7.7 Feasibility Reports

A feasibility report studies a situation (for example, a problem or opportunity) and a plan for doing something about it, and then determines whether that plan is “feasible”—whether it is practical in terms of current technology, economics, time frame, social needs and preferences, and so on. The feasibility report answers the question “Should we implement Plan X?” by stating “yes,” “no,” or sometimes a “maybe” or “under certain conditions.” Not only does it indicate whether the idea is feasible, it also provides the data and the reasoning behind that determination; conversely, it might outline the reasons why the idea cannot or should not be implemented, or what obstacles must be overcome before the idea can become feasible. Typical questions addressed in these reports include

  • Is it possible?  Can this be done within the allotted budget, time frame, legal and regulatory conditions, and technical capabilities?
  • Is it financially viable?  Even if it falls within our budget, should we do it?  Will it have long term benefits that outweigh costs? Is there a less expensive or financially risky way to achieving the same result? How does it compare to the cost of doing nothing about this situation?
  • Will it be accepted by the community?  Will people be in favor of this idea? Will anyone be opposed to it?  How much public support is necessary to make this successful? (What kind of stakeholder consultation might be necessary to determine this?)

The investigator will research each solution that the analysis recommended and present the economic (how much will the solution cost), structural (how will the solution fit into the existing physical structure of the company), and operational (how will the solution fit into the existing operation of the company) feasibility of each recommendation.  The investigator will rank these according to his/her priority, but presenting the feasibility of all recommendations, giving the pros and cons of each recommendation. This gives the decision makers a choice to choose the solution they believe is right for the company.

Elements of a Basic Feasibility Report

Below are the seven key elements of a feasibility report:

      • Introduction: You need to persuade the decision maker to even consider any sort of alternative. You need to convince them to even read your report first. Tell them what they will gain personally or as an organization by considering your work.
      • Criteria/Constraints: You must specifically map out the criteria of what the ideal outcomes are. This will allow you to make practical and logical decisions. You can present the criteria in your feasibility report in one of two ways. First, you can separate the criteria into its own section. This is best when you have a extensive report and you need to go in-depth with the explanation. Second, you can incorporate the criteria throughout your report as the criteria become relevant. However, it is important to realize that whichever strategy you chose make sure that the criteria is introduced early in the report. It is also very important to map out the constraints of your suggested solutions. This will show the audience that you understand and acknowledge the fact that no solution is perfect. This will also make sure that the audience makes the decision in their best interest.
      • Method: It is very important to present facts that are accurate and relevant. You should state the reliable sources you used and what method they came from (internet,interview, book, etc.). Without a credible research method or credible sources your document itself will lack credibility.
      • Overview of Alternative Options: You must underline the key features of each possible option. Make sure they are easy to understand and presented in a friendly layout. Keep in mind that the goal is to allow your audience to make the best decision.
      • Evaluation: This should be the bulk of your report, you must evaluate the options using the criteria you created. Add graphs, charts, etc. to show that you have studied your options, and have come up with statistics that back up your reasons as to why your alternative beats the competition.
      • Conclusions: State the conclusion you have reached. How did you reach this conclusion? How did you evaluate the alternatives? Why is this solution the best one for your organization?
      • Recommendations: Use your experience, knowledge, and research to state which option you think should be adopted.

Structure of a Basic Feasibility Report

The following is a list of front matter elements included in a typical feasibility report:

Cover Page: Use an APA cover page.

Transmittal Letter

A transmittal letter is sent to the company who requested the feasibility report. Although this letter is sent under separate cover than the Feasibility Report, it is a courtesy to include a copy of the transmittal letter in the Report.

This letter tells the need for the feasibility report and the date of completion of the report. The letter includes the background of the project, a reference to the Problem Analysis, and outlines the procedure used to determine the recommendations presented from the feasibility report.

Table of Contents

Identify the sections and their corresponding pages.

Executive Summary: Briefly explains the problem, the possible solutions, and the recommendations

EXAMPLE: 

The purpose of this feasibility research report was to address the problem of ________________. This report offered three alternative solutions to this problem: _________________, ________________, _______________. In addition, the report ranked the alternative solutions, according to its strengths and its benefits. Solution #3, _______ was the first recommendation. Solution # 1 ________________ was the second recommendation. Solution #2, __________ was the third recommendation.

 

The following is a list of the sections that form the body of the feasibility report:

Introduction: Write a brief introduction: This section will be from the Problem Analysis. Tell the why you conducted an investigation and the

Background: Explain the problem. This section explains how you know there is a problem.  This section will explain why you did the investigation, the findings and conclusion from the Problem Analysis.

Purpose: State the specific purpose of the Feasibility Report. For example: The purpose of this report is to address the problem that (the requester is experiencing with state the problem). This report will accomplish this by investigating three alternative solutions to this problem.

Research: From the analyses of the articles (Summaries/Responses), copy and paste the summarized sections here. Only paste the summarized sections. You will attach the entire analyses to the end of the report, as appendices.

 

The following is a PDF example of a successful feasibility report:

SAMPLE FEASIBILITY REPORT

 

The following video, “What is a Feasibility Study?” from Word Glossary explains feasibility reports and how they differ from business plans:

Additional Resources

 

*This page borrows from the following sources: 
"Feasibility Report Overview." Technical and Business Writing. Source link.
"Long Reports." Technical Writing Essentials. Source link.

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Technical Writing at LBCC by Will Fleming is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.