4. Beginning a Project - Feasibility Studies.pdf - CSE 4345 Software Engineering Principles Instructor Yasamin Fozouni Software Development Feasibility

4. Beginning a Project - Feasibility Studies.pdf - CSE 4345...

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CSE 4345 Software Engineering Principles Instructor: Yasamin Fozouni
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Software Development Feasibility Studies
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Feasibility Study A feasibility study is a study made before committing to a project. The results of the feasibility study should be a report that recommends whether or not it is worth carrying on with the requirements and development process. In production projects, the feasibility study often leads to a budget request . A feasibility study may be in the form of a proposal.
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Challenges Uncertainty Clients may be unsure of the scope of the project Benefits are usually very hard to quantify Approach is usually ill-defined. Estimates of resources and timetable are very rough Organizational changes may be needed (hard to predict) Therefore, feasibility studies rely heavily on the judgment of experienced people. Mistakes made at the beginning of a project are the most difficult to correct.
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Challenges Advocacy Advocacy is needed to build enthusiasm for a project: to convince an organization to undertake an expensive, complex project with many risks. Enthusiasm is good, but enthusiasts usually emphasize potential benefits and downplay risks. People carrying out the feasibility study and making the decision often have a vested interest in the project going ahead, e.g., financial gain, career development.
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The Decision Maker's Viewpoint The feasibility study makes recommendations. Senior member(s) of the client’s organization decide whether to begin a major software project. What information do they need? Client: Who is this project for? Scope: What are the boundaries of the project? Benefits: What are the benefits? Can they be quantified? If the software is a product, what are the forecasts of likely sales? Technical: Is the project possible? Is there at least one technical way to carry out the project? Resources: What are the estimates of staff, time, equipment, etc.? Alternatives: What are the options if the project is not done?
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Where are the Risks? Can they be Minimized? Technical risks There must be an outline plan with a rough timetable and staff allocation The plan must have a very large margin for contingencies. (Projects typically require twice the staff and/or time envisioned in the feasibility plan.)
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  • Fall '08
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