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Feasibility Study In Software Engineering

Author Gaurav Joshi
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Introduction

Feasibility is the second phase of the Software Development Life Cycle and refers to the preliminary investigation. It is a study to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed project. It starts when someone requests or demands any change in the current system or either a user or someone from the department finds a problem. Feasibility helps us understand the practical extent to which a process could be executed. 

The primary objective of the feasibility study of a project is not to find a solution but to acquire a sense of its scope. It helps us establish the reason for the development of the software. It's an analysis that helps us understand how beneficial the software could be for the organisation from a practical viewpoint.

Feasibility Study In Software Engineering

Types of Feasibility Studies in Software Engineering

Below are the five mentioned areas where feasibility study primarily concentrates. Different types of feasibility that are mainly considered include technical feasibility, operational feasibility, legal feasibility, Economic feasibility and schedule feasibility. Economic feasibility is regarded as the most crucial analysis of feasibility study for a software system, and legal feasibility is considered as least crucial.

Technical Feasibility

Technical feasibility is the study of all the technical resources. The analyst should find out whether technical resources (hardware and software) are available or not in the organisation to support the proposed changes in the software system. It also allows us to determine to which extent the organisation could support the proposed action. Technical feasibility also analyses the technical skills and capabilities of the technical team or whether we could use existing technology or not. 

Economic Feasibility

The most frequently used feasibility method is economic and financial feasibility. It tells the effectiveness of the software system financially. Economic feasibility analyses whether the required changes would generate enough financial gains for an organisation in the long run or not. It researches the cost incurred for the software development and management team and all hardware and software involved. It completes software system study and whether these incurred costs would help the organisation generate a long-term gain in the capital. It is necessary to consider the benefits the required changes will provide.

Operational Feasibility

Once the system is technical and economically feasible, the operation feasibility needs to be checked. This type of feasibility helps us estimate the reaction which the software system will receive once done with the proposed changes. It tells us how easy or challenging the operation and Maintenance of software would be for the user after deployment.

Legal Feasibility

It helps us understand whether the proposed system confirmed all the legal and ethical requirements. It analyses all the legal barriers for project implementation, copyright, licensing, project certificate etc.

Schedule Feasibility

It analyses how much time the project completion takes. It studies the timelines and deadlines for the project. It allows understanding how the project's purpose failed if the completion of proposed changes is done after the scheduled time for the organisation.
 

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Feasibility study process

Feasibility study comprises of following steps:

Information assessment

It helps us to find all the information related to the system and whether it would achieve the organisation's goals and objectives. It also helps us to find whether existing technology could implement the system and be integrated with the current system within the budget or not. 

Information collection

It tells us the sources of information regarding the software system. Generally, the sources are existing users, organisations, software, development teams.

Report Writing

It includes using a feasibility report,i.e. the conclusion drawn by the software development team from the feasibility study of the software system. It tells us whether the development should continue or not based on the system's scope, budget, and schedule. It also contains information regarding the suggestion of any requirement or changes in the software system.

General Information

General Information tells us about the feasibility study's scope and purpose. It tells us about the project overview, references, abbreviations and point of contact used.
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Need of Feasibility study In Software Engineering

As already discussed, the purpose of the feasibility study of software is not to find the solution to a problem but to develop a sense of its scope. 

  • The primary purpose of feasibility in software engineering is to determine the group of responsible users affected by the proposed changes in the project to determine the scope of the system. 
  • The second is to identify the deficiency project has currently in its environment, like a list of functions that are operating unacceptably. 
  • The third is to determine the objective for our new system, and last to determine whether the system's automation is feasible.

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Benefits of Feasibility Study in Software Engineering

  • Risk Identification: Helps in identifying potential risks and challenges associated with the software project.
  • Resource Allocation: Assists in determining the resources required for the project, including manpower, time, and budget.
  • Cost Estimation: Enables accurate estimation of project costs, helping in budget planning and financial management.
  • Decision Making: Provides valuable insights to stakeholders for making informed decisions about project viability and feasibility.
  • Scope Definition: Helps in defining the scope of the project by identifying its objectives, constraints, and limitations.
  • Feasibility Assessment: Evaluates the technical, economic, and operational feasibility of the proposed software solution.
  • Requirement Analysis: Facilitates thorough analysis of user requirements, ensuring alignment with project goals and objectives.

Best Practices for a Feasibility Study

Conducting a successful feasibility study in software engineering involves several best practices. Firstly, it's essential to involve key stakeholders from various departments to ensure comprehensive input and buy-in. Secondly, the study should consider both technical and non-technical factors, including market trends, regulatory requirements, and organizational capabilities. 

Additionally, utilizing appropriate methodologies and tools for analysis, such as SWOT analysis or cost-benefit analysis, can provide valuable insights. Regular communication and collaboration among team members and stakeholders throughout the study are crucial for gathering accurate data and addressing any concerns or uncertainties. Finally, documenting findings, assumptions, and recommendations in a clear and concise manner ensures transparency and facilitates decision-making processes. By following these best practices, organizations can conduct thorough feasibility studies that inform strategic decisions and set the stage for successful software projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Feasibility study of a software system an essential part of SDLC?

The feasibility study of a project is one of the essential parts of SDLC. Its purpose is not to find a solution but to acquire a sense of its scope. It helps us establish the reason for the development of the software. It's an analysis that helps us understand how beneficial the software could be for the organisation from a practical viewpoint.

Which feasibility study is the most crucial study among other types of feasibility?

Technical feasibility study is often considered the most crucial among other types of feasibility studies in software engineering. It evaluates the technical viability of implementing the proposed software solution, including assessing technology capabilities, infrastructure requirements, and potential technical challenges.

What are the different types of feasibility studies?

Below are the five mentioned areas where feasibility study primarily concentrates. Different types of feasibility that are mainly considered include technical feasibility, operational feasibility, legal feasibility, Economic feasibility and schedule feasibility. Economic feasibility is regarded as the most crucial analysis of feasibility study for a software system, and legal feasibility is considered as least crucial.

Conclusion

We have extensively discussed the feasibility study and its type in the article. Along with that, We have also explored the need and objective of the feasibility study.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding the feasibility study in software engineering. If you would like to learn more about such content and practice some quality questions that require you to excel your preparations a notch higher. In that case, you can visit our Guided Path in  Code360.To be more confident in data structures and algorithms, try out our DS and Algo Course. Until then, All the best for your future endeavours, and Keep Coding.