Every company that enters the digital world faces doubts and insecurities about the opportunity and the nature of digitisation.
These doubts are physiological: investing in the development of an app or any digital service represents an important opportunity for growth, but can also involve risks, like any other investment.
This is why, among the services offered by specialised agencies, there are feasibility studies: preliminary investigations that help to build and well define a roadmap to refer to during software development and which will also improve communication between the company and developing team by establishing a set of clear requirements on which to build an investment and development plan.
In this article we will explain everything you need to know about feasibility studies: what they are, what they are for and how to turn them into concrete development plans.
A feasibility study is the preliminary phase of digital service development processes that consists of a precise analysis and evaluation of the economic impact, the complexity of implementation, the technological requirements and the presence of possible alternatives for the implementation of a project, which is given concreteness by making explicit and systematising all the conditions and risks that could be hidden in a given project, but also by analysing alternative strategies for the realisation of business objectives.
This translates into thinking about concrete strategies for carrying out different project hypotheses, illustrating the process that leads from the current state to the final one, i.e. the set objective.
When carrying out a feasibility study, it is of fundamental importance to evaluate the soundness of proposed solutions, based on their economic impact.
It will be necessary to compare different options and explain the preferential criteria for undertaking a certain strategy over another.
A feasibility study may take a different form depending on the subject matter.
However, all studies have points in common such as: analysis of the current situation, definition of requirements, specifications and implementation methods, risk analysis, proposed projects, a cost/benefit analysis and, finally, final recommendations.
Feasibility studies are the main tool needed to optimise the essential planning, programming and design phase of all development projects.
In very simple terms, a feasibility study is essential before investing in an application because it can provide excellent guidance in determining the success, or otherwise, of the investment.
In fact, investing without careful planning carries great risks for any kind of economic initiative.
**Once the feasibility study has been produced **and all the different variables that can affect its success have been analyzed, we move on to the development plan.
Being an app, the first phase of the development will concern the analysis and the strategy, which concerns the definition of target and competitors, the impact and the objectives of the project.
The **second phaseéé consists in drawing up a list of desired UX and UI features, which basically concerns the explication of all the desired functionalities and the structure of the app itself.
Once these preliminary objectives have been clarified, we move on to the decision of what kind of app to develop and the operating system to use: whether a web app accessible via the Internet, a native app that operates through individual devices or a hybrid app that exists on both mediums.
The latter have a flexible operating system but may not work on some devices, cannot operate online and are on average slower than native apps.
At this point the "personas" will be defined, that is the types of target user that could use the app, considered according to gender, interests and age.
The next phase concerns the structuring of a visual navigation flow to make explicit the wireframe architecture.
Once this structure is established, the System Integration phase will connect the various subsystems of the future app so that they work in unison, in an organic way.
This phase will be followed by the actual development of the app, which will see the writing of the code and all the final stages of development such as usability testing, layout adjustments and bug fixes.
Before investing in an app, whose development, as we have seen, is a very articulated and often complex process, the feasibility study is therefore an essential element, which allows businesses to know precisely all details of their investment which will enable to achieve their goals.
The apparent complexity of the process should not discourage you: addressing every possible criticality in the preliminary stages of any initiative will allow it to run smoothly and optimise the use of resources allocated to it.