Feasibility Studies & Market Research

FEASIBILITIES STUDIES

A project feasibility study is a comprehensive report that examines in detail the five frames of analysis of a given project. It also takes into consideration its four Ps, its risks and POVs, and its constraints (calendar, costs, and norms of quality). The goal is to determine whether the project should go ahead, be redesigned, or else abandoned altogether.

The five frames of analysis are: The frame of definition; the frame of contextual risks; the frame of potentiality; the parametric frame; the frame of dominant and contingency strategies.

The four Ps are traditionally defined as Plan, Processes, People, and Power. The risks are considered to be external to the project (e.g., weather conditions) and are divided in eight categories: (Plan) financial and organizational (e.g., government structure for a private project); (Processes) environmental and technological; (People) marketing and socio cultural; and (Power) legal and political. POVs are Points of Vulnerability: they differ from risks in the sense that they are internal to the project and can be controlled or else eliminated.

The constraints are the standard constraints of calendar, costs and norms of quality that can each be objectively determined and measured along the entire project life cycle. Depending on projects, portions of the study may suffice to produce a feasibility study; smaller projects, for example, may not require an exhaustive environmental assessment.

MARKET RESEARCH

The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face.

Accurate and thorough information is the foundation of all successful business ventures because it provides a wealth of information about prospective and existing customers, the competition, and the industry in general. It allows business owners to determine the feasibility of a business before committing substantial resources to the venture.

Market research provides relevant data to help solve marketing challenges that a business will most likely face–an integral part of the business planning process. In fact, strategies such as market segmentation (identifying specific groups within a market) and product differentiation (creating an identity for a product or service that separates it from those of the competitors) are impossible to develop without market research.