysis, are very useful here. They allow you to gain, for example, detailed knowledge of the risks, opportunities, and legal or regulatory aspects that must be taken into account. This makes it possible to have sufficient knowledge of the external elements of the project: fashions, habits and customs, consumer expectations, expected technological developments, etc. For this, it is essential to carry out a detailed and precise observation over several months before launching the project. This observation must cover all the elements that may have an influence on the project. A PESTEL type analysis is interesting here because it makes it possible to scan all the political, economic, social, technological, ecological, and legal elements which are likely to have a significant influence on the project or on the sector.

It is then essential to set objectives for the development of the project. These must be well thought out, achievable, and realistic. Otherwise, everyone will be discouraged. Nevertheless, you should not be complacent with yourself, at the risk of under-developing the project due to an overall lack of motivation. Goals need to be well timed, and they need to be presentable at a glance during project presentations. It is necessary to quickly assess whether the project is possible or not.

Financial analyses are then essential. Generally, three scenarios emerge. The scenarios are alternately optimistic, realistic, or pessimistic. All must nevertheless be profitable. Otherwise, the degree of risk of the project turns out to be too high. The idea is to show that the objectives set are achievable within reasonable, fixed and determined deadlines and that they lead to a return on investment within an acceptable period for potential investors.

Finally, the last step consists of a detailed analysis of the risks that the project must face. It is important to quantify them as best as possible, to define, if possible, their impact in time and space.

II. Analysis of the study results

Once all these steps are completed, the feasibility study is completed, and it is now necessary to tackle the analysis of the results. If no point of doubt or questioning has arisen during these five steps, then the project is ready to be launched. If, on the other hand, the analysis has raised questions, doubts, and areas of uncertainty, or has reported disproportionate risks or too low a ROI, then the project must be reviewed. It can be abandoned, but it can also, most of the time, be rethought, recast, and restructured as a team in order to be able to reach its conclusion and the implementation of the project after all these investigations.

In any case, the feasibility study provides crucial information for the project designers. Even if the study proves to be satisfactory and the project is then implemented, the feasibility study almost always makes it possible to detect areas of doubt, shadows, potential improvement, and corrections to be made. Even if the result is positive, this step of detailed dissection of the project is always very useful and allows you to be more confident about launching the project in real life. It is an essential step in the transition from theory to practice, from imagination to reality. It makes it possible to ensure the viability of the project in different aspects, in detail, for all the areas concerned.


A feasibility study is often undertaken by entrepreneurs going through a difficult and trying stage, where all the dimensions of a project are analysed, dissected, questioned, and called into question. Nevertheless, this phase is an essential and crucial phase that can only bring interesting elements to the project. If the project is already established and successful, then the feasibility study only confirms it. If this is not the case, there is still time to work on the project a little more, to make it evolve to minimise the risks and to push the reflection and the analysis even further. In any case, these studies are not in vain and allow designers to fully analyse the project on which they have often been working for many months, most often being assailed by doubts and questions.

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